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CANA: a Mediterranean system to serve Communities and territory needs

Place: lebanon, Asia
Sustainable management of natural resources Sustainable management of natural resources
Total Budget: € 2.635.000,00 | Period: From May 2009 To

Summary

Most of the Countries laying in South-East shores of the Mediterranean suffer from a lack of information collection, planning, decision making systems, that threaten sustainability and quality of marine resources made available to consumers.
CANA project “Establishing monitoring and sustainable development of the Lebanese sea” was conceived to fill this gap, expanding the knowledge of the coastal marine environment as a whole, its physical and biological parameters and processes. This organic and multidisciplinary effort, made possible by the Italian donation of the RV CANA-CNRS, aims at establishing solid and scientifically reliable bases for protection and sustainable exploitation of Lebanese coastal area and, due to its geographical location, at setting a warning system on the composition of biocenosis that may lead to modification of the diet also in the rest of the Mediterranean. This package of information can be mirrored to the whole Mediterranean through Feeding Knowledge.

Partnership

National Council for Scientific Research-Lebanon - Lebanon

Lead applicant

The National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS) is a public institution established in 1962 and assigned with the task of formulating national science and technology policy, initiating, guiding, supporting and conducting scientific research programmes and activities in Lebanon. It advises the Government on all science and technology issues. The CNRS conducts research through its specialised centres and supports research projects having an impact on the socio-economic development of the country. The CNRS is a public autonomous institution reporting directly to the President of the Council of Ministers. It is administered by a Board of Administration and a General Secretariat.

Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture - Lebanon

Initiative partner

The Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for the improvement of policies and practical programs for the advancement of the sector; the development of legal frameworks and organizational law, the building of infrastructures to facilitate investment, production and marketing, to guarantee the engagement of the largest possible segment of the Lebanese people. The Ministry of Agriculture plays a key role in the development and the management of the natural resources (agricultural land, irrigation water, forests, fisheries and pastures) and rural development programs (the role of women and youth) to enable the agricultural sector to benefit from added value and competitive advantage given by the local production and geographical climate.

Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari - Italy

Initiative partner

CANA: a Mediterranean system to serve Communities and territory needs. Most of the countries laying in south-east shores of the Mediterranean suffer from lack of information collection, planning, decision making systems, that threaten sustainability and quality of marine resources made available to consumers. CANA project “Establishing monitoring and sustainable development of the Lebanese sea” was conceived to fill this gap, expanding the knowledge of the coastal marine environment as a whole, its physical and biological parameters and processes. This organic and multidisciplinary effort, made possible by the Italian Government’s donation of the Research Vessel (RV) CANA-CNRS, aims at establishing solid and scientifically reliable bases for protection and sustainable exploitation of Lebanese coastal area and, due to its geographical location, at setting a warning system on the composition of biocenosis that may lead to modification of the diet, also in the rest of the Mediterranean.

CANA provides technological and systemic innovation. The establishment of a fully equipped, technologically advanced and steadily operational research vessel fills at the same time:
•spatial gap, allowing Lebanese scientists to constantly survey Lebanese coastal waters,
•technological gap, giving the possibility to use innovative and complex equipment,
•temporal gap, proposing a model of inclusion of the stakeholders that brings the whole system of governance of the coastal areas several years forward.
This implies that, in order to properly equip the vessel, to provide regular maintenance and, most of all, to run the vessel and to implement the associated scientific tasks, the dedicated team created from scratch a new sector of intervention that benefits from scientists, experts and local SMEs’ joint efforts. Set of information made available by CANA is related to needs and solutions pertaining to coastal areas that through Feeding Knowledge can be mirrored to the whole Mediterranean.

CANA results are shared and discussed with policy and decision makers May 2014. CANA results are shared and discussed with policy and decision makers during the special event held on RV CANA-CNRS for the 5th anniversary of the CANA project.
Components of the MBES are ready to be installed on RV CANA-CNRS January 2013. Components of the Multibeam Echosounder System are ready to be installed on the RV CANA-CNRS. In few months, CANA is able to collect first high-resolution images of the seafloor.
RV CANA-CNRS RV CANA-CNRS fully operational while performing its research activities in Lebanese waters in August 2011.
Scientific activities on RV CANA-CNRS Measuring redox potential of sediments collected in Lebanese waters has become a routinely performed procedure. Redox potential measures the level of oxygenation of sediments giving information on the capabilities of the environment to support complex trophic chains.
Supporting Lebanese Army January 2010. Lebanese Army requests the support of CANA and its facilities to identify the exact location of the Ethiopian airplane crashed right after its take–off from Beirut airport.

