Beyond Magazine Issue 2 Spring 2010

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Spring Awakening 2010

EVERY GOOD YOU DO TO NATURE, NATURE WILL RETURN IT. Every single eco contribution today, no matter how small, is definitely a guaranteed capital for tomorrow’s generation. Join the green cause to insure a wealthy future for your children. BankMed, celebrating a happy planet.


Against all odds


he environment in Lebanon is currently going through a rough patch due to global warming, which is adversely affecting the entire Earth. And this challenge calls for a unification of efforts to preserve our natural riches and resources, for what still awaits us is far graver than what we are witnessing today. A recent study regarding the future impact of climactic change on Lebanon conducted by Cypriot researcher Manfred Lange – an expert on matters related to energy, water, and the environment – revealed that our country would experience a temperature increase of two degrees Celsius by the year 2045 and of five degrees Celsius by 2095. Additionally, the study indicated that rainfall would have dropped by 18 percent by 2045 and 50 percent by 2095. This revelation must induce the Lebanese government to devise a strategy to adapt to such negative repercussions and to cope with the climactic change, which will further aggravate the estimated annual loss of $565 million exacted by the environmental decline in Lebanon. In light of the anticipated developments, the Environment Ministry is adamant in counteracting such environmental challenges. And ever since we took over our ministerial responsibilities, we have been engaged in reviewing and mulling over environmental plans and holding meetings and seminars within a grand framework, which began to stimulate the performance of the entire ministry’s departments and has put forth an action plan for the upcoming three years. This execution plan tackles a myriad of environmental issues in tandem with relevant parties in both governmental and private sectors, in addition to abiding by international environmental pacts and treaties. As the environment minister, I belong to a political party that has faith in the private sector and believes in the importance of cooperation between the private sector and the governmental sector. And the most significant step in that regard was represented in a meeting with the Lebanese Banks Association headed by Dr. Joseph Tarabay. The discussion focused on means of collaboration and coordination between the Environment Ministry and the banking sector, in addition to brainstorming together for ideas that could serve the environment and support eco-friendly projects. Simultaneously, we diligently strive to inhibit the pollution of the air and water, and constantly monitor the work at

stone and sand quarries in order to be certain that they commit to standard environmental conditions as well as ban them from devouring entire mountain ranges. Moreover, we are unyielding with violators and stand opposed to the extension of the illegal status of some quarries. We have also regulated this matter through legally limiting the issuing of permits by the ministry and through prohibiting mayors and representatives of the state from handing out permits under any circumstance. Our experience in Ain Dara is but proof to the aforementioned; your esteemed magazine has had the instrumental role in this operation after your dear photographer (Rabih Mwanes) was assaulted. This incident reverberated across the ministry cabinet, which reconfirmed its full support for the Environment Ministry and for what it is doing – reiterating the importance of respecting the laws of the state and its sovereignty. In this regard, we press forward with our plan to replant scorched lands either through manual reforestation or through spreading seeds of pine and oak by utilizing Lebanese army helicopters. This operation covers extensive areas, which we hope will experience growth, especially since the forest mass has been shrinking in Lebanon up to a point where it currently covers only 13 percent of the country’s total area. We promise you that we will remain consistent in our pursuit to preserve our natural resources for a green Lebanon and a clear blue sky. We also promise to regard the Environment Ministry as a sovereign ministry and not a secondary one, hoping to reach our desired goals in order to preserve the legacy of Lebanon with the help of civil society, environment groups, and the media. Mohammad Rahal Environment Minister

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Drink Responsibly

every step deserves recognition

Spring Awakening 2010



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A word from the publisher

Dare I dream?


ature in spring bursts with life and vitality. It is a time of birth, renewal, and rejuvenation. Forests and fields turn over a new leaf from the gloomy dull brown to blissful green. It is a season for hugging the trees, smelling the blossoming scents of beautiful, effervescent jasmine and orange buds. It is a time for breathing in deeply… for seeing the world in captivating color, inspiring the budding green mood of spring… Am I just daydreaming? Am I having an Alice-inWonderland moment? Am I forgetting about the mess in our nature? I live in an age where I’m afraid to go out in the sun because of the damage the hole in the ozone might do to me, where I’m scared to breathe in the air because I don’t know what chemicals and illnesses it carries, where I’m too wary to enjoy seafood and meats for fear of the cancerous substances they might contain. Even our locally grown fruit and vegetables now have a bad reputation and are said to be poisonous. It is also a time where I’m afraid to take a dip in the sea given its heavily contaminated nature, an age of the rapid annihilation of animals and withering of plants, vanishing forever… I’m saddened by this reality… I’m angry… I’m afraid… but I’m not blind. Yet, I still dare to hope. I have hope because I believe that it’s not too late to change things… It’s never too hope. I can’t but hope. “If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream…” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Pascale Choueiri Saad

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BEYOND TEAM Publisher and General Director Pascale Choueiri Saad


Ronald Saad

Chief Editor

Maha Majzoub

Environmental Consultants Edgard Chehab Sawsan Bou Fakhreddine


Joelle Choueiry Makhoul

Chief Photographer Nada Karam

Special Guest Photographer

Michel El-Esta, Fouad Nassif, Georges Goraieb, Steven Haddad, Rabih Mwanes Michel Zoghzoghi

Design and Graphics Pauline Hage

Responsible Director Antoine Hajj

Contributing Writers

Suzanne Baaklini, Antoine Germanos, Bassam Kantak, Mounir Abu Said, Fadi Bou Ali, Karim Daoud, Zeina Ghossoub El-Aswad, Amer El-Haddad, Hania Jurdak, Richard Labaki, George Mitri, Hala Naffah, Mario Najm, May Tannir, Karine Zoghby

Printed by

Chamas for Printing & Publishing Mazraa, Colombia Center This magazine is printed on recycled paper

Published by

Five Stars Tourism s.a.r.l. Azarieh Str. Azarieh Bldg. – Bloc A1 Beirut, Lebanon Tel: +961 1 994 006 Fax: +961 1 994 007



The rain in Spain What the EU head is doing at the environmental level


Keeping the faith Eco-religious tourism in Lebanon


Power to the people Talking to UNDP’s Marta Ruedas


Spring in full bloom

112 Illegal fishing

Must stop by hook or by crook

120 What’s containing recycling efforts in Lebanon? 128 Green and glam

Vintage obsessions, eco-friendly designs

144 ethical eating A green feast


Concrete evidence The challenge of green building in Lebanon and pioneers going there


school notes Academic institutions create green awareness


avatar Cinematic ecolution


a cup of tea with the eco gandhi

whe you are done leafing through beyond, shelf it as your trusted green companion or send it to recycling

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Beyond our wildest dreams


hen Beyond was launched three months back, we truly did not know what to expect. Would people appreciate the message we were trying to convey? Would they embrace this medium and appreciate it as a tool for spreading awareness on how to view the environment in another light and how to adopt a greener lifestyle? After all, ours is a beautiful country that has been systematically stripped off its green cloak, and its innocent natural settings continuously raped since the outset of the civil war. And we have all contributed – one way or another – to this infamy. We all have “green” blood on our hands. So anything that reminds us of our wrongdoings would be shunned and pushed aside – or so we thought.

Thankfully, we were wrong. Your positive reaction has boosted our confidence and made us realize that the Lebanese are truly yearning for change. We felt ashamed for harboring doubtful thoughts about you. And for that, we apologize. Rest assured that we would continue in our quest to cast light on the “ugly truth” and command the endeavors of those trying to alter this realty – and in the process express your sentiments regarding the environment. With your help and support, we will conserve no effort to create an interactive community that would unify and concentrate actions in hopes of preserving our natural riches and maintaining a clean environment for us and for later generations. We hope you find the topics we tackle engaging and the ideas we put forth moving. Here’s to you and to a greener Lebanon.

Maha Majzoub

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Edgard Fouad Chehab

Nader El Nakib

Lara Hanna Debs

Tonie Abi Rizk

Anthony Germanos

Nada Karam

With 17 years of experience in the environment both locally and regionally, Mr. Chehab is the Assistant Resident Representative and the Energy and Environment Program Manager of United Nations Development Program (UNDP). He is also an advisor to Environment Minister Mr. Mohammad Rahal. Chehab helped us score an interview with Ms. Marta Ruedas, resident representative, UNDP - Lebanon, which you can find on page 40.

Ms. Abi Rizk is one of the most helpful people Beyond is fortunate to know. She goes out of her way to give us a hand because she believes in what the team is doing, and is passionate about nature and saving the environment. A psychology grad, she is the head of the teaching department at SESOBEL, a local association for the welfare of disabled children and their families.

Fouad Nassif

President of green NGO G, Mr. Nakib has an avid interest in combating climate change and is a major supporter of Beyond. International officer of the Future Movement, Nakib currently serves on the boards of the AUB Alumni Council, Business Week Market Advisory, and Economist Global Executive Forum. You can read G’s special report on green building on page162.

Media advisor to Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar, Mr. Germanos is an experienced journalist who has contributed to the leading Lebanese daily An Nahar and worked with Future TV and LBCI. A dear friend of Beyond, Germanos slams public disinterest in improving the environment on page 126.

Wild about nature, Mr. Nassif has been hunting since the age of six. A member of the National Council for Hunting who has penned a book on his lifelong passion and been actively working on drawing up a new hunting law, he has a hunting and animal breeding domain in the Bekaa that aims to keep wildlife in their natural habitat. Turn to page 88. We have a feeling you will like what you’ll see.

