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Strengthening the Environmental Legislation Development and Application System in Lebanon (SELDAS)
Date du début: 1 janv. 2003, Date de fin: 30 sept. 2005 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

Background For the last five years, Lebanon has been trying to improve its environmental performance. International agencies and development reviews have highlighted the poor environmental situation in the country. Although a draft environmental framework for Lebanon was established in the mid 1990’s, proposals such as the adoption of the preventive action principle and the polluter pays principle have yet to be acted upon. Environment legislation and application needs to be strengthened. By undertaking this project, the UNESCO Cousteau Ecotechnie Chair – University of Balamand tried to assist the government of Lebanon in carrying out this environmental mission. Objectives The overall objective of the project was to improve the environmental performance of Lebanon through the development and proper application of necessary legislation. The project proposed to strengthen the capacities of the institutions dealing with environmental legislation development and application. The specific objectives were to: • Carry out an assessment of existing legislation; • Strengthen the institutions dealing with environmental legislation development and application; • Improve education on environmental law; and • Disseminate environmental law information and practices. Results Overall, the project has met its objectives. Analysis of the current environmental legislation was published in a comprehensive form (the SELDAS book) and distributed to stakeholders. It was also made available on the website of the ministry of environment. The SELDAS book summarises Lebanese environmental laws and regulations currently in force and outlines the areas that should be tackled by environmental legislation. It also assesses the extent to which legislation addresses these areas and analyses applicability and enforcement-related issues. It is composed of 14 chapters: construction and environment, land use and environment, transport and environment, energy and environment, industry and environment, agriculture and environment, tourism and environment, water and wastewater, air, noise, soil, biodiversity, solid waste, and horizontal legislation. SELDAS is intended for a wide range of professionals: parliamentarians, public administrators, judges and lawyers, environmental consultants, researchers and instructors, investors, businessmen, bankers, industrialists, civil society, international organisations, environment and law students. The project has also produced comprehensive training manuals that can be referred to for particular queries related to the drafting and application of environmental legislation, PowerPoint presentations that can be easily re-used in future training and seminars, and a pilot law on “clean air” that can be used as a model for drafting future legislation. It also promoted environmental law education, introducing courses at several schools. Such a move is an essential step for promoting environmental legislation activities. As a result of the compression of training and awareness-raising activities into a relatively short time period, however, the impact of the project on strengthening the capacities of stakeholders and municipalities in environmental law application was less effective than expected. The project also failed to establish a mechanism for mobilizing financial resources to undertake studies in environmental laws in Europe. Nevertheless, it has advanced knowledge of EU environmental policy in Lebanon by exposing key Lebanese stakeholders to European environmental law development and implementation systems.