The Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030), also known by its acronym SDGs, are an initiative promoted by the United Nations to give continuity to the development agenda after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). There are 17 objectives and 169 targets proposed as a continuation of the MDGs, including new areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption and peace, and justice, among other priorities. After a negotiation process on the SDGs that involved 193 member states of the UN, on September 25, 2015, the 193 world leaders approved at a summit held in New York in a high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly, an Agenda entitled “Transform our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development ", which entered into force on January 1, 2016.

SDG 13 calls for urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, especially on food production. Everything changes in the nature surrounding us, and no country in the world does not directly suffer from the dangerous effects of climate change, as emissions of greenhouse gases are still on the rise, and global warming causes long-term changes in our climate system, which threatens inevitable consequences if we do not take necessary mitigation and adaptation measures.

Longer and more severe droughts threaten freshwater supplies, affecting food availability, reducing productivity of crops, livestock and fisheries, and impeding access to food by disrupting the livelihoods of millions of rural people who depend on agriculture as their source of income.

The United Nations' FAO supports countries to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change by developing national climate plans, programs and research-based projects, with a focus on adapting the production of small entrepreneurs and making the livelihoods of rural people more resilient.

Subject to extreme weather conditions such as winter floods and a sharp increase in summer temperatures, Lebanon has worked in the past two decades to improve its ability to adapt to and mitigate climate change. Lebanon participated in the “United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change” (UNFCCC) and signed the “Paris Agreement”.

Lebanon has signed several conventions, such as the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and established several institutions dedicated to the protection of the environment. Lebanon is also vulnerable to extreme events that are increasing due to climate change. More can be done to reduce Lebanon’s contribution to climate change and increase the capacities of institutions working with environmental issues.

GOAL 13: Climate Action

Over the past two decades, Lebanon has actively worked on improving its capacity to adapt to and mitigate climate change. The country has actively participated in the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). Lebanon’s overall GHG (greenhouse gases) emissions are minimal compared to other countries due to the country’s size and relatively small industrial sector.

Climate change is expected to have a negative impact on the country’s agriculture, power generation, and water supply. Agriculture is the most vulnerable sector leading to a decrease in production. Power production and supply will also be under pressure, because of an increase in demand for air conditioning in the summer.

Combating climate change in Lebanon requires stronger political leadership and technical capacities in, and coordination among, the line ministries with integration of climate change action into national development planning.

In order to respond to the Lebanese government regarding the climate change, the Lebanese University seeks to participate to symposia and projects aiming to develop knowledge regarding the climate change, and the way to minimize pollution and energy consumption.

The Lebanese University participated to the project AQUACYCLE ENI CBC MED that is set to bring an eco-innovative wastewater treatment technology that will consist of anaerobic digestion, constructed wetlands and solar treatment for the cost-effective treatment of urban wastewater with minimal costs of operation and maximum environmental benefits.

About this project: Reclaimed municipal wastewater is considered as a valuable non-conventional water resource (NCWR). Unfortunately, a substantial number of wastewater treatment plants installed in the Mediterranean region have proven unsuccessful copies of western-based treatment system concepts. Besides their high operational and maintenance costs, these systems are often unsuited to address the local challenges of wastewater treatment. As a result, treated municipal water is commonly underexploited throughout the region. To address these challenges, AQUACYCLE is set to bring an eco-innovative wastewater treatment technology that will consist of anaerobic digestion, constructed wetlands and solar treatment for the cost-effective treatment of urban wastewater with minimal costs of operation and maximum environmental benefits.

  1. The College of Agriculture in Lebanon imparted a training course on forest management, planning, and planting

Concluded by the Faculty of Agriculture at the Lebanese University, in cooperation with the Mediterranean Agricultural Institute in Montpellier, a training course in the city of Baalbek for four days, within the agricultural development program and rural ( ARDP ) funded by the European Union and implemented by the Faculty of Agriculture at the Lebanese University and the Municipality of Baalbek. (27/3/2019).

The course focused on good practices in forest management, planning and planting with the participation of the Tunisian trainer, Professor Ali Farshishi.

At the beginning, the mayor of Baalbek, Brigadier Hussein Al-Lakqis, spoke to the attendees, praising the project and its essence, stressing "the need for serious and continuous work to increase green areas and establish natural reserves to improve the environmental situation in Lebanon in general and in the northern Bekaa in particular." He referred to "the revival of the municipality of Baalbek, the feast of the tree, and its dedication as an annual tradition, in which schools, societies, clubs, and civil society organizations contribute to afforestation campaigns, especially forests in various parts of the city and the hills overlooking it."