Mrs. Debs is one busy woman. Co-owning Green Cedar Lebanon, the company that designs and sells jewelry whose proceeds go to the reforestation of the country, is only one of the things she dedicates her time to. But she makes sure to give Beyond the time of the day, and rains down constructive criticism on us.

A graphic designer by education and a photographer by nature, Mrs. Karam started exploring the world around her through the lens at an early age. Karam captures the moment and immortalizes it in every picture she takes. And she never shies away from an adventure, as her trips to cover features for Beyond have repeatedly placed her in some compromising positions. But she always laughs it off.


Ghada Sadek Abela

Cathy Chami Tyan

Bassam al-Kantar


Marcos Hado

Michele Hindie Tadros

An advertising graduate with a long stint in the field, Mrs. Abela is the President of the International College Parents Committee/ Ain Aar, which she herself had launched. She is also an active member of Enfants de Lumiere charity association, which feeds 200 families a month. You can explore with Mrs. Abela the reforestation efforts of International College Ain Aar on page183.

IndyAct, or The League of Independent Activists, spares no effort to help Beyond. In this issue, they give an insider’s look into the heartbreaking massacre of bluefin tuna, which you can feast your eyes on page 106. IndyAct also evaluates the results of the Copenhagen summit on climate change on page 124. Don’t forget to read our interview with Mr. Wael Hmaidan, the organization’s executive director, on page196.

Mrs. Tyan, the editorial director of World Environment (WE) magazine, is a well of ideas and a regular contributor to Beyond. In her article on page182, she proposes what schools should do to teach kids and students to embrace the environment. She also gives a heartfelt piece on the concrete mess in Ashrafieh on page 160.

A marine biologist and free diving specialist, Mr. Hado assists public and academic institutions in the country in combating illegal fishing as well as other practices that could negatively impact the environment. A spearfishing champion, Hado has penned down a beautiful piece on the status of illegal fishing in the nation and provided breathtaking pictures of underwater life. See pages 112 -119.

Mr. Kantar is a seasoned journalist who has been writing about the environment in the daily Al Akbhar since 2006. He is a founding member of the Lebanese Environmental Party (LEP) and a human rights activist. Another genuine supporter of Beyond, Kantar recalls on page 122 the promises of Lebanese politicians on the environment, and points out if they kept their word or not.

The love of shooting pictures, from wildlife to exotic destinations, has taken Mrs. Tadros to the ends of the Earth. An artist and expert photographer who has exhibited at Aida Cherfane gallery in Downtown Beirut and internationally including London, she gave Beyond very interesting photos of churches and mosques in the heart of the capital.

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Spring Awakening 2010


politically correct

Y viva España

The environment a strategic priority on the Spaniards’ list and their embassy in Beirut he ride to the Spanish embassy in Lebanon on one of those windy, freezing February mornings was long and hard. Tucked away in a secluded neighborhood in Hadath, the embassy looked nothing short of a fortress. After going through the extensive security measures typical of any embassy in the country, we finally marched up to the office of Ambassador Juan Carlos Gafo. Dashing good looks aside, it was the well-poised, soft-spoken man who commanded our attention. Despite his hectic schedule as a diplomat, Gafo, who has been representing his country in Lebanon for about a year now, has a special bond with nature. He enjoys exploring non-urbanized local villages and stepping outside by walking, jogging, skiing, and swimming. As both a Spaniard and Mediterranean, he especially appreciates the variety of ecosystems that Lebanon offers, which he finds similar to many back home. “I believe that Lebanon is a privileged country that must preserve its diversity and its rich fauna and forest resources,” the envoy says. Eco-savvy by nature, Gafo always tries to encourage his family – particularly his kids – and those around him to walk the green line. The message he tries to convey is not to litter, to economize on water, paper and electricity, to appreciate and respect nature, and to recycle, which is a legal obligation in Spain. As a professional, when he was the deputy director general in the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he dealt for two years with environmental issues and concerns and participated in numerous international meetings to monitor the major conventions on matters like climate change, desertification, wetlands... Beyond discussed with the Spanish representative the projects of the current European Union leader at the international and local levels.

Beyond: The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation recently sponored the Center for Medical Waste Management in Sidon. Why is the agency sponsoring such a project, what is the accumulative cost of the project, and what is its timeline? Juan Carlos Gafo: Environment is one of the strategic priorities of our international cooperation, at the global level and in Lebanon in particular, and Spain has vast experience in waste management. Lebanon’s solid waste management, particularly in Sidon, is an old problem that should be tackled as soon as possible. The project amounts to $750,000. Although its launching has suffered some delay (due to legal issues regarding the ownership of the land), it is expected to be concluded at the end of next summer. I seize this opportunity to thank all those who made it possible. B: What other environment-related projects does the embassy have in the pipeline? How much money is it shelling out to that end? JCG: We are financing several environmental projects in Lebanon. The Spanish state-owned company TRAGSA has been working on cleaning oil spills in the Palm Islands Nature Reserve and producing a study on marine biodiversity in the area (for $1.2 million) in cooperation with the Environment Ministry. TRAGSA is also implementing a Fire Control Management Program ($1.4 million in its first phase; second phase pending approval) with the Interior Ministry, as well as with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for fire fighting and reforestation. In this regard, we have funded the development of scientific skills and technical tools through the Forest Technology Center of Catalonia. Lebanese experts have taken part in special seminars organized within the framework of the Spanish multi-country environmental program in the Mediterranean region – the Azahar Program.

Spring Awakening 2010


We also support multilateral funds and bodies such as the Lebanon Reconstruction Fund to which Spain allocated $6.3 million for the CEDAR project on renewable energy in the south and $9.2 million to the Watershed Management and Control Project (Flood Management), in coordination with the United Nations and Development Program (UNDP). Other projects are being carried out by Spanish NGOs. The international network Action Against Hunger has signed a convention related to food security, focused on good management of water resources ($3.3 million over four years), and the Cooperative Assembly for Peace is implementing a convention related to sustainable natural resource management in the Middle East ($500,000 over four years). In total, the Spanish cooperation has disbursed about $21 million in environment-related projects in Lebanon during the past three years.

B: What do you think of the environment in Lebanon? JCG: Lebanon is in a good position regarding its compliance with the Millennium Development Goals, with the exception of environmental sustainability. Access to safe water is a problem of some importance due to the pollution of sources and distribution networks. The loss of flora in mountainous areas is another major problem, exacerbated by forest fires. All this is undoubtedly closely related to the phenomenon of climate change. There is a huge problem of lack of awareness in this respect. The environment is not an abstract concept exported by the West (even if the West has much contributed to its global degradation). Environment means health and quality of life (water, air), human security (floods, fires), food security, sustainability... and has an undoubtedly political component. B: What do you think of local efforts to address the environment and improve the environment situation? JCG: Public action and awareness campaigns are necessary but in a country with a strong private sector and civil society such as Lebanon, they should be accompanied and complemented by private initiatives. Beyond magazine is a successful example of how private

and public efforts can go hand-in-hand, and I take this opportunity to thank Mrs. Pascale Choueiri Saad and encourage her to continue her remarkable initiative.

B: What is your vision for helping the environment in Lebanon? JCG: We must continue working in the aforementioned sectors – increasing green forest cover and reforestation, protecting forests and water resources from pollution, improving (solid) waste management, preserving nature reserves, combating fire, and above all public awareness to stress the importance of preserving the environment for future generations. B: What do you think the international community should be focusing on environmentally at the global level? What part of Lebanon’s environment requires the most attention in your opinion? JCG: At the global level, the environmental priority for the international community is undoubtedly to combat climate change. In Lebanon, climate change can have a direct impact on its most fragile ecosystems, such as forests – cedar forests in particular – and marine biodiversity.

B: Now that Spain is presiding over the EU, what are its plans to push for environment-related resolutions? JCG: The environment in general, particularly biodiversity and forest preservation, combating desertification, the sustainable use of water, coast and sea sustainability, air quality improvement, as well as waste management, will be followed up and included as initiatives in different decision-making spheres to ensure the EU continues being a global leader in promoting these policies. The Spanish presidency also worked for the EU to lead the period of preparation and Special Session of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Administrative Board (Bali, February 2010) where aspects related to international environmental governance, the green economy, among others, were addressed. Climate change The union will also make the most of this new period following the Copenhagen Summit to reaffirm its commitment to fight climate change. The Spanish presidency will support every opportunity ahead in this transition stage toward a lowcarbon economy to generate new jobs

and facilitate economic growth. The Spanish presidency will specially work to reinforce the climate change/energy ratio, a cross-cutting issue upon which the transformation of the current economic and energy model into a medium and long-term sustainable growth model should be supported. The effective implementation of the energy and climate change package will be promoted and the corresponding legislative changes thereof will be articulated, derived from the agreement reached at the Copenhagen Conference. Following this, the strictest implementation of the adopted agreements will be the core objective of the Spanish presidency.

natural resources The Spanish presidency will give top priority to establishing the “community objective� on preservation and sustainable use for the period following 2010. This objective should also contribute to global discussions to establish a future outlook on biodiversity. Special emphasis will also be placed on concluding the negotiations for the International Regime on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit-sharing, and the CITES Convention COP 15, as well as the progress achieved in the United Nations Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) process.

