Field visits for 12 sites along the tunnel path were conducted on the 13th and 21st of April 2010 to conduct rapid ecological assessments Table 5 -48. At each site, existing plant species were recorded and documented in terms of their local and global significance.
Table 5 48 Rapid Ecological Assessment Sites
Joun Regulation Structure
Washout – Wadi Abou Yabes
Nahr Damour Siphon/Washout
Khalde Surge Shaft
Khalde Tunnel Portal
Khalde Flow measurement and sampling chamber
Pipeline – Khalde Portal to Khadle Flow Distribution Chamber
Khalde Distribution / Connection Chambers
Hadath 125 Reservoir
Hadath 90 Reservoir
Hazmieh 90 Reservoir
According to a study conducted by the Ministry of Environment (MoE, 1996), the 12 inspected sites are within the Inferior Mediterranean or Thermomediterranean zones on a calcareous soil in the Carob- Mastic series (for the majority of the sites), the Quercus calliprinos Webb. series (Nahr Damour Siphon/Washout) and Pinus brutia Ten series for the Khalde Flow measurement and tunnel chamber.
The trees formation in the majority of the sites (Carob- Mastic series) take the form of garigues composed mainly by Pistacia lentiscus L., Myrtus communis L., and less frequently by Ceratonia siliqua L.
The first degradation stage of this series is composed by tall garigues dominated by Calicotome villosa (Vahl) Link and in localized areas by Rhus tripartita (Ucria) D.C.
In areas that are more degraded, garigues of Poterium spinosum L. and Phlomis viscosa Poir. are present in rocky places.
In Quercus calliprinos Webb. series, the tree formation is represented by Quercus calliprinos Webb. with or without Pinus brutia Ten. In both cases Ceratonia siliqua L., Pistacia lentiscus L. and Myrtus communis L. are relatively abundant.
In the Pinus brutia Ten series, the conifers Pinus brutia Ten., Pinus halepensis Mill. and Cupressus sempervirens L. are the most abundant formation. Many other trees or shrubs are present. They include: Gonocytisus pterocladus Boiss., Satureia thymbra L., Lygia aucheri (Meissn.) Boiss., Anarrhinum orientale Benth., Cytisopsis dorycniifolia Jaub. et Spach. Etc.
As a part of this Environmental Assessment, rapid ecological surveys were conducted at each site, following the scoping exercise for the specific elements where surface activities are considered. The identification of the species was done according to the “Nouvelle Flore du Liban et de la Syrie, Mouterde” (1966, 1970, 1983).
In general, the different places of construction do not affect any area of special concern, such as those designated as having national or international importance (e.g. world heritages, wetlands, biosphere reserve, wildlife refuge, or protected areas), or lead to the extinction of endangered and endemic species; However very important plant species were found in some sites. An inventory of the species found was made site per site. The inventory listed only the species pertaining to this particular ecological stage and whose habitat corresponds more or less to the local settings. Many of the identified species are ornamental, medicinal or edible in nature.
It should be mentioned that this report was prepared after a visit to each site (13 or 21 of April 2010). Therefore the information presented in this section should not be considered comprehensive and exhaustive. However it provides a representative overview of the flora biodiversity in each site.
Joun Regulation Structure
At this site, a chamber (22m*10.5m) will be constructed. This site is small in size and located at the side of a relatively steep valley. This site is very degraded, with very common species including Calicotome villosa (Vahl) Link, Poterium spinosum L., Phlomis viscosa Poir., Nerium oleander L., Inula viscosa (L.) Aiton, Echinops viscosus DC. and Notobasis syriaca (L.) Cass.
Nearby, Anchusa aegyptiaca (L.) DC. species were found. This is a relatively localized species in Lebanon. No significant impacts on biodiversity are therefore expected at this site.
Wadi Abou Yabes is a hillside where a huge quarry is found. The project is therefore taking place in an already significantly degraded environment.
Photograph 5 2 Wadi Abou Yabes Washout Site
This is the site where major construction works will take place. While the site can be generally described as typical degraded garigues, several species were found and identified, including one specimen of Rhus tripartita (Ucria) D.C. and one of Quercus calliprinos Webb, 5 species of orchids in large quantitiesand many species of butterflies.
