As we approach the second year after the closing of the Naameh Landfill, little progress has been made towards developing and implementing a comprehensive solid waste management plan for Beirut and Mount Lebanon. The plan of the previous Lebanese government, two landfills to replace the Naameh landfill, is on the brink of collapse. The Costa Brava landfill is supposed to be closed next month after a Lebanese court ordered its permanent closure in four months last January. Over the weekend, demonstrators blocked the entrance of the landfill protesting the environmental pollution caused by the landfill. The second landfill in Bourj Hammoud is currently being challenged in court. Last week, the case was adjourned for one month as experts conduct an environmental study of the landfill. Continue reading
Update: The Shura council reversed two of its previous decisions to halt the construction permit of the Eden Resort at Beirut’s Ramle El Baida beach. The Shura Council’s first decision was based on number of legal violations related to land and environmental regulations. Until now, no explanation has been given on why the Council decided to change its mind, putting into question the independence of the judiciary in the country.
For more information on the previous rulings and how it impacts environmental legislation:
A Lebanese Urgent Matters Judge issued a court order to halt the construction of the Eden Rock Resort on Ramlet El Baida beach in Beirut or pay fine of a 150 million Lebanese Pounds (US$ 100,000) for every day the order is violated. The issue was brought to the court by the plaintiffs (Green Line Association and Legal Agenda) after the developer refused to abide by the two previous two Shura Council rulings. Continue reading
Yesterday, the Shura Council ordered a temporary one month stop to the construction of a resort on the Rablet El Baida Beach in Beirut. This case was brought to the Council by Green Line Association and the Legal Agenda on November 11, 2016. The plaintiff’s case was based on the lack of adherence to land and environmental regulations, misrepresentation of information to the Higher Council of Urban Planning, and the citizen’s right to the sea. Continue reading
On January 31st 2017, a Lebanese court ordered the permanent closure of the Costa Brava landfill in four months. The issue was brought to a court by a group of plaintiffs that consisted of lawyers and civilians living near the landfill. The landfill was ordered to be closed to preserve a healthy environment and to protect the safety of the passengers that use the only international airport in the country. Continue reading
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
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