Particular attention will also be given to regional cooperation on climate change and energy matters to reinforce the EU’s role as a global actor. The issues concerned with financial flows and environmental innovation and technologies will be especially addressed, in particular those geared at mitigation and adaptation to climate change and, most importantly, those focused on energy efficiency and renewable energies. Another priority will be the integration of adaptation to climate change as a focal point in sector policies. Biodiversity and sustainable use of

In early 2010, the commission will present the Green Paper on Forest Protection, a priority issue for Spain. Work will be done to respond to the phenomena undermining said areas, namely the prevention of damages resulting from problems such as forest fires. Water will also be a priority issue, both in terms of the need to improve its management and the link between climate change and water shortage and draught. Establishing a joint water resources management strategy is deemed a priority, which should have a reference community legislative instrument to

manage draught and/or water shortage situations. Collaboration in water issues with Latin American and Mediterranean countries through the EU-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference will also be of paramount importance. The deadline for the transposition of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive will expire during the coming six-month period. An initial assessment and determination of the suitable environmental condition of marine waters should, therefore, start. Marine assessment and research will be the subject matter of a conference (EUROMARES 2010) as part of the celebration of the European Maritime Day. A new action program on the environment replacing the current one by 2013 will also be drawn up. In addition, work will be performed on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE), Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS), bio-waste, land protection, biocides, chemicals, Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and restriction of CHemicals (REACH), mercury, CO2 in light commercial vehicles, International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), ship scrapping, and environmental responsibility.

Spring Awakening 2010


Eco-religious tourism

Spring Awakening 2010


A sacred mission to reno-vate and protect natural and religious sites in Lebanon

Spring Awakening 2010


Harisa Forest The journey to protect religious sites in Lebanon started after WWF named in 1999 the Harisa Forest as a top 10 “Forest Hot Spot” in the Mediterranean. The Maronite Church, which owns a large part of the Harisa forest, decided to issue a public pledge to preserve it. With the support of local conservation group Association of Forest Development and Conservation (AFDC), ARC and WWF, Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Butros Sfeir pledged to make the Harisa Forest the world’s first “Maronite Protected Environment”. The forest of Harisa is located above the bustling town of Jounieh, north of Beirut on the Mediterranean coast. For over a thousand years, it was practically

undisturbed, supporting a few orchard owners and plenty of wild animals and plants. But after the 15-year Lebanese civil war, the plans of real estate developers with their bulldozers threatened to destroy the last green coastal space in the region. Harisa Forest is an important destination for ecoreligious tourism in Lebanon, especially with the trail that goes through the forest that takes pilgrims and trekkers from Jounieh, past monasteries and modern developments, and finally along serene trails to the statue of Our Lady of Harisa at the top of the mountain. Created a long time ago by villagers and more recently used by scouts and hikers, the track was renovated in the past few years as an

international pilgrimage trail in honor of a much adored parish priest, Father Simon El-Zind, who died in 2002 at the age of 42. In 2004, a foundation was created to continue Father Simon’s mission and safeguard his heritage. It was called “Darb Essama”, meaning “The Trail to Heaven” – a term coined by Father Simon. The foundation was directly inspired by Father Simon’s expressed desire to transform the old footpath into a pilgrimage trail using the Chemin de la Croix at Lourdes in France as a model. And the foundation has honored his wishes. The trail takes the pilgrim on seven spiritual stages, where he/she explores his/her whole life’s journey “where we

leave all our belongings behind in order to follow God, to the end, where we return to the world, giving testimony and celebration to all that we have learned,” comments Victoria Finlay, communications director, ARC. In April of every year, teams of volunteers organized by the Darb Essama Foundation clear the overgrown paths, mend the steps and remove the rubbish. And on or around May 10 each year – the anniversary of Father Simon’s death – hundreds of pilgrims travel together along the trail, praying, talking, and walking. Some carry walking sticks, some carry babies, some just carry themselves. There are also many other smaller pilgrimages for specific, diverse groups who are led either by guides or by a booklet of updated prayers and meditations which inspire and guide the spiritual journey.

Spring Awakening 2010


Jisr-el-Qadi In May 2009, the Druze community in Lebanon pledged to dedicate the ecologically fragile Jisr-El-Qadi region in their ancient Chouf valley as a Sacred Gift to the Earth. Sheikh Sami Abilmona of the IRFAN Foundation – a Lebanese NGO involved in educational, health, and social relief – announced that the Druze Board has declared Jisr-El-Qadi forest as a natural resource. Jisr-El-Qadi translates as the “Bridge of the Judge”, and has an important cultural heritage as a link between the Chouf region and the Aley region of Mount Lebanon. It is 32 km from Beirut, and its environs are inhabited by both Druze and Christians. According to General Director of the Druze Religious Council, Marzen Fayad, it is a place of medicinal plants, of wild thyme for mouthwash, of wild roses for drinks, of rarer flora, and of migrant and local birds. “We are hoping too for a decree on hunting: People often just shoot these birds, whether or not they are rare. This is a place that we want to conserve – and it is important for everyone to collaborate in order to achieve this…. We need tools and training. We need to guard against forest fires and we need guidance and infrastructure for eco-tourism, or perhaps eco-religious tourism,” he was quoted as saying. “We will prepare an action plan to stop the degradation by doing immediate actions and by promoting eco-tourism in the region to make people aware of the importance of protecting God’s creations on the Earth,” he added. After the commitment, comes the hard work. The dedication of the Sacred Gift will involve attentionraising, fund-raising and collaboration between government, NGOs and with other faiths in Lebanon. Particularly important, Abilmona acknowledged, was the collaboration with the Maronites, who pioneered this movement. “We will fund principles for education, unify our religious covenant, and we will encourage others to give more green spaces belonging to religious committees, and encourage students and tourists,” he said. “We are honored now to be one of the pioneers ourselves, and we are very confident that this will gain in momentum. This will be a place that the Druze will visit for many years – for pleasure and for contemplation.”

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Touring Lebanon’s religious heritage Photographs by rabih mwanes

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the Great Mosque of Baalbek

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Church of Saint John the Baptist in Byblos

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Church of Saint John the Baptist in Byblos

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the mosque in tripoli

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Local wonders

Bow before Byblos

Origin of the alphabet, today an acclaimed tourist destination

Words by Amer ElHaddad

lthough its beginnings are lost in time, the site of Byblos is believed by modern scholars to date back 7,000 years. Byblos, or Jbeil, is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, the cradle of the first Phoenician letters that later gave birth to the alphabet we know today. For several thousands of years, the city was called “Gubla” and later “Gebal,” while the term “Canaan” was used to designate the entire coastal area. It was the Greeks who, some time circa 1200 B.C., gave the name “Phoenicia” to the coastal area and called the city “Byblos,” the Greek word for papyrus because of the important papyrus sea trade that thrived there at the time. Byblos has extensive archaeological ruins and has been designated as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage site. The ruins range from Stone Age huts, a

Phoenician royal necropolis and a Persian fortress, to a Roman theater and an impressive Crusader castle. Today, Byblos, some 37 kilometers north of Beirut, is an affluent metropolis with office buildings and crowded streets. A thriving modern town with an ancient heart, it is a mix of modernity and tradition. Historic places For a real taste of Byblos, you should stroll through the streets and byways. This part of town is a collection of old walls and absorbing half-ruins. Take a walk through the medieval quarter of the city and explore the old souks, the medieval ramparts, and several beautiful old churches. You should start by visiting the Ottoman souk located in the old city. There you can find a center for craftsmen and a permanent exhibition of their work. The souk provides many shopping outlets, souvenir stores, restaurants, bars and

access to the fossils museum for all of you paleontology lovers. The archeological excavations area is surrounded by a wall with the entrance to the Crusader castle. Nearby is the site museum, which presents an overview of the history of Byblos through a collection of ceramics, Phoenician inscriptions, ancient anchors, statues and several other artifacts. With its three naves and three apses, the St. John Cathedral, built by the Genovese in the year 1115, is a mustsee. On your way there, you can also visit the wax museum, which displays wax statues and life scenes from the Phoenician era all the way to modern times. Hot spots Byblos has also emerged as a trendy destination for partiers seeking an alternative to the overcrowded clubs of Beirut. Pierre & Friends, a hut-like bar made of Earth-friendly

thatched bamboo and nestled beneath a sheer embankment a few feet above seashore, is one of the hippest places to be. The city is famous for its fish restaurants, which serve fresh red snapper and sea bass to local and international clienteles. Down by the port lies the famous Pépé Abed museum/restaurant visited by many

celebrities over the decades – the likes of Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak, and Brigitte Bardot. An alternation of sandy beaches and rocky shores makes up the Byblos seafront. Sunbathers from all over the country and tourists flock to the city during summer to enjoy a fun day under the sun. Byblos’ most famous beach resort is Eddé Sands,

a luxurious complex with a tropical appearance, rich in vegetation. For music and arts lovers, every summer Jbeil hosts the Byblos International Festival, which kicked off in 2003 and has since attracted international bands and performers such as Gotan Project, Bryan Ferry, Placebo, Francis Cabrel, Nouvelle Vague, CocoRosie, Gonzales, to name but a few.

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Power to the people

How the UNDP has been leading Lebanon on the sustainable energy track


nergy is one of the top priorities for the United Nations and Development Program (UNDP). It is no secret that the energy sector in Lebanon faces great challenges in terms of supply and demand. At present, the Lebanese government subsidizes huge deficits in the electricity sector, further straining an already high public debt. In order to contribute to the ongoing national efforts to deal with the energy nightmare, the UNDP has been implementing different initiatives such as “the sustainable energy program” that aims at supporting the state’s energy demands by decreasing its fiscal burden and gearing the national market towards increased energy efficiency and small-scale renewable energy applications. Beyond discussed with Marta Ruedas, resident representative, UNDP Lebanon, the organization’s endeavors to push forward alternative energy solutions in Lebanon.