In Lebanon, main economic and social activities are concentrated along the coast. Associated environmental risks are well established and can have a negative impact on marine ecosystem. Increasing coastal industrial activities are affecting people’s quality of life. Marine aquaculture is not developed. Fisheries, whose potentialities are reduced by political instability and war, are characterised as small-scale artisanal, ran by small wooden boats that operate in shallow waters. Rapid demographic change and urbanization has greatly increased demand for coastal resources; bad practices, heavy pollution and human pressure on the coastline combined to climate change effects brought to a rapid alteration of local biodiversity. In the absence of operational wastewater treatment plants, effluents from coastal agglomerations are directly discharged into the sea. Coupled with this, information on coastal marine ecosystem is poor and inconsistent and so are management and protection measures. 

2006. Oil spill affecting several hundreds of kilometre of coast August 2006. The Israeli Air Force bombards the oil tanks of the Jiyeh plant. The black tide, originated by the consequent oil spill, affects several hundreds of kilometre of coast, reaching Syrian shores. Fishing activities are interdicted for the whole duration of the war and for several months were heavily affected by the oil still lying on the seafloor.
Striped eel catfish is a recent Lessepsian intruder Striped eel catfish (Plotosus lineatus) is a recent Lessepsian intruder in Lebanese waters.
The port of Dora (North Beirut) placed beneath a landfill The port of Dora (North Beirut) is placed beneath a landfill which had been used as dumping site for decades.
Sewage outfall located in the Centre of Beirut Sewage outfall located in the Centre of Beirut.

During its 5 years of implementation, CANA worked as a platform to attract international donors and partners (including Lebanese Public Sector) to underpin its field of intervention and providing its services to:
• fishermen, by assessing halieutic resources, their abundance, distribution and economic value; making available new fishing techniques;
• consumers of seafood products, by evaluating marine pollution as a result of organic pollutants, hydrocarbons and contamination by heavy metals;
• scientists and decision makers, increasing knowledge of Lebanese marine ecosystem.
Therefore, it has been possible to provide a comprehensive and exhaustive set of information on subjects relevant for food security: aquaculture and fisheries, sanitary inspections of public beaches, dispersion of contaminants along Levantine Basin and establishment of a well-managed, ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas in Lebanese waters. 

Density of fecal coliforms in sediments and water in Beirut Density of fecal coliforms in sediments and water: results obtained from 3 transects designed in one of the most populated public beach of Beirut.
Distribution of the European hake in Lebanese waters Distribution of the European hake Merluccius merluccius in Lebanese waters (bubble plots of the observed abundances).
Distribution of the red giant shrimp in Lebanese waters Distribution of the red giant shrimp Aristaeomorpha foliacea in Lebanese waters (bubble plots of the observed abundances).
Fishermen lowering Spanish traps, a new fishing gear for Lebanon Fishermen from Tyre lowering Spanish traps, a new fishing gear for Lebanon. These low-cost traps target shrimps assuring good quality products and advantageous incomes for the fishermen.
The presence of heavy metals in port of Dora, Beirut The presence of heavy metals in port of Dora and surrounding areas has been studied. This image shows the concentration of Cadmium.
Testing nets in Lebanese waters Testing nets with a mixed group of fishermen coming from Batroun (North of Lebanon) and Naqoura (South of Lebanon).

Established needs/Responses activated/Direct beneficiaries:
1.Proper management of coastal zone, including resources for human consumption/donation of a scientific vessel, steady implementation of scientific activities/coastal communities, seafood consumers
2.Capacity building/dedicated trainings/CNRS, Governmental bodies
3.Secured advance of coastal scientific knowledge/research programmes and scientific collaborations/academic sector
4.Clear outputs in aquaculture and fisheries/management plans defined and Ministry of Agriculture supported/MoA, other concerned ministries
5.Increased awareness of operators, general public and youth/schools and universities involved in CANA activities. Fishermen involved in scientific activities and results dissemination/fishing communities, public
6.Accessibility of ports and fishing grounds/coastal bathymetric campaigns/fishermen
7.Tools for decentralised coastal management/information sharing with local authorities/local acting institutions

