Launching of the Program of the Ministry of Environment in Lebanon for 2010-2012
In Coordination and partnership with stakeholders from the public and private sectors: civil bodies, trade unions, educational, academic, media, and international organizations.
The Ministry of Environment in Lebanon has recently announced a new program that should protect the right of the citizens to a clean environment through the following principles:
(1) Sustainable development
(2) Protection through prevention
(3) Fining the polluter
(4) Stimulating investments in environmentally feasible projects
(5) Introducing environmental concepts in all project policies and development strategies
The Ministry’s work program for the next three years will be in coordination and partnership with relevant stakeholders from public and private sectors. It will focus on respecting the treaties, protocols and international environmental conventions concluded by the Lebanese government through the implementation of the following ten themes:
1- Strengthening environmental inspection and enforcement of laws and regulations. In partnership with the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior and Municipalities, the Ministry of Finance
2- Adapting the impacts of climate change on natural resources. In partnership with the Ministry of Energy and Water, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Public Works and Transport and the Ministry of Industry
- To issue the draft decrees and their implementation decisions for the basic Environmental Protection Law (Law No. 444, date 29/7/2002) and Decree 2275/2009, for example, a draft decree on environmental impact assessment of projects, a draft decree on strategic environmental assessment of policies, plans, programs and their implementation decrees.
- Identify the best means to enhance the environmental inspection and enforcement of environmental laws and regulations on the basis of the following legal texts: "The issuance of a system of environmental legislation and its application in Lebanon - 2004", "the reality of environmental jurisprudence in Lebanon - 2008" (expected very soon), review of the Licensing mechanisms for all development projects, and / or activation of environmental monitoring, and / or issuance of the draft decree mentioned in law 690/2005 and Decree 2275/2009, and / or follow-up studies on the environmental reforms, etc...
3- Fighting air pollution. In partnership with the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Ministry of Energy and Water, Ministry of Industry, and Ministry of Finance
- Activating the role of the Ministry of the Environment as the national Authority to follow-up to the Kyoto Protocol under the Framework of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change, specifically in terms of promoting projects under the clean development mechanism in all sectors (energy, industry, transportation, etc.).
- Development of projects regarding the adaptation to the impacts of climate change on natural resources, in particular water resources, in coordination with relevant stakeholders.
- Transforming the Ministry of Environment into a Carbon Neutral Foundation.
- Urge the monitoring of the quantity and quality of water resources (including snow).
- Developing the concept of pollution control ponds by adopting a Pilot Project in Qaraoun Lake.
4- Sustainable management of land and soil. In partnership with the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Ministry of Interior and Municipalities, Ministry of National Defense, Ministry of Energy and Water, and Ministry of Agriculture
- Work on the legalization of air quality management.
- Review the specifications and standards for air pollutants (Minister decision # 52/1-1996 and # 8 / 1 - 2001) and adjust them where necessary.
- Improve the process of continuous measurement of air quality and access to this information, especially in areas vulnerable to pollution.
- Improve the public transport sector and encourage its usage, such as replacing the current fleet of taxis with Hybrid cars to improve energy efficiency.
- Activate the environmental audit, and make it mandatory for industrial establishments existing within the first and second categories, in terms of reduction of all pollutants, particularly air resulting from the manufacturing sector.
- Continuous support to the Ministry of Energy and Water in implementing its initiatives to provide energy use and promote renewable energy, specifically the commitment made by Lebanon in the Copenhagen Summit to develop a national road map aims to secure about 12% of Lebanon's request for energy from renewable energy sources by the year 2020; and work on identifying the National Air Atlas as a first step in encouraging the private sector to invest in renewable energies.
- Follow-up work on disposing materials depleting the Ozone Layer and the proper application of the content of Decree 2604/2009 on "Control of Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer".
5- Maintaining the legacy of Lebanon and promotion of its ecological system. In partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Information, Ministry of Communications, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, Ministry of Interior and Municipalities, and Ministry of Finance
- Legalization of the sustainable management of the quarries.
- Preside over the Quarries National Council and the implementation of the master plan in all its details, and adjust it where necessary.
- Rehabilitate quarry sites that ceased to operate.
- Introducing environmental concepts to all charts guidelines to reduce the deterioration of mountain and coastal areas - including Maritime public property projects.
- Limit the degradation of coastal areas caused by oil pollution through the development of a preventive plan, and introducing of environmental concepts to the legal texts and projects related to oil drilling.
- Promote the sustainable management of forests and forest fire prevention, control and Rehabilitation.
- Forestation of half a million trees a year, starting in 2011.
