The Ever Changing Environment

In the last twenty years Lebanon has made great strides in environmental changes. Economic and social activities of Lebanon have limited the natural resources available. Some of the main issues are poor land management, high carbon dioxide, and emissions from the ozone depletion. This has caused water-related problems and high pollution loads. Lebanon has incase developed the Environment and Energy (E&E) Programme which is meant to assist the community and government in providing support for a more effective environmental maintainability. Their main goal is to help Lebanon meet its Millennium Development Goals, which relates to environmental maintainability. Through the connection with NGO’s, private sectors, donors, and partners they have raised money to improve the environment. This program features three sectors industrial, agricultural sector, and energy sector.

The 2006 July War caused significant damage to the environment. They have made considerable progress over the past few years and continue to raise public awareness. Environmental issues are a main topic for many countries and it is important to establish programs like these to help. The United States is facing their own environmental disasters similar to the one’s in Lebanon. These environmental problems are leading to issues between countries in the Middle East, with limited resources and a large number of countries bundled so close together fighting has erupted. One of the problems between Lebanon and Israel is the insufficient water supply. Fixing environmental problems can help with this issue, lack of healthy water supply between the two countries.

The United Nations is also involved with the environmental maintainability in Lebanon having their own Environment Programme. The Executive Director of UNEP said, “This post conflict assessment was carried out at the request of the Lebanese authorities following the cessation of hostilities in mid August last year.” It is important that the U.N gets involved in helping Lebanon restore their environment this will only help build a stronger bond with countries. Israel was actual the one’s who ordered the U.N to compensate Lebanon for their environmental damages, it seems that the Lebanese government are unable to deal with these problems on their own. Environmental activists are making more progress then the government, such as a group of young men who ran in minimal clothing down the streets of Beirut to draw attention to the country’s environmental problems. As one can see much damage done to Lebanon was caused from conflicts and wars. Resolving these foreign conflicts simultaneously with the environment will only ensure that these Environment Programme’s are effective and worth the effort. If conflicts continue the environment will only suffer once again causing all progress made to be lost. There is a light at the end of the tunnel the idea of alternative energy for generating power has gained some attention and the country’s Environment Minister, Mohammad Rahal said, “that Lebanon should be getting at least 12% of its energy from renewable sources by 2012.” Receiving help from other Arab countries would significantly help but due to disagreements and divisions this is unlikely to happen.

This video is a message from the Green Party of Lebanon in 2011 they are comparing old beautiful pictures of Lebanon to the new destruction of the country. They are playing on the emotions of the citizens to win their votes.


4 thoughts on “The Ever Changing Environment

  1. Water supply was briefly mentioned in this post but it is a serious problem that many countries around the world face. In the Middle East, the environment has rapidly changed in the past 30 years due to water supplies. This is a change that in general I do not believe the younger generation is aware of because it took place before their time. It is hard for us to grasp that not very long ago much of the Middle East was covered in marshlands and was a wet, thriving environment. To Americans, the perception of the landscape in the Middle East today is a dry and desert like terrain, because that is was it has become. In the 1980’s Saddam Hussein drained a substantial part of the marshland in Iraq and Iran. This was done to oppress the people and make way for army tanks and routes for the war in Iraq. Also, Jordan and Turkey are just two of the Northern countries that have dammed major rivers, causing droughts and wildlife death in the southern part of the Middle East. These issues has caused serious environmental and social effects. Shelby discussed in her post environmental groups that are trying to bring change and awareness to the situation and the difficulty these groups have with trying to do any work with the government. Collaboration with the governments is crucial for much change to be made affective and that should be the main effort of environmental groups. The environmental issues are only going to escalate if no progress is made. Oil is widely known to be the most important resource in the Middle East, but water may have already taken it’s place.

  2. In Lebanon, the environmental scene is devastating as it is deteriorating. Over the past 5 years, our forests have been diminishing. Forest fires have become a norm during Lebanese summers. Their causes are two-fold; either man-made or naturally. Littering isn’t a minimal threat to nature. Glass has ignited fires as it reflects sunlight, cigarette butts have also been catalysts. On the other hand, we can’t ignore the global climate changes. In this following site, you’ll find a map depicting the forest fires in 2006, just so you could have an idea of the portions of land that are affected ( This site also states that, “During the last 40 years, more than 35 % of the existing forest cover in Lebanon has deteriorated.” This alone can let you imagine how green it used to be, and how dry and deforested it will soon be if the environmental scene keeps unfolding in this manner.

  3. I am a Lebanese citizen, and I have lived in Lebanon for almost 13 years. The environment’s health in Lebanon is decreasing hastily; each summer is hotter than the previous one and each winter is colder. All the environment-helping programs such as the (E&E) in my opinion are making very little difference, since most of the Lebanese people do not understand the value of the environment and what could really happen to them in case of an environmental crash. The people who really do care, understand and try hard to actually help, they begin with a good start, then gradually forget and stop because of lack of motivation and support. Most people just don’t care, they were raised to throw trash on the streets, to pollute water, to kill innocent animals, to do whatever whenever however they want which leads to this situation, and nobody could do anything about it, because if someone did, Lebanese people will go crazy, burning tires on the roads, killing one another and forming a major chaos in the city. In my opinion, the only way is to make the LAWS work in Lebanon, to make ORDER, to use the technology available to fix this issue.

    1. Karim, I agree. The Lebanese mentality of “we2fet 3aleye?” (is it up to me?) plays a huge role behind the environmental deterioration. There have been awareness campaigns and even actions, but they have had minimal impact on the ground. I think it all goes back to priorities. The Lebanese population is deprived of proper electricity and water supplies (disregarding political, social, civic issues), so why would they “bother” with the environment?
      I’m just curious, what do you mean by “use the technology available to fix this issue”?

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