Beyond: What are the UNDP plans to promote solar heating panels in Lebanon? Marta ruedas: The Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW) and UNDP Lebanon have recently launched a joint initiative on the use and promotion of solar water heaters. This initiative is in accordance with the main activities of the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC), and is expected to have an enormous impact in reducing energy consumption. B: Is there a timeframe for this project? MR: This UNDP-managed project aims to accelerate the market

development of solar water heating in Lebanon. The specific objectives are to facilitate the installation of 190,000 m2 of panels from 20092014, achieve an annual sale of 50,000 m2 by the year 2014, and most importantly, lay the foundation for a target of 1,050,000 m2 of installed solar water heaters by 2020. In terms of energy savings, it has been estimated that, by using solar power instead of electricity for water heating, over 1,000,000 MWh of new fossil fuel power will be saved. This corresponds to an estimated cumulative greenhouse gas reduction of over three million tons of CO2 by the end of 2020.

B: How much is UNDP spending on this project? MR: With a total budget of $1.1 million, the main partners of the initiative are the Ministry of Energy and Water, the Ministry of Finance, the Order of Engineers and Architects, the UNDP CEDRO project, the Lebanese Society for Solar Energy, and many others. By working together, UNDP is hoping the initiative will be able to leverage at least $50 to 100 million (about 50 to 100 percent of the total investment needed) over the period 2009-2014. B: Why is the UNDP backing such a project, and what does it aim to achieve? MR: UNDP Lebanon is proud to have set in stone the development of the LCEC. UNDP has been managing the LCEC project in partnership with MEW since 2002. Today, UNDP is proud that LCEC has been

recognized as the national agency in Lebanon dealing with energy efficiency and renewable energy issues. LCEC is currently the technical arm of MEW advising on policies, national strategies, awareness raising activities, and capacity building. In that respect, the new project “developing the solar water heaters market in Lebanon” is a continuation of the efforts of UNDP and MEW towards achieving tangible results in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency. We have set ourselves a challenging target, but we also believe that the strategy and action plan form a solid basis for success. The initiative will be developed on four major axes. Firstly, the policy and financing mechanisms for the solar water market in Lebanon will be improved. Secondly, there will be a greater focus on marketing and awarenessraising of the solar water heaters. Thirdly, technical and pilot projects will be implemented in addition to certification and quality control schemes. Finally, the management structures will be strengthened and best practice incorporated into future decision-making. The success of the initiative will also be measured in the further following ways. In line with international schemes, a national system for adequate product standards, labeling and quality-control will be adopted. The supply chain will have greater capacity to offer products and services and to verify customer satisfaction. Financial incentives will also be adopted, along with legislative reforms and the creation of a solar fund.

B: What other energy conversation programs does the UNPD have in the pipeline? MR: UNDP is establishing several further projects within the activities of the LCEC. These are the development of the energy audit market, the development of the building code, the action plan to phase out inefficient lighting in the residential sector, and most importantly the cooperation with the Central Bank of Lebanon (BDL) over a national initiative to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy projects all over Lebanon. B: What programs did it already carry out to that end? MR: UNDP Lebanon is again very proud of the CEDRO project funded by a grant from the Spanish Government through the Lebanese Recovery Fund. With a total budget of $9.73 million, the CEDRO project is geared towards the installation of more than 130 energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in the public sector. This will benefit public schools, governmental hospitals, and municipalities. In fact, possibly for the first time, CEDRO is setting an example for the private sector to follow. To date, CEDRO has completed the installation of more than 40 projects and is in the process of developing the remaining one. It is also worth noting that CEDRO will be offering valuable support in the development of strategies and policies in the energy efficiency and renewable energy sector. In that regard, through CEDRO, UNDP Lebanon has commissioned one of the best specialized companies in the world to develop the national wind atlas for Lebanon on behalf of MEW.

B: What, in your belief, should Lebanon do to reduce energy consumption, at the state ad popular levels? MR: The work jointly undertaken by UNDP and MEW has shown that there is a huge potential for savings in the energy sector. The initiatives we have introduced include, among others, the increased use of solar water heaters; the phasing out of inefficient lighting in the residential sector; the development of a national strategy for public lighting; the adoption of green building codes; and the implementation of energy audit solutions for existing buildings. We are very pleased that enough momentum is being created at all levels for these projects to succeed. This is very encouraging. For these reasons, UNDP Lebanon remains committed to helping create a healthy and productive environment. There is a lot of work to be done, but we do really believe that the future is promising.

By using solar power instead of electricity for water heating, over 1,000,000 MWh of new fossil fuel power will be saved

Spring Awakening 2010


Energy green Ener

alternative therapy

Energy from organic waste? Why not? Words by George Mitri, PhD

y T ergy

he global energy crunch is leading the world to look for renewable energy sources. Forest biomass is one of these sources. Forest biomass can be defined as organic matter of vegetable origin that can be converted to energy. Biomass is matter usually thought of as garbage. Some of it is just stuff lying around – dead trees, tree branches, yard clippings, leftover crops, wood chips, etc... How to use forest biomass Vegetation debris and wood products have many possible uses, depending on size, quality, species, and volume of the material. Organic debris can be recycled and reused, and in some instances fair market value can offset the costs of fuel removal. How biomass management works is very simple. Usually, waste wood, tree branches, and other scraps are gathered together in big trucks and are brought to a power plant. There, the biomass is dumped into huge hoppers. This is then fed into a heating system where it is burned. The heat is used to boil water in the boiler, and the energy in the steam is used to turn turbines and generators. At a smaller scale, biomass can be shredded and chipped on site and then compacted into pellets. Such pellets can be used in stoves for heat generation. Additionally, the product of wood chipping can be used for compost. The use of biomass can be environmentally friendly. It is also a renewable resource because plants that make biomass can be grown over and over. One way is to produce ethanol, a liquid alcohol fuel.

Ethanol can be used in special types of cars that use alcohol fuel instead of gasoline. The alcohol can also be combined with gasoline. This reduces our dependence on oil. In the case of Lebanon In Lebanon, forest coverage makes up 13 percent of Lebanon’s total surface area. Forest fires constitute the major threat to this vegetation, especially if no biomass management program is appropriately developed and sustained. Over time, it is anticipated that the volume of forest waste (biomass) will greatly increase. With proper biomass management, one can reduce the risk of forest fires and can economically benefit from this renewable resource. The use of biomass in Lebanon is restricted to traditional wood harvesting for coal and firewood. An inefficient method of forest product use, traditional wood harvesting also has destructive effects on forested areas. Most recently, biomass management has received more notice in Lebanon especially after the disastrous forest fires of 2007 and the write-up of a national strategy for forest fire management. Nongovernmental organizations and municipalities have undertaken many initiatives and projects in this regard by investing in wood chippers/shredders in order to clean selected sites across the country of biomass waste, thus reducing the risk of uncontrollable fires. The economic benefit from selling materials of well known heating values will ensure the sustainability of biomass management.

Spring Awakening 2010


Natural wealth

Caving in

Lebanon’s shrinking natural beauty under assault in Kfarabida photographs by nada karam

Spring Awakening 2010


he hands of man have the uncanny ability to destroy in weeks and months what took nature hundred thousands of years to create in a painstaking fashion. The Lebanese people in specific have the tendency to flaunt the natural riches of their country while simultaneously massacring the environment – a schizophrenic phenomenon that requires the attention of researchers in psychology. Atrocities against the natural treasures in this country are often committed in the name of development and urbanization, and the most recent victims are the seashore and caves of Kfarabida village situated near the city of Batroun. A real estate company named ‘Shores of Development’ is threatening the geographical and ecological landscape with a project of building villas, chalets, and an adjacent marina. And what this simply means is that the caves, the seashore, the marine biodiversity and the Phoenician remains are all in jeopardy of being demolished. Fortunately, the local villagers have retaliated by lodging a complaint against the project and are now spearheading a movement that combines different environmental groups to draft a law that protects the caves and the natural riches of Kfarabida. Such efforts would stall the project up until the area is eventually pronounced a National Reserve – hopefully in the near future. Please contribute to this campaign by signing the online petition:

Spring Awakening 2010


Spring Awakening 2010


cream of the crop

It all began with making wine, not war! The Lebanese claim to be the world's first winemakers. More than 5,000 years ago, the Phoenicians – the ancient inhabitants of present-day Lebanon – became the world’s first wine exporters, shipping their product to Egypt, Rome, Greece, and Carthage. Containers of Lebanese wine were found in the tombs of the Pharaohs. It's no coincidence, then, that the Roman Temple of Bacchus, god of wine, is in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.

