Last week, the American University of Beirut warned their faculty and staff not to swim in the AUB beach through an email stating that the “level of bacteria exceeded the acceptable limits for bathing water quality”. A week later, AUB sent out another email stating that the water is now safe for swimming because the “bacteria dropped to acceptable bathing water quality limit.” Continue reading
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
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
The National Center for Marine Sciences Research Center released an update of their previous study on beach pollution. Last October, the results of a sea pollution study were disclosed to the public and two days ago the results were updated with data from May 2016.It is important to note that what was released was a description of the results and not the actual results. The methodology of the study, such as which pollutants were measured, the actual level of each pollutant and the criteria used to judge their level of acceptability have not been disclosed. This information is necessary to properly understand the types and level of pollution. The following figure is an info graphic published by the press indicating the environmental condition of various locations of the Lebanese coast.
As the summer heat intensifies, the Lebanese flock to the country’s 225 km coastline. Unfortunately, rampant pollution all over Lebanon has had deteriorating effects in many locations. This has been exacerbated by the months-long waste crisis which lead to over 4,000 illegal dump sites throughout the country – many of which are located along the coast. A video taken by a scuba diver emerged a few months ago shows a large amount of waste at the bottom of the sea off the coast of the town of Jiye, a popular beach destination.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and the UNDP, the Municipality of Sidon has implemented a project to replace the infamous “garbage mountain” that has been a nuisance to the city’s residents for decades. The municipality plans to replace the mountain with a 35,000 square meter park. Today the there is no sign of the waste as the municipality boasts massive environmental benefits as a result. Continue reading