Ministry of Environment
The Ministry of state for the Environment was established in 1981 in order to combat pollution and forest fires, to limit deforestation, to set the conditions and standards on how to use pesticides and waste water disposal, and to define the guidelines for plants and animal protection, etc…
At that time there was no direct “Environmental” law; yet the legislation, the various disparate regulations and different guidelines belonging to several sectors have been addressing environmental matters indirectly since 1920. Such legislations, for example, tackled the most important environmental subjects, such as: preserving coastal zone ownership and preventing of its distortion, protecting public property, banning theft of antiquities, regulating dredging of sand and gravel, preventing dumping of waste on roads or in public and private properties, and prohibiting disposal of waste water in artesian wells, rivers, streams or along the beach. Furthermore, there was legislation to protect fish stocks, prevent the use of explosives and poison in fishing, conserve the capital of forest birds and beneficial birds, provide protection for natural sites- national heritage and water resources, and combat pollution.
On April 2 1993, Law 216/93, founded the Ministry of Environment and identified its tasks; Consequently, this law was a major pioneer step in environmental management in terms of protection and sustainable conservation of natural resources, and initiation and activation of Lebanon’s participation in the global environmental conventions.
On 29 December 1997, law 216/93 was amended under the law 667/97 to activate the role of the Ministry of Environment, and the latter was amended under law 690 dated 26/8/2005 to further redefine and emphasize the important role of the Ministry of Environment within the emerging environmental national and international issues.
On July 26, 2002, the Lebanese Parliament ratified the Law 444- Environmental Protection Act- which set the basic principles and general provisions to regulate the environmental protection and management, preservation and maintenance of environmental basins, and assessment of environmental impact assessment of projects. Moreover, this law has defined the responsibilities and penalties for those who abuse the environmental resources and cause environmental pollution.