Fishing communities are part of data collection and beneficiaries Fishermen from Batroun and Tyre assembling experimental nets made available by the Project. Fishing communities are part of the information collection mechanism and, at the same time, benefit from scientific and technical outcomes.
Italian Ambassador in Beirut, Giuseppe Morabito giving his speech May 26, 2014. Italian Ambassador Morabito: “I am proud to witness the results of efforts jointly made by Italy and Lebanon, allowing CNRS to perform important maritime studies on the Lebanese sea: biodiversity status, environmental health, fish stock, seafloor mapping. […]Finally the set of data that the Project has produced constitutes a crucial tool for Lebanese policy makers who will be able to adopt more aware decisions to pursue an effective management of marine and coastal resources.”
Lebanon as a whole is benefitting from this advanced tool CNRS is the prime beneficiary of this action having received the vessel and potential tools to build capacities of its staff and widen the spectrum of its activities. Lebanon as a whole (Government, Local Authorities, operators, academic sector, general public) is benefitting from this advanced tool for a proper management of coastal areas. The picture shows 1 of the event organised on the vessel to present good practices and achieved results in the presence of students, stakeholders and media.
Official delivery of the roadmap for Sustainable Aquaculture to the MoA Official delivery of the roadmap for Sustainable Aquaculture Development and Support to the Fishery Sector to the Minister of Agriculture drafted by CANA. Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture benefits from scientific outputs and strategic collaboration with CANA to define policies for a correct management of halieutic resources.
Students from different Mediterranean Countries visiting RV CANA-CNRS. Students from different Mediterranean Countries visiting RV CANA-CNRS.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Study on alternative fishing techniques for the exploitation of deep waters CANA managed the Work Package devoted to the reduction of fishing effort on the coastal shallow waters finding alternative fishing techniques for the exploitation of deep waters.

Lebanese CNRS, and its human resources, is leading the effort of managing a scientific vessel while assuring the implementation of relevant scientific activities. Many actors are directly and constantly involved supporting or directly benefitting from CANA services.

  • 11 Institutions: CNRS, Italian Cooperation and Government, Lebanese Government, CIHEAM-IAM Bari, GFCM, Eastmed, Accobams, UNEP, Honor Frost Foundation, French Government, Italian CNR
  • 35 Scientists
  • 10 Lebanese governmental officers
  • 150 Lebanese fishermen
  • 12 Fishing Cooperatives
  • 25 Italian fishermen
  • 10 PhD students
Scheme of the CANA Project staff Scheme of the CANA Project staff

The project has encountered constrains that represented continuous challenge for the CANA team. The lesson learnt in this field is that Lebanon is a country still not equipped to adequately support a relatively big and technologically complex vessel as CANA-CNRS. Shipyards are small and primitive, there is no market for spare parts and components for bigger vessels, few workshops are able to handle a routine maintenance of marine engine and no professionals are available on the market. The deep and prolonged refurbishment of the vessel was costly and time consuming nonetheless it has been undertaken to respond to the needs of safety of the workers (both the crew and the scientists) taken on board and to the requirements deriving from a sensitive collection of interdependent devices. Participatory involvement of experts and local SMEs along with good will and stubbornness of CANA team has led to the definition of original and appropriate solutions.

Heavy maintenance of RV CANA-CNRS executed in the Lebanese dry dock Heavy maintenance of RV CANA-CNRS executed in the Lebanese dry dock.
Locking system supporting part of the device used to map the seafloor We finally overcome our problems proposing original solutions, activating professionals and SMEs available in the Country. This locking system supports part of the device used to map the seafloor. It has been fully designed and manufactured in Lebanon without any prior similar experience.
Works sometimes have to be carried out under awkward conditions Works sometimes have to be carried out under awkward conditions
Pulling CANA-CNRS in Tripoli drydock Pulling on a dry dock a vessel like CANA-CNRS is still a tricky operation in Lebanon

The mandate of CANA, and results achieved, is related to the delivery of information and scientific advices to policy and strategy makers, to the definition of action plans and good practices at all levels of governance of fisheries and aquaculture sectors including measures of conservation, protection of biodiversity, impact and origin of pollutants that directly affects the food security of consumers were taken by following the results of our study. Furthermore, reflecting CANA’s strong commitment in leading a new season of environmental awareness and to have a direct impact on the reduction of carbon emission, the R/V CANA-CNRS hosts high-efficiency solar panels. In terms of completion of products life-cycles, CANA guaranteed the extension of the lifespan of an Italian fishing vessel ready for demolition that was refurbished as a scientific vessel. The old trawler give birth to a new story.