Looks just vine! The case of wine in Lebanon Words by Hania Jurdak

ome industries enrich the local landscape by investing in it, thus ensuring its sustainability. One such industry is wine. For an overview of the industry’s status and prospects in Lebanon, Beyond caught up with Londonborn Lebanese wine writer and authority Michael Karam – who has authored Wines of Lebanon, which won the Gourmand Award for the Best New World Wine Book 2005, and Chateau Ksara: 150 years of winemaking 1957-2007. A bottle or two or three million “There are 33 wineries in Lebanon at last count, although I am sure there are more coming through all the time,” says Karam. “It’s a growing industry. The number has doubled in the last five years, although they are small and have only added about 10 percent to the national annual production. Most are boutique wineries, i.e. producing under 300,000 bottles with around 50 percent micro wineries, i.e. producing between 50-75,000 bottles.” Though wine production in Lebanon

dates back thousands of years, modern winemaking is only starting to receive attention – impressing foreign visitors with everything from bold Cabernet-Syrah blends to crisp white Sauvignon Blancs and Chardonnays. The trend is moving toward small producers of high quality wine, and not only in the Bekaa Valley – the heartland of the wine industry –but also in the north and south. In recent years, wine has also emerged as an increasingly profitable business in Lebanon. Karam explains: “Chateaux Ksara and Kefraya dominate the export and local markets because they have the volume while Musar has an almost mythical global reputation. Massaya does very well abroad, especially in the UK and the US. The approximate amount of grapes harvested by such companies annually totals around 7000 tons, and Lebanon exports about three million bottles per year.” Lebanese wineries are also indirectly boosting tourism to Lebanon by frequently showcasing at wine fairs and festivals worldwide and by encouraging visits

to their premises through their Websites. Pouring out the profit Regarding further industry growth, Karam, a regular contributor to the award-winning Wine Report and Oxford Companion to Wine, notes: “Growth can only work if there is demand, and this must come from a sector-driven marketing strategy to take Lebanese wine to the world and make it more popular at home. If we can do this, there will be plenty of room for growth.” In fact, Karam, through his book Wines of Lebanon, has helped put Lebanon back on the global wine-lovers’ map. In reviewing his book, The New Statesman had written: “…the madness and charm of Lebanon are both succinctly captured in images which show that, where madness and charm coexist, wine is never far away.”

To compete globally, Lebanese wineries need to keep pace with industry developments. In terms of terroir, the Lebanese landscape seems to be ideal for viniculture. The mix of high altitude plus the weather, type of soil, and quality

of grapes all conspire to set the perfect stage for wine. Though the amount of influence and scope that falls under the terroir concept is controversial in the global wine industry, naturally planting varieties supported by the local landscape seems to make environmental sense. Lebanese wineries continue to have the advantage of naturally existing terroir while demonstrating their ability to adapt to new tastes in wine. A natural question is: Is organic winemaking popular in Lebanon yet? Not quite. “One or two wineries are ‘organic’ but most are relatively ‘green’ compared to other sectors in Lebanon,” says Karam, who is compiling Michael Karam’s Guide to Wines of Lebanon and the Levant 2011 to be published by the yearend. Yet organic or not, winemaking enriches farmers’ – as well as consumers’ – connection with the land. “It promotes agriculture and raises Lebanon’s profile through a sexy product. People like wine and associate it with fun, good living, and sophistication. So that can’t

be a bad thing,” he remarks. Cheers!

Monks make it organically Lebanon’s Christian Maronite monks have launched the country’s first certified organic wine. Marketed under the label Adyar – Arabic for monasteries – the wine bottles are decorated with a cross and sell for $14- $18 a bottle. The Adyar project, first launched in 2003, is administered in eight winemaking monasteries in different areas across the country, and the grapes are grown outside the Bekaa Valley. The project encourages working the land and aims to find jobs for the local community.

Spring Awakening 2010



Georges Abou Jaoudeh

Conversation with the soil The olive oil odyssey Words by Hania Jurdak Photographs by nada karam, rabih mwanes

hen it comes to land use options, planting trees for produce does the most service for the land. The alternatives – like a new factory that contributes to the cement jungle – are not so promising. The fact is, when it comes to profit, it is best to ask ourselves this: Do we wish to profit because of, or in spite of, nature? A more profound question to ask is: Are we seeking means to reconnect with the land or more excuses to detach from it? Here’s where Lebanon’s olive oil industry comes in… “The act of making money from agriculture preserves the landscape. Turning soil into an income source ensures its sustainability,” says Gino Haddad, owner of Gino’s Garden, an enterprise spanning an 80,000sqm land whose main activity is mango cultivar. Gino’s Garden began producing premium quality olive oil in 2008, from olive trees located in Rihane Village near Amchit, Mount

Lebanon. “The olive, symbol of the Mediterranean, is native to Lebanon. In Douma (north Lebanon), there are 4000-year-old olive trees.” For Haddad, it all began with a search for roots and love for the land. “There’s pleasure in planting the land: The more you give it, the more it rewards you.” But is the profit sufficient to sustain producers? Sabina Mahfoud, author of Green Gold: The Story of Lebanese Olive Oil told Beyond that the local industry, counting an estimated 110,000 olive farmers, “should increase production of extra virgin olive oil. From 2008-2009, 1,125 tons were produced.” For Lebanese olive oil cooperatives, the potential economic benefits of exporting extra virgin olive oil to niche markets are significant,” she points out. “It fetches four or five times as much as regular olive oil.” Lebanon currently exports some 344 tons of olive oil, Mahfoud goes on to say. “There have been many attempts at export, but

it is fair to say that for the most part, Lebanese olive oil is underappreciated abroad and has yet to attract global consumers.” It grows on you Yet just as foreigners are becoming more discerning regarding Lebanese wines, explains Mahfoud, lovers of Lebanese olive oil are increasingly demanding only the best. “The local industry’s reputation is growing as producers try new approaches to produce quality oil in distinctive packaging. This is in reference to innovative producers such as Youssef Fares, owner of Olive Trade, who has focused on distinctive packaging and quality extra virgin olive oil to compete in a global market, dominated by large producing countries such as Spain and Italy.” Fares’ ‘Zeyd’ extra virgin olive oil has won awards at trade fairs and is sold abroad in gourmet outlets.

Fares dwelled on the natural resources used in olive oil making. “Eighty-seven percent of the 500 existing olive oil mills in Lebanon are traditional, and the amount of water the industry uses depends on the extraction technique: The amount of added water used for one ton of lives is 1.5 tons in a traditional mill, 1 ton in a three-phase mill, 0 tons in a two-phase mill, and 0.2 tons in a three-phase VDP mill,” he states. Wastewater and husk – the olive’s solid particle – make up for the olive oil’s waste: “The wastewater is very rich in polyphenols, nitrogen, phosphor, potassium, and oil. These ingredients can be extracted and reused in the pharmaceutical or agro-industries. The husk is transformed into olive wood for chimneys, into compost, or sold to Syria for additional olive oil extraction.” Olive oil output, he says, should not be seen as waste but as a byproduct with huge economical, social, and environmental benefits.

Oil on canvas Georges Abou Jaoude, the man behind the local Ardouna label, agrees. “Making olive oil is an example of sustainable agriculture, allowing nature to produce a bounty in its natural form while employing local villagers to pick the olives…Providing jobs helps villagers remain near their homes, minimizing traffic and pollution while expanding greenery. The olive oil industry serves the landscape by maintaining natural greenery and preventing development, both of which benefit our environment.” With 100-year-old groves in Mechmech, Mount Lebanon, Ardouna was founded in 2007 to acquire and develop olive groves in the mountains of Batroun region to protect and nurture the orchards. Olive oil making, as Abou Jaoude describes it, is a cycle in sync with nature. “After they are hand-picked and washed, the olives are placed in a

centrifuge to separate the oil from the rest of the fruit, including the skin, pit, and pulp. The result is extra virgin olive oil, bottled under the Ardouna label, and pomace, also known as olive cake… we take some of the pomace and spread it throughout the olive orchards.” The composting process allows the nutrients to seep back into the land, providing the trees with invaluable natural fertilizer, Abou Jaoude notes. “The remaining pomace is dried into bricks and used by local villagers as a source of fuel during cold winter months, minimizing deforestation. The whole cycle produces no waste, while providing world-class olive oil and reusable byproducts.” What about quality? “Look at the label,” Mahfoud says. “The general rules set by the International Olive Oil Council for determining extra virgin olive oil are that the oil should be extracted Spring Awakening 2010


Georges Abou Jao

udeh's land

s land

Georges Abou Jaoudeh'


Inside Gino's Gar

Inside Gino's Garden

only from quality olives through the process of extraction without using any chemicals or excessive heat.” Fares adds, “It should be fruity, have a bitter taste, and some pungency. It shouldn’t have muddy, fusty, musty, metallic, or rancid tastes. It must then meet the tasting assessments used to determine the quality of olive oil.”

Quality is also linked to stringent procedures, as premium oil is very hard to obtain. Notes Haddad: “To make finest quality oil, the time elapsed between picking olives and pressing them should not exceed six hours. To better their oil quality, farmers and small producers need help acquiring technological and marketing knowhow. In terms of

quality, the potential is there.” Haddad’s optimism is shared by Abou Jaoude. “The government currently provides incentives to conserve land and produce olive oil. With better organization through the creation of cooperatives and a normalization of industry standards, I envision a very bright future for the Lebanese olive oil industry.”

