Environmental Resources Management (ERM) was in the process of preparing a Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) for the Middle East Oil Refinery (MIDOR) expansion project, in order to define the management and control measures that shall be put in place to mitigate biodiversity related risks associated with the construction and operation activities of the MIDOR expansion project.
In this respect, ERM commissioned Environics to prepare a biodiversity baseline report of the MIDOR area and its wider environs, with a focus on Lake Mariut Valley area, which lies adjacent to the north of MIDOR.
Environics scope of work encompassed a desk study based on an extensive literature review, previous observations, as well as technical reports concerning previous surveys of Lake Mariut and its wider area conducted by Environics and other entities. In addition, a walkover survey was carried out along the borders of Lake Mariut Valley, where 10 locations were inspected. Field records were taken using field notes, GPS and digital photography (whenever allowed).
The ecological baseline report encompassed: a general description of Lake Mariut, its habitats, flora and fauna, as well as its ecological value, in addition to a detailed description of Lake Mariut Valley based on field observations and findings, as there were no available desktop data and information about Lake Mariut Valley.
The main ecological characteristics of the southern, western, northern, and eastern borders of the Lake Mariut Valley were described. The location and/or occurrence of particular aspects, whenever relevant (such as location of records and/or sensitivities) were specified. Habitat types within the project area have been identified and an assessment of the biodiversity of the project area and surroundings has been carried out. Whenever possible, locations of signs indicating the presence of wildlife have been recorded during the Mariut Valley walkover survey. A visual estimation of the vegetation cover is also provided.
Species of concern, including threatened and/or protected species as well as species of ecological and/or socio-economic importance have been highlighted. The Red List issued by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) was used to determine the international status of species.
In addition, the study report presented project’s constraints and limitations, and provided conclusion and recommendations. It included as well ERM’s Environmental Data Sheets filled by Environics to describe each of the surveyed locations, and Legislation on the Protection of Biodiversity.