Destruction of Adloun Port, Lebanon

The coast of Adloun, one of the few remaining beaches in Lebanon that have not yet been privatised, is being demolished by the government to build Nabih Berri Fishermen's Port.


Description

Lebanon’s historic Adloun coast, believed to be the location of an ancient Phoenician port town and a valuable heritage, is being destroyed to build a port to be known as “Nabih Berri Fishermen’s Port”, named after the head of the Amal movement in Lebanon, a political party and an important Shi'a militia during the Lebanese Civil War, and the country's Speaker of Parliament since 1992. While the official announcement of the project was on 14 September 2014, bulldozers arrived on site on January 15, 2016, and started working without informing the locals.

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Basic Data
NameDestruction of Adloun Port, Lebanon
CountryLebanon
ProvinceSouth Lebanon
SiteAdloun
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Wetlands and coastal zone management
Land acquisition conflicts
Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Ports and airport projects
Specific CommoditiesLand
Tourism services
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThere have been various archaeological excavations of Adloun beach dating back to the 1800s, where archaeological sites have been discovered dating back to the Middle Palaeolithic Age [7] . The current site where the project is ongoing has not been properly studied. However, Adloun beach has become yet another zone of public maritime domain seized for private interests and luxury development. As Habib Battah, a local investigative journalist, has reported, there are around 5 illegal resorts on public maritime property for every kilometre of Lebanon’s 220 Kilometre coastline. [5]

A report published by the University of Balamand, through the project “Environmental Resources Monitoring in Lebanon,” in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and with $1.64 million funding from the Government of Greece, found the Adloun coast as 1 out of 15 “sensitive” sites on the coast of Lebanon that require protection due to their ecological or cultural significance. [13]

The current port is to be both for fishermen and leisure boats, with a capacity of holding 400 yachts, as claimed by Director-General of Land and maritime transport Abdel-Hafiz Qaisi. [4] Part of the project includes building two breakwaters, the first with a length of 600 meters (Southerns side) and the second one of 240 meters (northern side). It will also include 9 births for fishermen and leisure boats, as well as storage area and fish market for the local fishermen. Finally, the project also includes establishing a public swimming pool, to be used by the locals. Half of the area of the project will be on public maritime property, while the other half by land reclamation. The location of the port blocks the only access to the public beach, since the rest of the beach has either been privatised or is inaccessible to the public due to the presence of private agricultural lands along the coastline, thus making the beach completely inaccessible to the public after the completion of the project. [11]

The rocks used to build the port are being transported from a nearby village, ِِAnsar, using trucks carrying the label of the public works ministry, where forests of oak trees are being cut down to extract the rocks, without a permit from the Ministry of Interior or from the Ministry of Environment (which requires an EIA for such quarrying activities). [8]

According to the Civil Campaign to Protect the Dalieh of Raouche, the coast where the project is ongoing consists of four big plots, which were bought by former Prime Minister Rafiq el Hariri in 1997 (around 45,000 square meters), and are now owned by his heirs. After Hariri bought these lands, the General Directorate of Urban Planning changed the zoning laws of these lands, changing their classification from agricultural to touristic lands, thus increasing the exploitation factor from 2% to 20%, all with the support of the Adloun municipality. Activists allege that the establishment of the port is only an initial step in the development of these lands to touristic resorts, which will also indirectly increase the market value of the plots. [13] Some anonymous activists also claim the Nabih Berri owns big plots of land near the port, and will benefit largely from the project.

شركة الجنوب للإعمار (South Company for Construction), which should have won the bid, filed a lawsuit against the Ministry of Public works on 11 March 2015, through its attorney Ali Abbas, under the claims that public money was wasted during the first stage of the Adloun port works, [9] and won the case, after which the Shura Council asked Khoury Company to stop all construction works on the Adloun coast. [12]
Project Area (in hectares)16.4
Level of Investment (in USD)26,600,000
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Start Date15/01/2016
Company Names or State EnterprisesKhoury Contracting Company from Lebanon
Relevant government actorsMinistry of Environment

Ministry of Culture

Ministry of Public Works and Transport

Governor of South Lebanon
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersThe Green Southerners

The Civil Campaign to Protect the Dalieh of Raouche

NAHNOO

Greenline

The Lebanese Eco Movement
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationInvolvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Other Environmental impacts
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
OtherLoss of archeological heritage
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusUnder construction
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Development of AlternativesThe Green Southerners propose reclaiming their archeological and cultural heritage as a means of preserving their historical identity.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The project is ongoing and mobilisations against it by activists has halted.
Sources and Materials
Legislations

[1] Decree 8633 specifying conditions for conducting an EIA
[click to view]

Links

[2] Construction of Adloun Port demolishes ancient Phoenician town
[click to view]

[4] Zeaiter visits the site of the Adloun port project
[click to view]

[5] How the historic Adloun coast is becoming “Nabih Berri Port”
[click to view]

The Minister of Environment issues a notice to the Ministry of Public Works requesting the cessation of the construction due to violations of Decree 8633
[click to view]

Adloun Port: Another environmental transgression by the Lebanese government
[click to view]

[6] A report by Al Akbar highlighting the corruption in the bidding process
[click to view]

On sea turtles in Adloun
[click to view]

[7] An article by GreaaArea on the historical significance Adloun beach
[click to view]

[13] Article highlighting the similarities between the Adloun an Dalieh cases
[click to view]

[11] The new name of Adloun’s port, Nabih Berri Port, says it all
[click to view]

South Construction Company files a lawsuit against the Ministry of Public Works
[click to view]

Article by the Legal Agenda on the protest in front of the National Museum
[click to view]

The municipality of Adloun supports the Adloun port project
[click to view]

Statement by the Civil Campaign to Protect the Dalieh of Raouche regarding the Adloun port project
[click to view]

[8] Deforestation in Ansar village for rock quarries
[click to view]

Green Southerners demand from the Ministry of Environment to classify Adloun coast as a protected area
[click to view]

Article about the historical significance of Adloun coast from the Green Southener's website
[click to view]

[12] Adloun port project destroys ancient Phoenician town
[click to view]

Article about the history of Adloun and the significance of its archeological sites
[click to view]

[13] A public statement by the Green Southerners after the start of the construction works on Adloun coast
[click to view]

Media Links

Official Website of the Green Southerners
[click to view]

[3] A report by Al Jadeed TV, stating that Phoenician port site has not been properly excavated
[click to view]

Facebook page of the Green Southerners
[click to view]

Protest by environmental organisation in front of the national museum
[click to view]

Other Documents

Construction happening on Adloun beach; Credit: Elie Fares
[click to view]

Sea turtle at Adloun Beach; Credit: Green Southerners
[click to view]

[click to view]

[click to view]

Map of the project
[click to view]

Letter of Environment Minister to Public Works Minister
[click to view]

Detailed map of the project
[click to view]

Other CommentsThanks to Mohammad Ayoub from NAHNOO for providing maps and legal documents.
Meta Information
ContributorCatherine Moughalian, Asfari Institute, AUB
Last update23/03/2017
Comments