News & Media

March 21, 2013
The conservation of cetaceans in the Black and Mediterranean Seas

On Thursday March 21, 2013, the Faculty of Sciences at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK), in collaboration with the Scientific Committee of the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS), organized a conference entitled “The Conservation of Cetaceans in the Mediterranean and Black Seas”.

The Dean of the Faculty of Sciences, Dr. Badih Baz, inaugurated the conference and stated that environmental sciences are rapidly gaining importance nowadays. He added that the University also regards this academic discipline highly and that the Faculty of Sciences is currently developing new specific programs related to environmental sciences.

Mr. Chedly Rais, a member of the ACCOBAMS Scientific Committee, stressed the importance of protecting cetaceans, stating that “…these species have a special environmental importance and they are significant in establishing scientific, cultural and aesthetic plans.” He also talked about the objectives of the ACCOBAMS Scientific Committee, which imposes on member states the implementation of a plan to preserve cetaceans. This plan could help maintain the status quo in this field through legal measures, assessment and management of interaction between human activity and the cetaceans, and also by continuous monitoring, research and capacity building.

Ms. Maÿlis Salivas, another member of the ACCOBAMS Scientific Committee, pointed out that, due to the funding of the Italian Ministry of the Environment, the ACCOBAMS Permanent Secretariat had launched an educational unit in Lebanon on the preservation of cetaceans. She stated that “Cetaceans are on the top of the food pyramid and plays a vital role in maintaining the ecological balance in the marine eco-system”, adding that it was therefore necessary to implement mechanisms to defend natural resources. She also indicated that, through the above mentioned educational unit, the ACCOBAMS Permanent Secretariat aims to promote specialized education in this field and build further capacities pertaining to the preservation of cetaceans. This unit would be part of a framework of a master program that would include thirty credit hours, in which multiple aspects of biology, ecology and cetacean preservation would be examined.
Holy Spirit University of Kaslik
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