IndyACT’s Vision for Palm Island Nature Reserve’s Sustainable Future

Palm Island Nature Reserve (PINR) is a Marine Protected Area (MPA) situated in Tripoli, in the northern region of Lebanon. Comprising of three islands and the surrounding waters, PINR is the only uninhabited marine reserve in the East Mediterranean area. Recognised as a vital hub for various ecosystems and diverse biodiversity, the reserve serves as a sanctuary for sea-crossing birds, diverse marine life, coastal flora, and globally endangered species, such as the Monk Seal.

All protected areas in Lebanon are under the management of the Ministry of Environment. This managerial responsibility in PINR has been delegated to the Appointed Protected Areas Committee (APAC), a body comprising representatives of the concerned municipalities, local NGOs and scientific experts. The APAC is crucial in offering governance and guidance for reserve management, including policy development, strategic planning, and operational oversight.

In 2022, IndyACT established a partnership with the Ministry of Environment, and signed an MoU with the PINR APAC to assist in managing the reserve, leveraging IndyACT’s expertise in implementing best practices to ensure the efficient and effective protection of protected areas. This strategic partnership aims not only to safeguard the marine environment but also to fulfil PINR’s economic potential and ensure mutual benefits for local stakeholders.

Through support provided by the MedFUND, MedPAN, and the French Embassy; IndyACT is providing financial and technical support for the day-to-day operation of the PINR. As a result, IndyACT is working closely with the PINR’s team, to strengthen their expertise and capabilities in sustainable management and conservation efforts. Recognising the vital role of local communities in the successful management of MPAs, we are taking additional steps to actively engage with the people of Mina and Tripoli, especially fishermen, and include them in the reserve’s management and governance. Ultimately, our collective goal is to raise awareness among local community members who depend on the reserve about its benefits, both in terms of biodiversity and the economy.

Supporting and strengthening MPAs, like PINR, is a strategic objective under IndyACT’s MPA Program, which aims for the protection of 30% of Lebanon’s territorial waters by 2030.

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