Institutional Strengthening of the Ministry of Environment Phase II

Short Title: ISMOE II

UNDP Programme/Portfolio: Environment & Energy

Geographic Coverage: Beirut

Project Status: Ongoing

Start Date: 01 January 2017

Expected End Date: 31 December 2021

Implementing Agency:  Ministry of Environment (MoE)


The Ministry of Environment (MoE) is the national authority in Lebanon whose prerogative is to protect the environment as stipulated in Law 216 of 1993 (amended by Law 690 of 2005) establishing the MoE, and the Environment Protection Law No. 444 of 2002. Despite important strides since it was established in 1993, it is still critical for the MoE to carry on the process of asserting its full prerogatives and efficiently execute its obligations, as recently demonstrated with the introduction of regulatory instruments and the participation in the formulation of, and resource mobilization for, a number of strategies, plans and programmes, with the support of the Institutional Strengthening Project – Phase I (2010-2017).

The Phase II of the Institutional Strengthening of the MoE will ultimately carry on the strengthening of the enabling environment for sustainable environmental development at the national policy-level as Lebanon faces increased environmental and natural resources pressure challenges since the influx of about 1.5 million Syrian displaced and workers since 2011. More specifically, the project will support the strengthening of the capacity of the MoE along 3 interrelated building blocks by: (i) carrying on the environmental policy development in terms of laws, regulations and other policy mechanisms; (ii) mainstreaming SDGs in local development planning and programming; and (iii) pursuing the MoE institutional strengthening and capacity building processes with a focus on environmental monitoring.

UNDP has accompanied the capacity and policy development of the MoE since its inception. This project still fits UNDP mandate at the national level where its environmental programming is increasingly focused on strengthening endogenous capacity to promote environmental sustainability, and at the global level it continues to work on national environmental issues particularly focusing on capacity development for environmental sustainability and resilience.

Achievements & Expected Resutls


- Legislation: adoption of the decree compensating the NCE members; issuance of MoE decision establishing the ISWM committee (MoE decision 108/1 of March 5, 2019); follow up on the draft Protected Areas law and the SPA protocol; adoption of the Protected Areas law and the SPA protocol; issuance of memo (7/1-2019) regarding wastewater treatment plants for private establishments;

- Strategies/plans: (1) NSDS/SDGs: integration in the Government Policy Statement; (2) Quarrying: preparation and adoption of the sustainable management policy (CoM decision 45 of March 21, 2019); preparation of the revised masterplan guiding principles; (3) Watershed pollution prevention: 10th report on the Litani roadmap implementation; (4) Environmentally Sensitive Areas: Re-submittal to the CoM of the proposal to prepare a masterplan; (5) MoE vision and roadmap: Beirut Environment Conference and follow up meetings; (6) Solid waste management: submittal of the 2019-2030 roadmap;

- Projects: follow up on the preparation of a phase II project for the Litani (Litani River Catchment Comprehensive Environmental Management Project); 3 grants approval (Nature Reserves; Land degradation neutrality; and Climate change) are issued;

- Implementation of key policies: signed joint work plan between MoE a MoIM (May 21, 2019), signed MoU between MoE and the Netherlands Commission for Environmental Assessment (May 13, 2019); Concept note for Strengthening capacities in investigating environmental crimes.

Expected Results:

- Maintaining environmental policy development

- Mainstreaming SDGs in local development planning and programming Under the mainstreaming SDGs in local development planning and programming second building block, the development of at least 4 orientation plans at the governorate level and 2 watershed depollution business plans will allow to operationalise the SDGs at the local level which will improve the quality of growth, life (especially the displaced, poor, women and vulnerable) and the commons while taking into consideration the natural disaster-climate change continuum, consumption and production patterns, and governance as well as political economy issues.

- Pursuing the MoE institutional strengthening Under the strengthening, the MoE third building block, strengthened MoE policy and governance-bound prerogatives could help better manage the pressures and the commons at the local level. Yet, efforts will be carried on improving the MoE obligations in terms of human and social capitals while ensuring the setting up of a monitoring system that will help improve the effectiveness, efficiency, equity and evaluation of decision-making.

Issues & Difficulties

A number of risks have been identified that could affect the implementation of the project and are aggregated as follows: 2 political, 1 financial, 1 operational and 1 social. Engaging the government at all levels could reduce the risk of unwillingness to working a specific field or area whereas a political instability would require the UN working in parallel in asserting the government sovereignty and the population legitimate representation. As for the financial risk, maintaining the dialogue with the MoE and the Ministry of Finance by making the case for implementing the project would help transfer funds in a timely manner. On the operational side, the unwillingness to cooperate in the project would be mitigated by showing the benefits that will accrue to the reticent sectors. Finally, social resistance especially when the environment is at stake will be overcome by carrying out EIA in the areas of the Orientation Plans.