In turn, the course supervisor, by the Faculty of Agriculture at the Lebanese University, Dr. Salem Darwish, explained the objectives and importance of the training course. The session included seminars, discussions and recommendations on the status of forests in Lebanon and the southern Mediterranean and their non-wood products, and how to improve, develop and protect them. Participants emphasized the necessity and organization of forests, the importance of continuous afforestation, and the economic viability of aromatic and medicinal plants.

The training course was concluded with field visits to the afforestation site of the Real Estate 101 Reserve, and to the nursery of the Ministry of Agriculture in the town of Deir al-Ahmar.

Lebanon’s National Biodiversity and Action Plan (NBSAP) 2016-2030 addresses Lebanon’s obligations under Article 6a of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and is an update of the country’s first NBSAP issued in 1998. The revised NBSAP was aligned with the new CBD strategic goals and integrated the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets while taking into consideration both global and local needs and aspirations, as well as reflecting Lebanon’s specific realm and the current existing professional capacities and awareness levels.

One of the main objectives of the NBSAP is to mainstream biodiversity into sectoral and cross-sectoral strategies, plans and programmes. The NBSAP has been prepared through an interactive process of stakeholder consultation and approval translated into five workshops and several steering committee meetings.

Under the patronage of the Minister of Agriculture, Hassan Lakkis, the President of the Lebanese University, Professor Fouad Ayoub, the Mayor of Baalbek, Hussein Lakis, and the European Union, the Lebanese University - Faculty of Agronomy concluded the Forests Project in Baalbek, as part of the Agricultural and Rural Development Program funded by the European Union.

The closing ceremony, which was held in Baalbek, was attended by the two former Ministers of Agriculture, Hussein Hajj Hassan and Ghazi Zeaiter, MPs Ali Mekdad, Ibrahim Al-Moussawi and Ihab Hamadeh, the European Union Ambassador Christina Lassen represented by Jose Louis Vinueza, Baalbeck Maronite Bishop Hanna Rahmeh, Mufti of Baalbek, Sheikh Bakr Al-Rifai, the President of Baalbek Municipalities Union, Nasri Othman, in addition to representatives of political parties and the region's activists.

The master of the ceremony, Eng. Nasser Al-Toufayli, confirmed that this project, which began in 2014, is important to Baalbek, as trees are a source of nature beauty and air purity, and a green resistance that supports military and intellectual resistance.

Centre MINE : Reusable Bag Design Competition

You are invited to be a part of the leading campaign that Majid Al Futtaim Retail - Carrefour Lebanon is launching as part of its commitment to spread awareness about using ecofriendly reusable bags.

The goal of this campaign is to encourage graphic design students at the Lebanese University to express their talents and creative ideas through a “Reusable Bag Design Competition”.

The Departments of Geography and Psychology of the Lebanese University – Faculty of Letters & Human Sciences (Branch 2) organized, on 10 April 2019, a seminar entitled "The Reality of Climate Change in Lebanon and its Impacts on Human Behaviors".

The seminar was presented by Dr. Maryam Makki, specialized in climatology, and Dr. Paula Kallas, Head of the Department of Psychology, while Dr. Laurence Charbel, Head of the Department of Geography, moderated it at the Faculty.

Front Page Communication in collaboration with “Forum for National Dialogue” organized last year the first Forum on Oil and Gas, and also in 2015 a series of conferences in the universities to enlighten our academic youth on this important economical and political topic.

The second university edition was organized with the Faculty of Sciences (Lebanese University – Hadath Campus).

During the first year of the HELAND project, the FTHM team had visited 10 important landscapes in Lebanon. We set out to understand the roles and responsibilities of the concerned stakeholders in the management and protection of the natural heritage. Based on a field questionnaire designed specifically for the HELAND project and on the discussions of the FTHM team with different stakeholders, the landscape sustainability of each visited site was assessed and evaluated. The evaluation took into account 4 sustainability dimensions: management, economic, social, and environmental. Each dimension was assessed through a comprehensive list of indicators. In this process, the FTHM team focused on issues pertaining to the use of new technologies and innovative approaches for conservation and protection of the studied landscapes. Each visit was documented in a detailed report, and the collected data were stored and analyzed and the resulting information was processed. Comparative analysis of the different field visits has entailed the development of a sustainability matrix tailored specifically for the HELAND project.