Selection and Preservation of a Burullus Power Plant Offset Area


EEHC Burullus Power Plant is constructed within an area that is considered a protected area, a Ramsar site, an Important Bird Area (IBA) and an Important Plant Area (IPA). Environics, in association with Environmental Resources Management (ERM), had conducted a Critical Habitat Assessment in 2016, which identified the power plant area as Critical Habitat. Accordingly, a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) was developed, which included an EEHC commitment to offset the area that was lost as a result of the construction of the power plant.

Phase I – Scoping Study:
– Preliminary desktop review and analysis of satellite images
– Selection of a suite of eco-regions and locations along the Mediterranean Coast from which a set of potential offset areas could be selected, as well in the exclusion of other eco-regions and locations.
– Additional data collection, field activities and interviews with relevant stakeholders resulting in accurate identification of six potential offset areas.
– Thorough description of each of these areas, including habitat types, flora and fauna, biodiversity value and potential presence of critical habitat triggering species.
– Ranking of the proposed offset areas in a preferential order based on the findings of the previous activities, according to a set of criteria specifically developed for this project.
– Identification of two most ecologically similar areas showing the highest compliance to the key ranking criteria, as well as other proposed areas along with the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Phase 2 – Offset Area Preservation Study — El-Showeila:

Based on coordination between EEHC and EEAA representatives in October 2018, in which Environics was involved, El-Showeila area located on the Western Mediterranean Coast within Matrouh Governorate, was selected as the offset area for potential future preservation.

To that end, Environics carried out a detailed study, which included:
– Delineation of the offset area boundaries.
– Data collection, encompassing desktop review and analysis of satellite images; interviews with local stakeholders; field surveys, and identification of constraints.
– Data analysis (flora and fauna)
– Detailed description of El-Showeila, encompassing: Eco-geographic location; physical, biological, socio-economic and marine environments, and threats facing the offset area.
– Assessment of El-Showeila’s value as a Burullus offset area, its value for biodiversity and landscape preservation, and as a potential protected area.
– Characteristics of the proposed protected area, including its final delineation, proposed management category and proposed protective zones.
– Preliminary management plan, including: Regulatory framework; Activities prior to the declaration of the protected area;
– Required staffing and equipment; Specific conservation actions; Monitoring activities, and Review and update of the management plan.
– Conclusions and recommendations, which discussed the inclusion of marine environment as well as recommended activities.

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