|Target date for completion of clearance||6|
|National funding of programme||8|
|Land release system in place||5|
|National mine action standards||7|
|Reporting on progress||7|
The performance of Lebanon’s national mine action programme strengthened during 2017, with greater collaboration and consultation between the national authorities and non-governmental clearance operators regarding the revision of Lebanon’s national mine action standards (NMAS) and the potential for improving operational efficiencies.
These developments were actively supported and overseen by stronger management and national ownership from the new director of the Lebanon Mine Action Centre (LMAC), who took up his post in early 2017. In collaboration with clearance operators, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and other stakeholders, LMAC discussed making improvements to its accepted methodology for survey and clearance of cluster munition remnants (CMR), in line with the International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) and other best practice. These included, among others, reduction of the required clearance depth from 20cm to 15cm, and adjustments to the fade-out specifications for CMR clearance. These enhancements were incorporated into the revised NMAS which was finalised and released in March 2018.
Also in 2017, LMAC began exploring the potential for technical survey in efficient release of cluster-munition-contaminated area, which was a new and warmly welcomed development.
Finally, in October 2017, Lebanon’s parliament approved the allocation of 50 billion Lebanese Pounds (approximately US$33 million) for CMR clearance over five years, with a view to expanding operational capacity and helping Lebanon to meet its Article 4 deadline under the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM).
- LMAC should ensure that all demining organisations update their standing operating procedures (SOPs) to incorporate the enhancements made to the revised NMAS, and that to the new CMR survey and clearance methodologies are implemented as soon as possible. Technical working groups under LMAC auspices could provide a useful forum for review of this process.
- LMAC should, in collaboration with the clearance operators and partner organisations, continue to explore other ways to improve operational efficiency, including exploring the potential for greater use of non-technical and technical survey (both manual and with explosive detection dogs: EDDs) as a routine part of the toolbox for the release of cluster-munition-contaminated area in Lebanon.
- LMAC should prioritise the survey of the “Dangerous Areas” recorded in its Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) database, which come mostly from previous Rapid Response/explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) spot tasks. Survey of these tasks will allow LMAC to either confirm the presence and type of contamination and record the task as a confirmed hazardous area (CHA) for full clearance; or else release the task safely back to the community if no evidence of contamination is found.
- LMAC should update its workplan for the remaining period of its National Mine Action Strategy 2011–20, to reflect the anticipated impact of the enhancements to CMR land release methodology in the revised NMAS, and based on results of the technical survey EDD pilot project once they become available.
- The planned integration and consolidation of the LMAC and Regional Mine Action Centre (RMAC) databases and servers should be carried out as soon as possible, with a view to ensuring CMR contamination and land release data are being assessed, recorded, and extracted accurately and in a timely manner.
- Lebanon should continue efforts to identify and mobilise the necessary national and international resources to finish CMR clearance as soon as possible.