6- Efficient management of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes. In partnership with the Council for Development and Reconstruction, Ministry of Interior and Municipalities, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Ministry of Agriculture
- Issuance of the draft law on natural reserves and draft laws and decrees related (for example Draft Law on protected areas in Lebanon, a draft decree on categories of protected areas in Lebanon, a draft decree on committees of Natural Reserves).
- Classification of protected areas and natural sites through studies and obtaining necessary provisions.
- Issuance of the draft laws and regulations of the "access to biological and genetic resources of Lebanon and the sharing of benefits arising from their use."
- Activating the eco-tourism through the promotion of protected areas within the policy of the Ministry of Tourism.
- Preside over the National Council for hunting and issuing decrees and decisions applied to the law 580/2004.
- Conduct Follow-up studies and projects to diagnose the biological diversity in Lebanon and to highlight the value of social / economic development, including marine biodiversity and ways to rehabilitate aquatic ecosystems through life, for example, the experience of the marine artificial reefs.
7- Supporting environment-friendly Products. In partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Industry, and Ministry of Economy and Trade
- Work on the legalization of the integrated management of solid wastes, including industrial waste
- Management of Domestic solid waste to ensure environmental, social and economic development.
- Develop an integrated plan to address the random deployed landfills in Lebanon, and the allocation of resources for its application.
- Establish a treatment plant for hazardous wastes (specifically industrial).
- Issuances of the draft legal texts relating to hazardous wastes and modify the necessary provisions in force.
- Development of conditions to deal with particular types of waste, for example, oil waste, used batteries, used electronic equipment, organic pollutants and expired goods.
- Activate the integrated management of chemicals.
- Allocate resources necessary to handle the remaining waste from the oil spill pollution due to the 2006 July war.
- Develop a practical plan to require all enterprises regardless of their geographical location or type (tourist or industrial or commercial), public or private, to find treatment for its solid and liquid wastes. This plan will be linked to the draft decrees under the provisions of Decree 2275/2009 on the environmental license in the discharge of liquid waste and licensing of environmental release of emissions.
- Introducing environmental concepts in the TOR’s belonging to the establishment and operation of wastewater treatment plants.
- Preparing and issuing legal texts to re-use the mud resulting from wastewater treatment plants.
- Review the specifications and standards for water pollutants (decision of the Minister of the Environment 52/1-1996 and 8 / 1 - 2001) and adjust it where necessary.
8- Developing business opportunities in the environmental field. Specifically in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Civil Service Council, the National Council for Scientific Research, Ministry of Youth and Sports and the academic sector
- Support marketing and growing of organic agricultural products and promote integrated management of pesticides.
- Support for environmental friendly industries and products, by seeking to provide material and moral incentives, for example, identify a framework to stimulate the use of clean technology and renewable energy, and / or the granting certificates for industrial enterprises that improve environmental performance of environmental liability.
9- Striving to improve the working environment in order to preserve professional safety. In partnership with the Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Social Affairs
- Promote Environmental Higher Education to provide scientific competencies for the Lebanese labor markets.
- Identify ways to develop the Municipal Code in order to enhance environmental competence of the members of the municipal council and to develop work in local environmental management.
- Make contributions to non-profit organizations to carry out activities pursuant to the environmental decree 14865/2005, including the promotion of research in different areas of the environment.
10- Activating the role of the Ministry of Environment. Specifically in partnership with the Ministry of State for Administrative Reform and Civil Service Board
- Development of guidelines for improving the working environment in order to preserve professional safety.
- Encourage research in the field of environmental safety.
- Restructuring of the Ministry of Environment in line with the Decree 2275/2009.
- Strengthening human resources gradually in the Ministry of Environment in line with Decree 2275/2009.
- Introduce the concepts of contemporary public administration in the daily work of the Ministry of Environment; for example, quality management system and updated Web page which facilitates serving the citizens.
- Strengthening the Ministry of Environment with studies and strategies / plans and boards and necessary funds, such as: (1) an updated study of the reality of the environment in Lebanon, or Lebanon's situation analysis and environmental study, updated for the cost of environmental degradation in Lebanon, and indicators of environment and development; and (2) a sustainable development strategy and / or National Action plan for the environment linked to the European Neighborhood Policy, the World Bank's strategy to support Lebanon and the Arab Environment Facility, etc..; and (3) study the need to implement the role of the National Council for the environment as stipulated in the Environmental Protection Act (444/2002); and (4 ) study the framework of institutionalizing of the Environment Fund, which is run by Council for Development and Reconstruction and the Ministry of Environment, in accordance with the law 444/2002.