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This project is funded by
the European Union

Lebanon and Integrated Maritime Policy

Partner Countries

The project’s approaches at the national level are designed to be flexible; adaptable to a range of interests and capacities; and tailored to the specific needs of Partner Countries...

Specific objectives, needs and goals are developed in close coordination with each Partner Country, and – where Partner Countries express interest- a flexible “Roadmap” approach is to be developed both to structure the delivery of assistance and to define the long term visions and goals for individual Partner Countries.

Specific assistance can be delivered in a variety of forms, including national meetings or workshops between different maritime and coastal policies.

  • Lebanon and Integrated Maritime Policy

    General presentation: Maritime facs

    Many maritime issues are important to Lebanon. Although it has a relatively short coastline of 210km, Lebanon now claims both a 12-mile territorial sea and an Exclusive Economic Zone (recently registered with the United Nations in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea). The coastal zone hosts four public commercial ports in addition to 29 private ports and port facilities, and maritime transport and ports are a major component of Lebanon’s maritime enterprise both for commercial trade and cruises/tourism. Tourism is also important in the coastal zone, where urban development continues. Other commercially and strategically important sectors include underwater cultural heritage (where Lebanon is known to have a rich resource) and offshore oil and gas extraction (17 potential oil fields have been discovered in the zone between Lebanon, Cyprus and Egypt). Some other sectors remain unexploited with unknown potential (mariculture, offshore renewable energy).

    Maritime and coastal assets
    Maritime and coastal policies

    In 2012, a proposal was developed to establish a National Committee on Integrated Maritime Policy, which has the objective of overseeing the development and implementation of an integrated maritime policy in Lebanon. The proposal is currently awaiting approval from the Prime Minister. The Committee, composed of high-level representatives from all concerned ministries (approximately 12 ministries) will provide a forum for coordinating and consulting with the maritime sector, and will develop recommendations for the development of an integrated maritime policy.

    Existing maritime policies in Lebanon are highly sectoral. In some cases, maritime components of sectoral policies are not well-defined, and some of the organisational and legal frameworks are out-date, incomplete or poorly implemented, although many laws exist. While some ministries have existing mechanisms for cooperation with other ministries and other stakeholders, in other ministries the mechanisms are soft or do not exist. Currently, there is no overall or integrated system for maritime governance or policy.

    Outlook on the development of a national maritime policy

    Lebanon has many maritime assets, a substantial body of stakeholders and considerable further potential to benefit from the maritime sector. Lebanon would benefit from the development of a national integrated maritime policy encompassing all the country’s maritime sectors and assets. The first steps towards this are being taken, through the establishment of the National Committee. The roadmap towards the development of IMP should consider the following priorities:

    • Considering the long‐term role of the National Committee, and its relationship with Ministers, in directing future maritime policy;
    • Taking stock of the country’s maritime administration, organisation and stakeholders, through a comprehensive mapping exercise at national level involving all maritime stakeholders, and in particular to clarify the roles and responsibilities of organisations in the maritime sector;
    • Identifying the legislative gaps and inconsistencies, and developing improved maritime legislation;
    • Improving coordination and consultation amongst all stakeholders as regards the development of policy and its implementation;
    • Addressing the present gaps in knowledge (availability and accessibility) in the marine and maritime fields.