CANA is performing surveys to establish marine fresh water resurgences Middle East Countries suffer from a steady water stress. 2014 presented a drastic reduction in precipitation leading to an unprecedented water crisis. Following the request of the Prime Minister, CANA-CNRS is performing surveys to establish the presence of marine fresh water resurgences and monitor water quality. CANA is already active in the field of Water Cycle Management as it is part of the ENPI-WATER DROP project, delivering crucial outcomes on the interfaces freshwater/marine water.
Fishing vessel Rosa Marino while becoming RV CANA-CNRS March 2008, first major refurbishment of the vessel, still being a hybrid between the fishing vessel Rosa Marino e and the RV CANA-CNRS to be.
Public beach in Tripoli was closed to public following CANA advice Public beach in Tripoli was closed to public by the Municipality, following the advice delivered by CANA/CNRS.
Solar panel lined up on the cockpit roof of the RV CANA-CNRS Solar panel lined up on the cockpit roof of the RV CANA-CNRS
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf CANA website. Marine Protected Areas: activities in the South CANA reassure its commitment in halting biodiversity loss backing Strategic Action Programme for the Conservation for establishment of a well-managed, ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas in Lebanese waters. From CANA website: http://www.cana-cnrs.gov.lb/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=107:marine-protected-areas-mpas-projectactivities-in-the-south&catid=25:cana-news&Itemid=122
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf CANA/WHO_Sanitary Inspection and Pollution Profile of 5 Beaches in Lebanon In collaboration with the World Health Organization, CANA staff produced the “Sanitary Inspection and Pollution Profile of Five Beaches in Lebanon”
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf PROGRESS REPORT OF THE ACTIVITIES: MedMPAnet Project CANA reassure its commitment in halting biodiversity loss backing Strategic Action Programme for the Conservation for establishment of a well-managed, ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas in Lebanese waters. Attached the document: PROGRESS REPORT OF THE ACTIVITIES OF THE "REGIONAL PROJECT FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A MEDITERRANEAN MARINE AND COASTAL PROTECTED AREAS (MPAs) NETWORK THROUGH THE BOOSTING OF MPAs CREATION AND MANAGEMENT"

The processes activated by CANA project aim at filling the gap with developed countries and at bridging policy makers and scientists to fully establish the necessary confidence and partnership. It is a matter of fact that marine research is increasingly becoming key to strengthening the capabilities of the countries for socio-economic progress while contributing to the wellbeing and sustainable development of human communities. As the sea is a shared resource, those processes cannot work only at local level needing a broader prospect. Linkages with international research institution are key for the strategy of CANA project. Exchanges of knowledge, methodologies and experiences are necessary to strengthen the bases of a long lasting and reliable activity of research in Lebanon. On this regard, several initiatives were initiated to widen the capabilities of intervention of CANA both at the local and regional levels.

Mediterranean studies on Heavy Metals conducted by CNRS in Lebanon The CNRS is part of the international project COMECOM (COntaminats Métalliques dans l’Environnement COtier Méditerranéen) approved in 2013 under the call for proposal ENVI-MED 2013 in the framework of the international and interdisciplinary metaprogram MISTRALS.
Multipurpose Interactive Coastal Map of the Lebanese Marine Resources CANA Project is giving birth to a new tool for promoting and ensuring an efficient integrated coastal management of the Lebanese coasts based on GE Earth technology, called “Interactive Coastal Map of the Lebanese Marine Resources, Cultural Heritage and Anthropic Pressures”.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf CANA action plan for the creation of an aquaculture system in Lebanon In the framework of CANA project, the Road Map for the creation of an aquaculture system in Lebanon was drawn by Professor Cataudella in 2010. Follow-up was given with the Action Plan shared and discussed with stakeholders and civil society.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Investigation on surface currents in the Levantine basis performed by CANA CANA is an active part of the Mediterranean project ALTIFLOAT, based on existing methodologies developed in an academic context to investigate the surface currents which are the major factor for transporting and dispersing substances, such as nutrients and pollutants in the marine environment. From the website of Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale: http://nettuno.ogs.trieste.it/sire/drifter/project.php?country_www=ALTIFLOAT
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Synthetic report on the activities implemented on MPAs "Marine Protected Areas" Project under the coordination of the Regional Activity Centre for Specially - Protected Areas, UNEP-MAP; in partnership with Ministry of Environment, IUCN; project activities aimed at assisting the participating countries to implement the prioritized elements of the Strategic Action Programme for the Conservation of Biological Diversity (SAP BIO) through the provision of a series of enabling activities at national, sub-regional and regional levels.

