Update: What is happening in Costa Brava?

Source: L’Orient Le  Jour

Over the past few days, photos of hunters on the coast and dead seagulls have emerged on social media. Acting under the instructions of the Middle East Airlines chairman, these hunters were dispatched to the outskirts of the airport to shoot down the increasing seagull population which it seems have been attracted to waste accumulated at the site of the new Costa Brava landfill. The chairman stated in a television interview that the hunting will resume until “the government initiates solutions.” Continue reading

More alarming data on health implications of Lebanon’s waste crisis

Image result for trash burning lebanon

Source: Daily Star

The waste crisis that started in July 2015 has still not been fully resolved. In March 2016, eight months after the crisis, the government announced a new solid waste management plan for Beirut and Mount and Lebanon. The government tried to develop more than one solution but eventually agreed on maintaining the same solid waste management principle that created this crisis which is based on landfilling. As explained in a blog post last June, the process of selecting the locations for the proposed landfills was not transparent, lacked basic environmental selection criteria and seemed to be purely dependent on political bargaining. Despite public resistance, two new landfills in Bourj Hammoud and Costa Brava (south of Beirut) are being constructed to receive the bulk of the waste that used to be disposed of in the Naameh landfill. Continue reading

Will renewable energy fix Lebanon’s electricity problems?

Image result for lebanon solar power beirut river

Source: BRSS Lebanon

Lebanon’s electricity sector has never fully recovered from the civil war which ended 26 years ago. During this time, the national electric company, Electircité du Liban’s (EDL) economic losses have been signficanly high, reaching $USD 2.2  billion in 2012, about 20% of GDP. . As of 2012, EDL was producing 1,500 MW of electricity. Electricity consumption exceeds the total produced by 900  MW, which is 60% more than what is being produced. There are also negative environmental externalities from this sector. Residents of Jiyyeh and Zouq have long complained about the pollution caused by the power plants in the two areas. Continue reading

Air pollution and the lack of environmental data in Lebanon

Image result for air pollution lebanon zouk

Source:Blog Baladi

A major problem with not monitoring environmental indicators regularly, such as the case of Lebanon, is that the severity of an environmental problem is never clear. For example, there is a general consensus in Lebanon that pollution is high. There are various studies that measure the pollution in certain areas, but continuous national data that has been collected over a long period time that shows the level of pollution is either non-existent or inaccessible. Continue reading

A clash of mandates puts Lebanon’s heritage at risk: the case of the Red House

Source: Al Jazeera

One of the main factors that complicate the enforcement of rules and regulations in Lebanon are the overlapping jurisdictions of governmental entities. While most of these entities have a clear legal mandate the reality on the ground is rather ambiguous. Continue reading

The cement import “ban” and pollution

Source: Daily Star

Construction has been one of the largest sectors in Lebanon since the end of its 15-year long Civil War. This post war construction effort, along with population increase and a high amount of remittances from Lebanese expats have lead to billions of dollars being spent on real estate in the country. In 2013, the construction sector contributed to 21% of the Lebanon’s GDP. Continue reading