Lebanon is situated in the Masreq region. Its capital Beirut is its most populous city. The country is a parliamentary democracy, which implements a special system known as confessionalism. Lebanon consists of 6 governorates, sub-divided into 25 districts (aqdya). Districts are divided into several municipalities, each enclosing a group of cities or villages.
The Lebanese economy is service-oriented with banking and tourism being the most important parts. The country also takes advantage from commercial networks provided by its large diaspora. In fact, it is estimated that remittances from Lebanese abroad account for one fifth of the country's GDP.
Largest cities (inhabitants-estimates):
- Beirut (2,250,000)
- Tripoli (530,000)
- Sidon (266,000)
- Zahlé (200,000)
- Tyre (174,000)
Water and waste
In urban areas 100% of the population has access to both proper water sources and to proper sanitation, while the country performance according to Worldbank data for 2015 is 99% access to water sources and 80.7% to proper sanitation. In 2013 Lebanon projected amount of municipal solid waste was 2.04 million tons (per person 0.95 - 1.2 kg/day in urban areas and 0.8 kg/day in rural areas). The amount of waste is growing by 1.65% annually. Waste collection coverage in urban areas reaches 100% and in rural ones 99%. The final destination of collected waste is generally open-dumping (29%) and landfilling (48%), while 15% is being composted and another 8% recycled (GIZ, 2014 – Country report on Solid Waste Management in Lebanon).
Energy and Climate
Lebanon’s energy consumption in the road transport sector in 2013 amounted to 40.92% (IEA,2013) of its final energy consumption (IEA 2000: 41.62%), whereas energy consumption per capita in 2013 amounted according to Worldbank to 1,337.2 kg of oil equivalent (Worldbank 2000: 1,517.2 kg). Electricity consumption amounted to 3,194.1 kWh per capita in 2013 against 2,985.4 kWh in the year 2000 (Worldbank data).
According to World Bank figures CO2 emissions in Lebanon were 4.5 metric tons per capita in 2011 which is almost unchanged against the 4.7 metric tons in 2000. CO2 emissions in Lebanon are – like in the other countries in the region – dominantly stemming from the burning of fossil fuels and the manufacture of cement and include those produced during consumption of solid, liquid, and gas fuels and gas flaring.
Policies and strategies
- National Emergency Rehabilitation Programme
- Environment Strategy Framework
- Coastal Pollution Control Programme
- Water Resources Protection Programme
- Water and Wastewater Strategy
- National Strategy for Solid Waste Management
- National Municipal Solid Waste Management Plan
- Compliance Action Plan
- National Environmental Action Plan
- National Action Plan in the frame of Strategic Action Programme for the protection of the Mediterranean from land-based pollution sources (UNEP/MAP)
- Millennium development Goals (MDGs)
- Land Transport Strategy
- Energy Strategy
- National Energy Efficiency Action Plan
- National Strategy for Natural Marine Reserves
Bottle-necks and developments
Air pollution by traffic and industrial plants is a problem in all larger cities. Industrial pollution is a problem mainly in the North, Mount Lebanon and the Southern regions. Urban effluents are discharged untreated to the sea, rivers, open land or underground due to a near absence of wastewater treatment plants and a lack of an integrated water and wastewater management scheme for rural and mountainous regions. Industrial waste water is discharged to the urban sewerage system. The quality of solid waste collection is questionable with its uncontrolled dump sites, disorganised solid waste management, and co-disposal of industrial solid waste with municipal waste. Industrial air emissions impact to neighbouring residential communities.
The land transport in Lebanon suffers from major problems including lack of organisation. Major cities suffer from severe congestion and chaotic traffic conditions. Travel demand is growing faster than transport systems’ ability to accommodate.
ENP Progress Report 2011
A Land Transport Strategy, that includes the creation of a Land Transport Authority, was presented. A National Energy Efficiency Action Plan, which calls for development of renewable energy sources, the implementation of energy efficiency measures and the development of a financing mechanism, has been launched.
Lebanon is encouraged to engage in the new carbon market mechanism to be developed under UNFCCC, as well as to fully implement the Cancun and Durban agreements.
The Ministry of the Environment revised its work programme for 2011-2013. A National Strategy for Natural Marine Reserves was finalised.
- Law on Protection of the Environment
- Decree on Minimum Fuel Quality Standards
- Decree on Pollution from Solid and Liquid Waste
- Decision setting out the requirements for measures to protect against air, waterand soil pollution
- Decision on National Standards for Environmental Quality
- Decision about environmental guidelines for the establishment and/or operation ofsmall wastewater treatment plants
- Decree providing municipalities with an incentive to host a waste management facility
- Law onHazardous Wastes
- Decree on industrial classes upon their environmental risk
- Decree on the control, measures and penalties related to industrial structures
- Decree dividing industries into three classes
- Several decisions on the provision of environmental guidelines for a number of industrial sectors
- Decree on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of policies, plans, projects and programs in the public sector
- Decree on levels of exhaust fumes and quality
- Decision on reform and reorganisation of the Land Public Transport Sector
- Law for reducing air pollution from the transport sectorand encouraging the use of cleaner sources of fuel
- Energy Conservation Law
- Urban Planning laws
- Transport laws
- Draft Law on Protection of Air Quality