CANA is a scientific tool designed to respond to the needs of communities and territories on a Mediterranean scale. Activities undertaken promoted research, improved awareness of civil society to the essential value of the environment and biodiversity, educated key-actors, gave sustainability to project actions. Major dissemination activities:
April 2009. Ceremony of inauguration of RV CANA-CNRS.
November 2010. Information day on CANA-CNRS vessel in the presence of public and private institutions.
February 2011. 2 days dedicated to aquaculture and bathymetry held at the CNRS HQ.
December 2012. Concerted Action for Lebanon on Fisheries and Aquaculture held at the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) HQs.
May 2013. CANA participated to Slow Fish event and animated the conference "Innovation and best practices in the fishery production chain in the Near East: the Lebanese case".
May/June 2014. Scientific cruises in the presence of Authorities and stakeholders

2 days dedicated to aquaculture and bathymetry held at the CNRS HQ February 2011. Two days dedicated to aquaculture and bathymetry held at the CNRS HQ. In the presence of Lebanese stakeholders, Italian and French scientists and experts.
April 2009. Ceremony of inauguration of RV CANA-CNRS April 2009. Ceremony of inauguration of RV CANA-CNRS in the presence of Lebanese and Italian highest Authorities, CIHEAM-IAM Bari, international NGOs, Army and private sector.
CANA participation to the event Slow Fish held in Genoa May 2013. CANA participated to the event Slow Fish held in Genoa with a stand shared with other initiatives promoted by IAM Bari. CANA team animated the conference "Innovation and best practices in the fishery production chain in the Near East: the Lebanese case" seeing the participation of international experts providing their contribute to the improvement of the fishery sector in Lebanon.
CANA team constantly appears on TV, radio, newspaper and magazine In general, CANA team constantly appears on media, i.e. TV, radio, newspaper and magazines, to disseminate major achieved results, to awaken consumers on the subject of food security and to advocate environmental friendly behaviours.
Concerted Action for Lebanon on Fisheries and Aquaculture held at GFCM HQs December 2012. Concerted Action for Lebanon on Fisheries and Aquaculture held at the GFCM HQs. Meeting was attended by CANA representatives, FAO and GFCM experts, delegate from EU, IAM Bari, IREPA and Lebanese stakeholders
Information day on CANA-CNRS vessel November 2010. Information day on CANA-CNRS vessel in the presence of public and private institutions including Ministries, NGOs and Universities
Italian-Lebanese friendship and common rutes April 2009. In the framework of the RV CANA-CNRS ceremony of inauguration; IAM Bari and CNRS organised the photographic exhibition called “Nodi di Amicizia”. The exhibition showed pictures and poems on the Italian-Lebanese common roots and in particular on early stages of life of CANA-CNRS vessel. IAM Bari through its project TerCom “Activation of mechanism to sustain rural territories & communities in Lebanon” ascertained acquisition, ownership transfer to CNRS, 1st refurbishment of the vessel.
Scientific cruises in the presence of Authorities and stakeholders Summer 2014. Scientific cruises in the presence of Lebanese Authorities and stakeholders, Italian and French Authorities and scientists, representatives of UNESCO.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf CANA newsletter n.6 summarises relevant collaborations and activities CANA activities are constantly publicised via newsletters issued by the project and by CNRS. As an example, CANA newsletter n.6 summarises relevant collaborations and activities.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Pictures and poems called "Nodi di Amicizia", knots of friendship Pictures and poems exhibited during the inauguration of the vessel were collected to produce an elegant booklet showing positive efforts lavished by TerCom project to connect fishing communities, experts and institutions.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf The book “CANA-CNRS – A SCIENTIFIC VESSEL FOR LEBANON” In 2011, CANA project published a book that, along with the contribution given by the website www.cana-cnrs.gov.lb, has had a vast impact in the dissemination of the activities carried out by the project. The book is called “CANA-CNRS – A SCIENTIFIC VESSEL FOR LEBANON”