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ITALIAN AGENCY FOR DEVELOPMENT COOPERATIONLebanon and SyriaBeirut Office

AGENZIA ITALIANA PER LA COOPERAZIONE ALLO SVILUPPO  - Libano e Siria - Sede di Beirut | – ITALIAN AGENCY FOR DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION - Lebanon and Syria - Beirut Office Ambasciata d'Italia a Beirut European Union Presidency of the Council of Ministers - Lebanon

Environment and Agriculture

Environment and Agriculture

The environmental situation in Lebanon can be described as one of the chronic emergencies in the country: extensive construction of houses and buildings, deforestation, landfills and illicit quarries, contamination of water sources, pollution and, last but not least, decades of conflict that have jeopardized the quality of the environment.

According to a current report published by the Lebanese Ministry of Environment (http://www.moe.gov.lb/The-Ministry/Reports/Lebanon-Environmental-Assessment-of-the-Syrian-Con.aspx?lang=en-us), the damages caused by the Syrian crisis in Lebanon are substantial, since they take place in an already vulnerable context. The huge influx of refugees caused an increase of 37% of the density of the population in only three years. Among the consequences of such sudden population growth we can find the increase of: the demand of potable water by +12%, the production of wastewater by +14%, the accumulation of urban solid waste by +16% and air pollution by +20%.

The Italian Development Cooperation is on of the main international Partners of the Lebanese Ministry of Environment, involved in the implementation of activities in the following sectors:

- Technical assistance to the Ministry of Environment and other authorities;

- Integrated waste and pollution management;

- Sustainable land management;

- Forest fires prevention;

- Energy saving and renewable energy;

- Sustainable management of marine resources.

The agricultural sector contributes with only 6.4% to the GDP as per the statistics of the last decade. Agriculture represents an important sector ensuring the employment of about 25% of the population and is one of the main sources of revenue for the most vulnerable people. According to the information provided by the CDR (Council for Development and Reconstruction) the agricultural and rural development sector is the beneficiary of a significant part of the funds allocated during Paris III. The support to agriculture is a fundamental part of the strategy for fighting against poverty and for achieving sustainable development in the country.

The theme of food security, as per EXPO 2015, is at the frontline even in Lebanon. The Italian Development Cooperation, in line with the request of the Lebanese authorities, is aiming to support the economic development of rural areas as well as assisting the cooperatives and agricultural associations in order to improve the production, strengthen the commercialization of the products, and secure the territory.