The issue of land resources conservation is strongly felt in Syria and Lebanon, like in most Mediterranean countries. The main environmental concerns affecting the coastal areas in the two Countries mostly arise from the high concentration of people (high natural growth and migration) and activities (intensive agriculture, heavy industry, transportation). Degradation processes are furthermore accelerated by the natural assets of the landscapes as to relief, geomorphology, geology and soil characteristics, as well as by the climatic type of the zone in terms of rain intensity, drought and climate change.
In this connection, Lebanese and Syrian organisations joined their efforts with those of national and international organisations working in the field of environmental observation and monitoring, for implementing a methodological approach and a capacity-building programme, for supporting plans aimed at the control/management of land degradation in Lebanese and Syrian coastal areas.
The CoLD Project, which is supported by the EU LIFE Third Countries fund (LIFE TCY/00/INT/00069/MED), has the objective to “Improve Lebanese and Syrian national capacities relying on advanced tools for environmental management and planning of coastal zones, according to the principles of sustainable development”. In this context, project activities will be carried out by Lebanese and Syrian national teams, in close co-operation and with the support of MAP Centres which will provide training, guidelines and technical specification, in order to build up their capacities with reference to the proposed methodologies.
Project partners are the following:
- The MAP/UNEP ERS/RAC (Environment Remote Sensing Regional Activity Centre) which is the Centre which has signed the contract with the EC, acting as a co-ordinator of the overall project activities, and in particular as responsible for the Reconnaissance Survey and the GIS implementation and, as to dissemination activities, of the Web pages implementation.
- The MAP/UNEP PAP/RAC (Priority Action Programme Regional Activity Centre), which is in charge of the implementation of the Detailed Analysis, Strategy and Recommendation, Public Participation Programme and, as of dissemination activities, CD ROM production and of the issuing of brochures;
- The Lebanese NCRS (National Centre for Remote Sensing) as acting organisation of the National Council for Scientific Research, which is the reference Centre as to Lebanese National team and which will be responsible for the activities to be performed in the Lebanese area both as to the allocation of expertise, data and equipment for the operational ones, and for meetings and know-how transfer to local stakeholders in the framework of the Public Participation Programme, while, as to dissemination activities, it will be in charge of the realisation of the video, and of the arrangement of Meetings and Workshops in Lebanon.
- The Syrian GORS (General Organisation for Remote Sensing), which is the reference Centre as to Syrian National team, which will be responsible for the activities to be performed in the Syrian area both as to the allocation of expertise, data and equipment for the operational activities, and for meetings and know-how transfer to local stakeholders in the framework of the Public Participation Programme, while, as to dissemination activities, it will be in charge of the arrangement of Meetings and Workshops in Syria.
Project objectives and results
The project will be implemented through the following components:
* Improvement of the environmental knowledge in Lebanon and Syria (mainly through the activities: Reconnaissance Survey, Detailed Analysis, GIS) which, in terms of concrete results, will allow:
* the characterisation of the study-area;
* the production of thematic maps (overall erosion risk map, detailed erosion map);
* the design and implementation of a properly populated GIS (field data storage, processing and analysing);
* the assessment and monitoring of degradation causes;
* the determination of priority areas.
* Outlines of national coastal areas degradation control/management plan(s) (mainly through the activity: “Strategy and Recommendations”) which, in terms of concrete results, will allow:
* the analysis of existing strategy and techniques and justification for the selected ones;
* the recommendations for the procedures of formulation and adoption of respective national coastal areas degradation control management plans (draft management plans);
* the recommendations for the establishment and functioning of a system for monitoring the effects of the implementation of the suggested management plans.
* National Capacity Building (mainly through the activity: Public Participation Programme) which, in terms of concrete results, will allow:
* the adoption of the action plan for the PPP;
* the production of reports at Country level;
* the arrangement of seminars involving stakeholders at local and national level;
* the arrangement of Evaluation Workshops of project interim and final results.
Project deliverables will consist of:
* Thematic maps at 1:100,000 scale and 1: 50,000 scale available both in paper and in digital format into the GIS. Those maps will be produced as output of the Reconnaissance Survey and Detailed Analysis respectively; * Management plans, guidelines and recommendations;
* Reports on project activities, including specification for training modules;
* Design and setting-up of a Geographic Information System;
* Issuing of a Video, a Web site, CD ROMs, Brochures, for the dissemination of project achievements.
The project Workplan as reported in figure 1) shows that the project is based on three operational activities, “Reconnaissance Survey”, “Detailed Analysis” and “Strategy and Recommendation”, which will be feed each other, according to a chronological sequence, by the outcomes of the previous implemented activity.
The first two, based on a multiscale approach, are addressed to provide the physical characterisation of the study-area, identifying two main broad categories of landscape units, stable non-erosion affected areas, and unstable erosion affected areas. For those belonging to the first category, it is defined the grade of erosion risks, while for the other ones, the type of dominant erosion process, its relative intensity and evolution trend.
The Strategy and Recommendation activity is based on the integration of mapping outputs from the first two with socio-economic/land use features and national or local policy priorities, in order to identify, for homogeneous areas, options for preventive, curative and protective remedial actions to be applied.
The three above mentioned activities are supported by the setting-up of a proper GIS which will contain all produced data, made thus available both in paper and in digital format.
PAP/RAC. 2004. Improving Coastal Land Degradation Monitoring in Lebanon and Syria: Country Report Lebanon. Split: PAP/RAC. pp. v + 140
PAP/RAC. 2004. Improving Coastal Land Degradation Monitoring in Lebanon and Syria: Country Report Syria. Split: PAP/RAC. pp. vii + 155