This assignment builds upon a key initiatives supported by the different Governmental institutions in Lebanon as well as the international agencies supporting Lebanon’s efforts under the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan (LCRP).
More specifically, it responds to Lebanon’s environmental situation which is showing alarming degradation trends and which are aggravated by the Syrian conflict.
The ToRs build upon the initial support of the European Union and UNDP to MoE which conducted an “Environmental Assessment of the Syrian Conflict (EASC)” in 2014 and identified the incremental impacts of the Syrian crisis. The EASC provided a baseline of the incremental impacts of the Syrian
conflict on the environment, and assessed 4 main sectors, namely solid wastes, water and wastewater, air quality in addition to land use and ecosystems.
This EASC has also confirmed that municipalities and unions of municipalities are bearing a large responsibility in addressing the consequences of hosting Syrian refugees in their cities and villages. Meetings conducted with unions of municipalities and municipalities unanimously validated that hosting an additional population in their localities has led to expending almost 70% of the municipal budget to address public services, including O&M, while the remaining budget is spent on security issues.
The ToRs build upon on-going efforts within the frameworks of the Lebanese Host Communities Support Project (LHSP) conducted by UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA) to implement activities aiming at building the capacities of the communities affected by the Syrian Crisis, increasing stability, alleviating tension and preventing conflict through the creation of job opportunities and the provision of basic services.
In order to translate the recommendation of the EASC report into local action, and ensure an active role of the concerned municipalities and unions of municipalities in addressing the environmental pressure caused by the Syrian conflict, the MoE, with the support of the EU has developed a “ Practical Guide for Municipalities to Enhance Environmental Management” and which provides technical recommendations to municipalities for responding to key environmental challenges at the local level, including those caused by the Syrian crisis.
The Guide follows the structure of the EASC and covers 6 sectors namely:
- Solid waste management;
- Water management;
- Wastewater management;
- Air quality;
- Land use and ecosystem management;
- Environmental Governance.
It should be noted that throughout this ToRs, the reference to municipalities should cover both municipalities as well as unions of municipalities.