MedWetCoast Project for conservation of Wetlands and Coastal Ecosystems in the Mediterranean Region MedWetCoast Project for conservation of Wetlands and Coastal Ecosystems in the Mediterranean Region
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Removal of Reeds in Burullus
Forging a Working Protocol in the People’s Assembly
Thursday 29 January 2004, by Web Team

The common reed Phragmites australis is a widespread species in Lake Burullus, which forms huge beds that interrupt the flow of water and create internal channels within the Lake.

Although its over-exploitation is negative, nature conservation benefits from reed cutting can be considerable. It limits the rate of expansion by reeds into new, open areas of lake; and within a planned programme of rotation can produce a mosaic of beds of different age and structure - which enhances the diversity of the ecosystem.

Consequently reeds management was deemed as one of Burullus Management committee top priorities. Members of the latter include local representatives of relevant ministries, people’s assembly, and local communities chaired by the Governor and have the role of prioritizing management actions, setting policies, assigning responsibilities, and monitoring progress

Removal of the reeds, in accordance to specifications outlined by MedWetCoast experts, entails two actions. One is cutting reeds manually below water surface for reeds in the middle of the lake, and is currently implemented through local NGOs. The second action is the total extraction of reeds, including their roots, from around 200 acres of the Lake banks. This has to be done mechanically, and is beyond the scope of the local NGOs.

The representative of the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources in the committee expressed the readiness of the Ministry to undertake this challenging task. However, since the lake falls under the jurisdiction of the Fisheries Department/ Ministry of Agriculture, a working protocol was needed.

In a demonstration to their commitment to the welfare and future of Lake Burullus, four Local Representatives of the legislative body presented their case to the People’s Assembly, and succeeded in finalizing a protocol under which the Ministry of Irrigation can start.

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