Coastal Zone Monitoring

Lebanon is rich in marine and coastal species.  The importance of these resources lies in their intrinsic natural heritage value as these sustain fisheries and have the potential to support marine-based tourism activity and beyond.  Unfortunately, anthropogenic activity such as unsustainable fishing practices and coastal developments is threatening Lebanon’s marine biodiversity.

The MoE and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) are currently implementing the project Supporting Management of Important Marine Habitats and Species in Lebanon to support the development of a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and an associated monitoring program to evaluate the management effectiveness.  It also assists the MoE in the identification of policy and management reforms.  So far, the project has assessed the feasibility of declaring three marine protected areas and started to carry out detailed biodiversity assessment and inventories in those sites and produce related GIS maps.  Also, in close coordination with the MoE – Department of Natural Resources Protection, the project is working on preparing corresponding bathymetry maps and 3D modeling on soft beaches.

The ERML project, through its first component, aims at improving the understanding of the quality of ecological systems, especially Sensitive Areas in Lebanon’s coastal zone affected by the oil slick.  Component A of the project will work on:

  • Assessing the sensitivity of coastal and marine areas in Lebanon, including an ecological assessment and identification of threats, especially from land-based sources;
  • Reviewing the existing national legislation and policies related to Sensitive Areas; and
  • Developing a management and monitoring strategy of the identified areas, focusing on land-based sources of pollutants and including a capacity building component.