Spring Awakening 2010


land of Georges Abou Jaoudeh

Spring Awakening 2010


‫‪photographs by rabih mwanes‬‬

‫«زيت لبنان» بالتعاون مع المجلس الوطني‬ ‫للبحوث العلمية‪ ،‬أن هناك ‪ 450‬كيلومتراً‬ ‫مربع ًا (‪ 45‬ألف هكتار) من المساحات‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫تتركز‬ ‫المزروعة بأشجار الزيتون في لبنان‬ ‫غالبيتها في قضاء الكورة في الشمال‬ ‫تجمعات‬ ‫وقضاء حاصبيا في الجنوب مع‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫أصغر حجم ًا منتشرة في باقي المناطق‪،‬‬ ‫وبمعدل ‪ 300‬شجرة في الهكتار الواحد‬

‫هنالك اليوم ما يوازي ‪ 13.5‬مليون شجرة‪.‬‬ ‫أشجار الزيتون في لبنان هي محلية وال تم ّيز‬ ‫فعلي ًا عن بعضها البعض وذلك بسبب غياب‬ ‫تحدد‬ ‫األسس العلمية التي من شأنها أن‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫الفروقات بينها‪ ،‬فغالب ًا ما نجد أنواع عديدة‬ ‫ً‬ ‫شهرة‬ ‫مزروعة في كرم واحد‪ .‬نذكر منها األكثر‬ ‫حسب التسميات المحلية‪ :‬الصوري والبلدي‬ ‫والعيروني والشامي والسمقمقي‪.‬‬

‫ّ‬ ‫تحتل زراعة الزيتون مركزاً أساسي ًا بين الزراعات‬ ‫المحل ّية في لبنان وهناك آالف العائالت التي‬ ‫تعتمد عليها كمصدر دخل رئيسي أو ثانوي‪.‬‬ ‫يعطي الزيتون اللبناني أفخر أنواع الزيوت إذ‬ ‫يسمح كل من إختالف السمات السطحية‬ ‫وتعدد‬ ‫وتعدد المناخات المحل ّية‬ ‫لألرض‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫أنواع األشجار في البالد‪ ،‬بإنتاج زيوت بنكهات‬ ‫ومذاقات خاصة‪.‬‬


‫ع الخبزة والزيتونة‬ ‫صور‪ :‬ندى كرم‪ ،‬ربيع مونس‬

‫إنطلقت زراعة الزيتون من سواحل الحوض‬ ‫الشرقي للبحر األبيض المتوسط منذ‬ ‫العصور الفينيقية وإنتشرت في معظم‬ ‫بقاع األرض‪ .‬هنالك اليوم أكثر من ‪ 20‬جنس ًا‬ ‫مقسمة إلى حوالي‬ ‫من الزيتون في العالم‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫‪ 500‬نوع يُزرع نصفها في حوض المتوسط‬ ‫حيث المناخ مالئم لنموها‪.‬‬


‫ ‪Spring Awakening 2010‬‬

‫في لبنان‪ ،‬تزرع أشجار الزيتون في معظم‬ ‫المناطق وتختلف محاصيلها من سنة إلى‬ ‫أخرى ال سيما على مستوى الكروم غير‬ ‫المرويّة التي تعتمد فقط على مياه األمطار‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫تشكل ‪ 98‬بالمئة من مجموع‬ ‫والتي‬ ‫األراضي المزروعة‪ .‬تزهر األشجار عادة في‬ ‫شهر أيار‪ ،‬فتظهر عناقيد من الزهور البيضاء‬

‫تتحول تدريجي ًا‬ ‫الصغيرة في أباط األوراق‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫لتعطي ثماراً ناضجة خالل شهر أيلول في‬ ‫المناطق الساحلية وتشرين الثاني في‬ ‫المناطق الجبلية‪.‬‬ ‫أظهرت مؤخراً النتائج األولية لخريطة‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ينفذها مشروع‬ ‫الزيتون في لبنان‪ ،‬التي‬

photographs by nada karam

Spring Awakening 2010


Spring Awakening 2010


Flower p ower

Spring is nature’s way of saying,

“Let’s party!” Photographs by nada karam

Spring usually comes early in Lebanon, and in an explosion of color. It is tough to tell when winter goes into hibernation in order for spring to take over. Our mountains would usually be covered with snow when coastal areas would be green and in full bloom. Asphodel, cyclamen, roses, and wild geraniums are some of pinky floras that first peep through in springtime. Then it is time for the purple family that includes wild gladiolus, orchis, salvia, and lupine. Afterwards, yellow steals the show with golden broom, euphorbia, snapdragon, tulips, daisies, and chrysanthemums. And just before the long summer prepares to invade the country, blue steps to the scene, with buddleia, wild flax, grape hyacinth, and campanula. Enjoy the springy breeze, the pretty flowers and their sweet scent, and the season while it lasts.

Spring Awakening 2010


Spring Awakening 2010


Spring Awakening 2010


seen in the city

It’s a plastic society n estimated 146,000 tons of plastic waste are produced in Lebanon a year. Plastic requires dozens or hundreds of years to decompose. It is not biodegradable. It pollutes both our landfills and waterways. Activists try to convince consumers to try to use fewer plastic bags and opt for more sustainable alternatives instead. There have been some private efforts and initiatives to that extent. But for the most part such calls fall on deaf ears. To be fair, plastic recycling has been on the rise in Lebanon. The main plastic recycling plants in the country are Mazar Plast in the Bekaa, Rocky Plast in Byblos, and the Lebanese Recycling Works, in addition to a number of facilities that recycle plastic among other wastes. But setting up multi-million dollar, state-ofthe-art crushing and reprocessing units does not really solve the pitiable plastic problem, as you can take the horse to the water but you can’t make it drink. But who says we don’t care at all about plastic? Plastic surgery rules! Beyond photographer Rabih Mwanes shares the gory details.

Spring Awakening 2010


Non- biodegradable reality

Spring Awakening 2010


‫إلى أين؟‬

‫ها السيارة‬ ‫مش عم‬ ‫تمشي‬ ‫ربيع مونس يستكشف عن المحطة‬ ‫األخيرة للعربيّة‪ ،‬رحلة كسر العظم‪.‬‬


‫ ‪Spring Awakening 2010‬‬

‫أين تذهب‬ ‫السيارة لتموت؟‬


‫ ‪Spring Awakening 2010‬‬

Eco hazards

The Mass murderers Quarries eating up Lebanon’s rocky flesh

Words by Fadi Abou Ali Photographs by steven haddad

ike so many other issues in the country, dealing with the problem of sand and stone quarries is divided among many ministries including the Environment Ministry, Interior Ministry, and Energy Ministry. Despite the fact that the law has granted the Ministry Environment the authority to define “terms of licenses for establishing industries, factories, industrial areas, livestock farms, quarries, mines, asphalt plants, and cemeteries...” and despite many decrees and laws issued to organize the work of quarries, the alteration of quarrying laws has increased in Lebanon. This is due to selectivity in giving licenses by certain public authorities, either under the title of “land reclamation” or “building factories” among others. The Environment Ministry is not respected as a reference, and all terms of execution after issuing licenses are not properly monitored. License terms Basically, the following conditions are to be met before granting a license: • Determining terrestrial progression rather than maximum height; • Accurately and thoroughly defining “mining mechanisms”; • Determining the means of preventing the spread of dust released by quarries; • Identifying the investment spots far from residential areas and forest areas; and

• Developing a work plan for site rehabilitation after removing sand and rocks. However, field implementation is completely another story. Had the above regulations been enforced, all quarries in Lebanon would have been considered illegal and not abiding by the listed terms and therefore would have to be shut down. Surveillance and inspection The Health Ministry usually probes all violations affecting health, and the Section of Quarries and Mines (Energy Ministry) monitors legalism of technical terms. The Interior Ministry is the executive and monitory body at the same time. However, what was the result of this monitoring? • The height of quarry holes surpassed 100 meters in many cases while the law permits only three meters; • Distance from residential areas: Urban planning laws stipulate that the distance from any residential area composed of at least five houses should be 1km. The quarries of Antelias and Nahr Elmawt are almost approaching houses, and residents have been living above a hole more than 100 meters high. • Distance from springs and rivers: There law states that a quarry must be 1km far from a water spring. In Antelias, the quarries stand directly above the edge of “Fawwar Antelias” spring.

Spring Awakening 2010


• Explosives: Since monitoring explosions and the mass of explosives is nearly absent, quarries are using vertical explosions rather than the top-bottom method. They also tend to dig up caves and fill them up with big amounts of detonators. Some of these operations have at one point caused a shock close to a small earthquake recording 3.4 degrees on the Richter scale as recorded by the Bhannis detector. Furthermore, quarries have been using explosives made of contaminated nitrate fertilizers rather than dynamite. Where local NGOs and the public stand A recent poll conducted on a sample 1000 Lebanese citizens revealed that there is no solution for the

environmental issue in Lebanon in general, and the issue of quarries in particular, unless a national environmental policy is developed far from private interests. This policy should be concerned with people’s rights for proper livelihood in a healthy environment and similar rights for generations to come. The only way to guarantee these rights is by conserving natural beauty and resources in Lebanon. This can be achieved by: 1- Developing a directional scheme for quarries as soon as possible; 2- Accompanying this scheme with up-to-date laws, which respect the technical development of investment methods; and 3- Empowering monitoring systems and law inforcement.

Damage caused by quarries • Nature deformation; • Pollution resulting from dust and detonators; • Damage of buildings and water basins;

Closure of quarry costs an arm and a leg, literally Most of you have probably heard the news. While Beyond photographer Rabih Mwanes was recently trying to take photographs of the quarry of Ain Dara in the Chouf, he came under violent attack by the quarry owners. Onsite workers first blocked his way when they realized the reason he was there. A verbal conflict broke out between him and the other side. It was only moments before it developed into a physical assault. Mwanes was imprisoned in a container and threatened with death, and later was dragged to a police station in the area. The workers accused him of trying to steal batteries and other equipment onsite. Mwanes contacted Beyond Publisher Pascale Choueiri Saad who immediately contacted Environment Minister Mohammad Rahhal and Interior Minister Ziyad Baroud, both of whom condemned the attack and ordered the permanent shut down of the quarry. It is worth noting that Rahhal has also arranged for the closure of a string of other illegal quarries across the country since then.

• Effects on touristic and archeological sites, such as “the cave of the ancient man” in Antelias and the surrounding natural caves, historic castle of Msailha in North Lebanon, and Dara Chasm (Majdal Tarsheesh); and • Effect on groundwater like “Fawwar Antelias” spring where quarries have caused high water turbidity. The traveling water was also affected in the valley of “Nahr Elkalb” river that directly connects to “Zabbogha” and “Abo Mizan” quarries.

Spring Awakening 2010


A call to action

Ministry on a mission


nvironment Minister Mohammad Rahal, who Beyond considers the Che Guevara of the environment, has drawn up with his team a three-year program for tackling the sensitive environment issues plaguing the nation. We publish in this space the full action plan of the ministry, which will be carried out in coordination and partnership with stakeholders from the public and private sectors in all categories, including civil bodies, trade unions, educational, academic, media, and international organizations. Worth noting that the ministry is keeping the program open to debate, commentary, and constructive criticism.

The policy for the years 2010 -2012 draws on Law 690/2005, which defines the functions of the ministry and its organization, and Decree 2275/2009, which regulates and defines the units of the ministry, their functions, staffing, and conditions of recruitment in some of its functions. It is based on the following principles, ensuring the rights of citizens to a clean environment through: (1) Sustainable development; (2) protection through prevention; (3) the polluter-pays; (4) stimulating investments in environmentally feasible projects; and (5) introducing environmental concepts in all projects policies and development strategies. The ministry’s action plan sets out to fully comply with the treaties, protocols, and international environmental conventions concluded by the Lebanese government through the implementation of the following ten themes:

Theme one Strengthening environmental inspection and enforcement of laws and regulations, specifically in partnership with the Justice Ministry, Interior Ministry, and Finance Ministry.

Theme two Adaptation to the impacts of climate change on natural resources, specifically in partnership with the Energy and Water Ministry, Agriculture Ministry, Public Works and Transport Ministry, and Industry Ministry.

* Issuing draft decrees and their implementation decisions for the basic Environmental Protection Law (Law No. 444, date 29/ 7/ 2002) and Decree 2275/ 2009. * Identifying the best means to enhance the environmental inspection and enforcement of environmental laws and regulations on the basis of the following legal texts: “Issuing a system of environmental legislation and its application in Lebanon – 2004”, (changing) “the reality of environmental legislation in Lebanon – 2008” (expected very soon), “reviewing the licensing mechanisms for all development projects, and/or activating environmental monitoring, and/ or issuing the draft decree mentioned in Law 690/ 2005 and Decree 2275 /2009, and/or preparing follow-up studies on environmental reforms…

* Activating the role of the Environment Ministry as the national authority to follow up to the Kyoto Protocol under the Framework of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change, specifically in terms of promoting projects under the clean development mechanism in all sectors. * Developing projects on adaptation to the impacts of climate change on natural resources, in particular water resources, in coordination with relevant stakeholders. * Transforming the Environment Ministry into a Carbon Neutral Foundation. * Calling for the monitoring of the quantity and quality of water resources (including snow). * Developing the concept of pollution control ponds by adopting a Pilot Project in Qaraoun Lake.

Theme three The fight against air pollution, specifically in partnership with the Public Works and Transport Ministry, Energy and Water Ministry, Industry Ministry, and Finance Ministry. * Working on the legalization of air quality management. * Reviewing the specifications and standards for air pollutants (Minister decision # 52 /1- 1996 and # 8 / 1 2001) and adjusting them where necessary. * Improving the process of continuous measurement of air quality and access to this information, especially in areas vulnerable to pollution. * Improving the public transport sector and encouraging its usage. For example, replacing the current fleet of taxis with hybrid cars to improve energy efficiency. * Activating environmental audit, and making it mandatory for industrial establishments existing within the first and second categories in terms of reduction of all pollutants, particularly air resulting from the manufacturing sector. * Continuously supporting the Energy and Water Ministry in implementing its initiatives to provide energy use and promote renewable energy, specifically the commitment made by Lebanon at the Copenhagen Summit to develop a national roadmap to secure about 12 percent of Lebanon's requirements for energy from renewable energy sources by the year 2020, in addition to working on identifying the National Air Atlas as a first step in encouraging the private sector to invest in renewable energies. * Following up on the disposal of materials depleting the ozone layer and the proper application of the content of Decree 2604 / 2009 on controlling substances that deplete the ozone layer. Theme four The sustainable management of land and soil, specifically in partnership with the Public Works and Transport Ministry, Interior Ministry, Defense Ministry, Energy and Water Ministry, and Agriculture Ministry. * Legalizing the sustainable management of quarries. * Presiding over the Quarries National Council and implementing all the details of the master plan in all its details, as well as adjusting it where necessary. * Rehabilitating quarry sites that ceased to operate. * Introducing environmental concepts to all chart guidelines to reduce the deterioration of mountain and coastal areas, including maritime public property projects. * Limiting the degradation of coastal areas caused by oil pollution through the development of a preventive plan, and introducing of environmental concepts to the legal texts and projects related to oil drilling.

* Promoting the sustainable management of forests and forest fire prevention, control, and rehabilitation. * Reforesting of half a million trees a year, starting in 2011.

Theme Five Maintaining the legacy of Lebanon and promoting its ecological system, specifically in partnership with the Agriculture Ministry, Tourism Ministry, Culture Ministry, Information Ministry, Telecommunications Ministry, Foreign Ministry, Interior Ministry, and Finance Ministry. * Issuing of the draft law on natural reserves and draft laws and related decrees. * Classifying protected areas and natural sites through studies and obtaining necessary provisions. * Issuing draft laws and regulations for the access to biological and genetic resources of Lebanon and the sharing of benefits arising from their use. * Backing up eco-tourism by promoting protected areas within the policy of the Tourism Ministry. * Presiding over the National Council for Hunting and issuing decrees and decisions applied to Law 580 /2004. * Conducting follow-up studies and projects to diagnose the biological diversity in Lebanon and to highlight the value of socioeconomic development, including marine biodiversity and ways to rehabilitate aquatic ecosystems.

Theme six Efficient management of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes, specifically in partnership with the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR), Interior Ministry, Finance Ministry, Public Works and Transport Ministry, and Agriculture Ministry. * Working on the legalization of the integrated management of solid wastes, including industrial waste. * Managing domestic solid waste to ensure environmental, social, and economic development. * Developing an integrated plan to address the random deployed landfills in Lebanon, and allocating resources for its application. * Establishing a treatment plant for hazardous wastes (specifically industrial). * Issuing the draft legal texts related to hazardous wastes and modifying the necessary provisions in force. * Creating conditions to deal with particular types of waste, such as, oil waste, used batteries, used electronic equipment, organic pollutants, and expired goods. * Activating the integrated management of chemicals.

Spring Awakening 2010


Ministry on a mission * Allocating necessary resources to handle the remaining waste and pollution from the oil spill of the July 2006 war. * Developing a practical plan that forces all enterprises regardless of their geographical location or line of work and sector to treat their solid and liquid wastes. This plan will be linked to the draft decrees under the provisions of Decree 2275 / 2009 on the environmental license in the discharge of liquid waste and licensing of environmental release of emissions. * Introducing environmental concepts for the establishment and operation of wastewater treatment plants. * Preparing and issuing legal texts to reuse the mud resulting from wastewater treatment plants. * Reviewing the specifications and standards for water pollutants (decision of the of Environment Minister 52 / 1- 1996 and 8 / 1 - 2001) and adjusting it where necessary. Theme seven Supporting environment-friendly products, specifically in partnership with the Agriculture Ministry, Industry Ministry, and Economy and Trade Ministry. * Garnering support for marketing and growing organic agricultural products and promoting integrated management of pesticides. * Backing up eco-friendly industries and products, by seeking to provide material and moral incentives. For instance, identifying a framework to stimulate the use of clean technology and renewable energy, and/or granting certificates for industrial enterprises that improve the performance of environmental liability. Theme eight Developing business opportunities in the environmental field, specifically in partnership with the Education Ministry, Civil Service Council, the National Council for Scientific Research, Youth and Sports Ministry, and the academic sector. * Promoting environmental higher education so as to provide scientific competencies for the Lebanese labor markets. * Identifying ways to develop the “Municipal Code� in order to enhance environmental competence of the municipal council members and to develop work in local environmental management.

* Offering financial support to non-profit organizations to carry out activities pursuant to environmental Decree 14865 /2005, including the promotion of research in different areas of the environment. Theme nine Striving to improve the working environment in order to preserve professional safety, specifically in partnership with the Labor Ministry, Public Health Ministry, and Social Affairs Ministry. * Developing guidelines for improving the working environment in order to preserve professional safety. * Encouraging research in the field of environmental safety. Theme ten Activating the role of the Environment Ministry, specifically in partnership with the Ministry of State for Administrative Reform and the Civil Service Board. * Restructuring of the ministry in line with Decree 2275 / 2009. * Gradually strengthening human resources in the ministry in line with Decree 2275 /2009. * Introducing the concepts of contemporary public administration in the daily work of the ministry, such as quality management system and an updated Webpage, which helps serve citizens. * Empowering the ministry with studies, strategies, plans, boards, and necessary funds, such as an updated study of the reality of the environment in Lebanon, or Lebanon's situation analysis and environmental study, updated for the cost of environmental degradation in Lebanon, and indicators of environment and development. Another example is a sustainable development strategy and/or national action plan for the environment linked to the European Neighborhood Policy, the World Bank's strategy to support Lebanon, and the Arab Environment Facility. A third example is a study on the need to implement the role of the National Council for the Environment as stipulated in the Environmental Protection Act (444 /2002), Lastly, a study on the framework of institutionalizing the Environment Fund, which is run by CDR and the ministry, in accordance with Law 444 / 2002.

