El-Fadel, M., Zeinati, M. and Jamali, D.
Development of procedures for environmental impact assessment in Lebanon
Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 20, (5), . (doi:10.1016/S0195-9255(00)00034-2).
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Lebanon, a relatively small Middle Eastern country, has initiated its reconstruction and development drive after nearly 2 decades of civil unrest. Historically, the majority of planned or implemented projects were evaluated primarily on the basis of technical and economic feasibility, with little to no consideration of potential environmental impacts. However, the country's limited financial resources increased its reliance on external funds from international institutions such as the World Bank and the European Commission. As a result, environmental impact assessments were introduced as an integral part of major projects relying on international financing and assistance. Hence, international donor pressure coupled with increased public awareness led to the establishment of a Ministry of Environment in Lebanon. The newly created ministry, though limited in resources, embarked on the process of drafting an Environmental Framework Law, part of which addresses the development of environmental impact assessment procedures. In this context, the development of country-specific procedures for conducting an environmental impact assessment becomes essential. This paper presents a review and evaluation of the proposed decree for conducting environmental impact assessments in Lebanon. Assessment procedures are described, and recommendations for improving process performance and reliability are presented. Institutional capacity and limitations for efficient environmental management are also addressed.
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