Ministry of Environment and UNDP Publish Study on the Quarrying Sector’s Dues to the National Treasury in Lebanon

An opportunity to generate much-needed revenue to support the country's economic recovery

June 2, 2023

Beirut: Lebanon's Ministry of Environment (MoE) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) published a new study to explore the environmental challenges and economic losses caused by the poorly managed quarrying sector in Lebanon.  The study is part of the collaborative effort between MoE and UNDP, to promote accountability and transparency, environmental protection and sustainable development. The study on the quarrying sector's dues to the National Treasury in Lebanon comes after years of exploitation and illegal extraction of public goods.  If better managed and improved, this sector provides an opportunity to generate much-needed revenue to support the country's economic recovery.

This first ever comprehensive study on the quarrying sector dues quantifies the damage caused by the quarrying sector and finds that a minimum of 2.39 billion USD are due to the National Treasury. This figure includes the regulatory and fiscal costs, as well as compensation for environmental degradation and rehabilitation. With a volume of 196.87 million m3, a total of slightly more than 15 million m2 of land surface area was exploited, which is nearly equivalent to 75% of Beirut's area.
If well managed, the collection of these dues will not only fund social and environmental initiatives but also enhance monitoring and enforcement, promoting responsible quarrying practices. The integrated management of Lebanon's natural resources, including its quarries, will also have a positive impact on the country's economy in the long term, contributing to sustainable development and helping to safeguard the natural heritage of the country. This means an approach that includes environmental, economic, social, and governance dimensions for a comprehensive and effective management of the country's resources.

"The study will help us to reinstate the rule of law, particularly in the quarrying sector organized by virtue of decree 8803/2002 and its amendments as well as subsequent regulations, such as decree 6569/2020 and the Council of Ministers Resolution 45 of 21 March 2019 adopting the policy on the integrated management of the quarrying sector. It will set the first real step in collecting much needed revenues to the Lebanese state from a sector that has been historically marred by corruption and illegal enrichment" H.E. Nasser Yassin, Minister of Environment in Lebanon.

"This study is not only significant for understanding the impact of the quarrying sector on the environment, public health, and economy, but also for achieving the objectives of reinstating the rule of law, accounting for externalities in calculating all costs, and preventing further degradation of the environment" Melanie Hauenstein, UNDP Resident Representative in Lebanon.

The study builds upon the research conducted by the Lebanese Armed Forces, which encompassed an extensive survey of over 1,230 quarries. These quarries were specifically chosen to represent extreme instances of environmental degradation, marked by significant alterations to landforms, damage to ecosystems, pollution of water resources, and unsustainable resource extraction practices.
The database includes valuable information on coordinates, area, volume, ownership, type of material extracted (gravel or sand or rock, etc), and sometimes operators. The type of information presented in the database and in the study will be used for licensing future extraction activities, monitoring, and rehabilitation. This will prevent further degradation of the environment and will support a green and sustainable recovery that the Lebanese people are aspiring for.

Following the publication of the study, a series of roundtables and workshops are planned with the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Environment to discuss the most effective legal and administrative mechanism for collecting the dues.

UNDP is working in Lebanon since 1986 as a development partner supporting economic recovery, including working with municipalities to deliver basic services to host communities, promoting clean energy and solid waste management, strengthening governance and rule of law, providing support to elections, and working on empowering women and youth.

For more information, please contact

UNDP – Lebanon | Rana Moughabghab | |  +961 3 835 351
Link to the Study: