Minister of Environment Mohamed Machnouk announces the results of a new marine biodiversity report in Beirut, Tuesday, April 14, 2015. (The Daily Star/Khalil Hassan)
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The Environment Ministry is in the process of making Beirut's landmark Raouche rocks a "natural site," Environment Minister Mohammad Machnouk said during the launching of a new marine biodiversity report Tuesday.The Environment Ministry submitted a draft law to the Shura Council on March 17 to grant the area "natural site" status, he explained. The field surveys of the sites were conducted in 2012 and 2013 by the Regional Activity Center for Specially Protected Areas but the results have now been aggregated in this 2015 report which details the marine makeup of these sites.Machnouk said that three of the six sites examined will go on to become natural reserves, giving them a protected status, and the results of the report will be used to determine which ones receive this status.As a protected site, infrastructure projects will be completely banned around these sites and fishing may also be prohibited depending on the nature of the site.
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