Given the variety of species found at this site, contractors should develop specific management plans to minimize the impacts on these species. Further recommendations are provided as part of the EMP
Photograph 5 3 Ouardaniye WTW site
Some of the identified species found at this location include:
The Damour Valley ecosystem has a rich variety of flora. In the river crossing at the selected site, several types of vegetation cover composed mainly by Platanus orientalis L. (Oriental Plane), Alnus orientalis Decne (Oriental Alder), Acer syriacum Boiss. et Gaill. (Syrian Maple), Pistacia lentiscus L. (Mastic), Pistacia palaestina Boiss. (Wild Pistachio), Quercus sp. (Oak), Salix acmophylla Boiss. and Salix alba L. var. micans And. (Willow) were found.
As seen on the maps, the inverted siphon at Damour will pass under a deep, narrow wooded valley and the construction will take place in a relatively small area of the site.
During the site visit, only red highlighted areas in the figure were inspected; the owner of the restaurant did not allow any access to the green section. The red area was much degraded; cement was covering a large surface of the area and many cultivated trees and shrubs (Citrus,Eucalyptus, Melia azederach, Punica granatum, Schinus molle, Hibiscus rosa sinensis) were planted. Many parasitic (Orobanche) plants and the invasive Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle were found in this location.
Even though the sanded(?) area was very much degraded (mainly because of the restaurants), other cultivated plants were found like Mirabilis jalapa L. Another interesting finding in this spot was what could be the endemic Melissa inodora Bornm (There was no flower to be positively sure).
Unfortunately and as mentioned above, the green area could not be inspected. It consists of an old bridge surrounded by many types of vegetation cover. Apparently the restaurant owner is using the place under the bridge to provide some intimacy to special clients. According to the maps, this area will be protected from any construction. As mentioned earlier in this report, a small area of this site will be affected by construction. However special considerations should be taken by contractors to minimize negative impacts while providing benefits to the area. For example, indigenous trees can be planted and the alien species (cultivated trees and plants) can be removed, positively affecting the ecology and ecosystems of this area.
At a distance of the Damour Valley, the 2 Washout locations that will be connected with the Damour location were inspected. The first one (left picture 14) is a degraded land with no important impact on the environment. The second location (right picture 15) a typical dense forest was found with very rich tree vegetation. The entrance to this forest was difficult mainly because of the trees, but the following trees and shrubs were identified: Phillirea media L., Calicotome villosa (Vahl) Link, Pistacia palaestina Boiss., Rhamnus punctata Boiss., Rhamnus alaternus L., Quercus calliprinos Webb., Acer syriacum Boiss. et Gaill., Ceratonia siliqua L., Arbutus andrachne L., Pistacia lentiscus L., Myrtus communis L., Ruscus aculeatus L., Salvia fruticosa Mill., Cistus creticus L. and Cistus salviifolius L.
Even though no major construction in this location is planned, the contractor should be careful in the set up phase and special care should be taken to avoid impacts to the trees
Photograph 5 5 Nahr Damour Washout Site
Photograph 5 6 Nahr Damour Washout Site
Khalde Flow measurement and sampling chamber (site 7)
This was by far the most important ecosystem visited among the 12 selected sites. This site is on the Pinus brutia Ten series, where the conifers Pinus brutia Ten., Pinus halepensis Mill. and Cupressus sempervirens L. are the most abundant formation.
This location is characterized by the richness of its flora and the aged specimens of the trees found. Contractors should prepare a management plan in a way to protect these species and minimize the number of species directly affected by the construction works, even though construction footprint at this location is relatively small.
The trees, shrubs and plants found at this site were mainly:
As for the remaining sites (Khalde Surge Shaft, Khalde Tunnel Portal, Pipeline – Khalde Portal to Khadle Flow Distribution Chamber, Khalde Distribution / Connection Chambers, Hadath 125 Reservoir, Hadath 90 Reservoir and Hazmieh 90 Reservoir), all are highly degraded and/or with no important floral biodiversity. Most of them are located in urban areas with limited biodiversity.