Reports December 04, 2012
Ecosystem Based Monitoring In the Marine Coastal Environment in Lebanon

The monitoring programme was developed to look into the marine part of the coastal ecosystem and mainly on the benthic habitats, as these habitats reflect the ecological quality of costal water bodies. Experts proposed a realistic and science-based monitoring program for the evaluation of the ecological quality status of the coastal waters in Lebanon.  The scientific base is known as the concept of the “Ecosystem Approach to the management of human activities”.  This concept is making its way through almost all regional environmental conventions and programs.

The proposed monitoring program focuses on the evaluation of the Ecological Quality Status of the biological communities of the seafloor.  Such a strategy requires less frequent sampling given that these biological communities slowly change therefore reflecting long term changes of the water masses.  The analysis of samples requires a simple binocular in addition to scientific skills on benthic taxonomy.  Such skills are widely available in the Mediterranean region, as experts gathered more than 60 years of experience in research on seafloor vegetation and animal life.

The design of an ecosystem-based monitoring in the marine coastal waters in Lebanon will follow a step by step approach.  In the first phase, the operational objective/target of the management plan, the geographical scale and the time schedule are defined.  In a next phase, the number of water bodies on which the monitoring will be applied is delimited.

Finally, the Ecological Quality Status of the coastal water bodies in Lebanon is proposed to be evaluated using original biotic indices: Based on the experience of the monitoring programs of the coastal waters in Greece and Cyprus, the technical report provides the major components of a monitoring program adapted to the coastal waters in Lebanon.


The full report will soon be available online.