Spring Awakening 2010


too cute to shoot

the deerest things in the world photographs by Michel zoghzoghi

Sika Deer at the Aana animal reserve, Bekaa, Lebanon

Spring Awakening 2010


Flora and Fauna

The wild card

What we’re doing to our animals is changing the rules of the game Words by Mounir Abou Said, PhD Animal Encounter Photographs by Fouad Nassif & Michel El Esta

ebanon is characterized by a rich biodiversity in terms of animals and plants. This is due to its location at the Mediterranean and its topography. The country hosts a wide variety of wild plants and animals that play an important and vital role in the ecological balance. Numerous kinds of wild animals that enriched Lebanese landscapes still existed up to a century ago. Threatened by several factors, most of these creatures such as deer, bears, and caracals have gone extinct, while others are seriously endangered, despite their essential role and importance in the natural balance, such as wolves, wild cats, badgers, striped hyenas, and many others. Moreover, according to the 2009 recommendations and observations of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), even the most common animals will be under threat due to the small area size of Lebanon and the degradation of the natural habitats.

Numerous factors pose great threats to Lebanon’s wildlife, including:

Destruction and degradation of the natural habitat, which occur through urbanization, quarries, and through agricultural and industrial expansion. The loss and fragmentation of habitats can in turn fragment smaller populations leading to their extinction. This can be felt more and more as the real estate industry in Lebanon grows and develops. Deforestation and forest fires are other

serious threats that are occurring in many areas in Lebanon, taking into consideration the green cover, the main resort for wildlife, has dramatically decreased.

Hunting is a major threat affecting wildlife. Lack of awareness and responsibility and failure to apply proper hunting laws are all negatively affecting wildlife. Most hunters are shooters rather than real hunters. They indiscriminately shoot everything that flies or moves. This act is badly affecting the wildlife. The new hunting law (No.580), which was issued in 2004 to regulate hunting practices and to integrate sustainable hunting in Lebanon, will gradually save the wildlife if applied. Poisoning and excessive use of pesticides play a major role in the negative impact on wildlife. An example is people or farmers’ poisoning of wild boars, which will affect other wild animals like hyenas and badgers that feed on these poisoned baits. Excessive use of pesticides will pollute the whole aquatic system and its inhabitants, not to mention polluting the groundwater as well as potable water. Illegal trade of wildlife. Even though not very popular, illegal trade of wildlife has lately been on the rise in Lebanon. Animal abuse. Many wild animals are

Spring Awakening 2010


being trapped and tortured, and many birds are killed, others are caught and stuffed or kept in cages for human selfsatisfaction. All of this is done in the name of man’s “heroism or bravery”. With all these malpractices and threats, Lebanon remains surprisingly rich in its wildlife. But the question is: For how long? As part of their survival strategy, wild animals will adapt to different conditions and try to adjust to different human disturbances. Striped hyenas, for instance, which are a highly threatened species due to the aforementioned factors besides

the myths that surround them, adapted to these threats by decreasing their home range – i.e. the place that they live has decreased from 60km2 in rural areas to 6 km2 in urban areas. This is a proof that if wildlife is given a chance, it will survive in human presence. There are around 4633 species of plants, 92 of which can only be found in Lebanon. There are thousands of invertebrates, seven amphibian species like frogs, 43 species of reptiles like snakes (three of which are vipers) and lizards, 347 species of birds –100 species nest in Lebanon

while the rest spend the winter or summer if hunters allow them to. There are also some 50 species of mammals most of which are threatened. Each and every species has its role in the environment and all are present for the wellbeing of human societies. Lebanon is considered to be rich in its biodiversity considering its size. However, because of its size this biodiversity is most threatened. If we do not know how to live with this diversity for our own wellbeing, nature, as they say, will have its revenge.

Spring Awakening 2010


Spring Awakening 2010


Spring Awakening 2010


A walk on the wild side

The growling countdown These fuzzy beasts will be among the first four-legged creatures to bear the brunt of global warming. Adventure photographer Michel Zoghzoghi takes off to Hudson Bay, Northern Canada for a close encounter with the white beauties



Two large male Polar Bears playfighting next to Hudson Bay, Northern Canada

he polar bear is likely to be one of the first animals – if not the first animal – to become endangered because of global warming, research has revealed. Scientists believe that if the Arctic continues to warm at this rate, two-thirds of the globe’s polar bears could disappear between 2030 and 2050. It is difficult to give an accurate tally of polar bears the world over. They are said to range somewhere between 22,000 and 40,000, half of which inhabit Canada, namely the north. For the most part, these furry animals live in the Arctic and

around the North Pole. Nineteen subpopulations of polar bears are believed to exist, and eight are said to be declining. The jeopardy surrounding the polar bears should really lead the world to sound the alarm bell, as these animals top the food chain in the Arctic. They maintain natural equilibrium by averting the overpopulation of seals – their favorite food. Their cubs – which usually come in pairs – are born in November or December, and remain in snow dens until March or April.

They usually live to be 15 and sometimes up to 18 years old. Some grow up to be 30 or more. The harsh climatic conditions of the Arctic, where temperatures could plummet to -40°Celcius down to -90°Celcius, make one wonder how the polar bear can deal with such cold. But it is a matter of grin and bear for these animals, which come equipped with two layers of fur that provide excellent insulation and keep them warm at all times. So do polar bears have animosities with anyone? Yes, naturally with human beings – the root of climate change!

Photographer Michel Zoghzoghi tries to shake off the cold.

Spring Awakening 2010


photographs by Michel zoghzoghi

Male Polar Bear looking at his reflection in water

Spring Awakening 2010


photographs by Michel zoghzoghi

Polar Bear cub

Spring Awakening 2010


photographs by Michel zoghzoghi

A walk on the wild side

A mother and cub polar bears

Spring Awakening 2010


scratc h i n g t h e s u r f ace

Spring Awakening 2010


‫مستقبل غامض‬ ‫للتونة ذات‬ ‫الزعانف الزرقاء‬ ‫بقلم د‪ .‬ناجي قديح مستشار سياسات في إندي آكت‬

‫منذ األربعينات‪ ،‬يتعرض هذا النوع ألكثر حمالت الصيد الجائر‪،‬‬ ‫واالستغالل المفرط‪ ،‬ولممارسات الصيد غير المستدام‪ .‬وتشير‬ ‫الدراسات العلمية إلى أن هذا النوع يواجه انهيارا وشيكا في‬ ‫المحيط األطلسي والبحر األبيض المتوسط‪ ،‬بعد سنوات‬ ‫طويلة من سوء اإلدارة وفشل تنظيم الصيد الدولي‪ ،‬حيث‬ ‫انخفضت بشكل حاد مخزونات التونة ذات الزعانف الزرقاء‬ ‫في كل المياه الدولية والمحيطات والبحار‪ .‬وتدل الدراسات‬ ‫الحديثة على أن السنوات العشرة األخيرة كانت األكثر خطورة‬ ‫على استمرار هذا النوع‪ ،‬حيث أنه لم يبق من مجموعاته إالّ أقل‬ ‫من ‪ 6‬بالمئة فقط بالمقارنة مع تلك التي كانت قبل االستغالل‬ ‫التجاري الجائر لهذا النوع‪ ،‬وترتفع أصوات العلماء وحماة البيئة‬ ‫لحمايته من الخطر الداهم بانقراضه النهائي‪.‬‬

‫حظر تجاري‬ ‫يقول خبراء منظمة األغذية والزراعة لألمم المتحدة أن التونة‬ ‫ذات الزعانف الزرقاء هي واحدة من أكثر األنواع البحرية تهديدا‬ ‫باالنقراض‪ ،‬وبالتالي هم يوصون بأخذ أكثر اإلجراءات صرامة‬ ‫لحمايتها من الصيد الجائر‪ .‬وتشير وثائق ودراسات المرفق‬ ‫العالمي للحياة البرية إلى أنه‪ ،‬إن لم تتخذ إجراءات جذرية‪،‬‬ ‫سوف نشهد انهيارا كامال في غضون سنتين فقط‪ .‬وأن الحل‬ ‫الوحيد إلنقاذ األنواع المهددة باإلنقراض يكمن في فرض‬ ‫الحظر على التبادل التجاري الدولي‪ ،‬من خالل إدارجها على‬ ‫لوائح الملحق األول لمعاهدة “سايتس” الدولية‪ ،‬إلعطائها‬ ‫فرصة االنتعاش والتكاثر من جديد‪ .‬إن فرض حظر مؤقت على‬ ‫التجارة الدولية بالتونة ذات الزعانف الزرقاء المهددة باالنقراض‬ ‫من شأنه أن يسمح لهذا النوع‪ ،‬المعرض لالستغالل المفرط‪،‬‬ ‫أن ينقذه من التالشي الكامل‪.‬‬ ‫تعتبر اتفاقية األمم المتحدة بشأن التجارة الدولية في األنواع‬

‫المهددة باإلنقراض (سايتس ) �‪The Convention on Interna‬‬ ‫‪tional Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and‬‬ ‫)‪ Flora (Cites‬األداة القانونية الدولية األكثر أهمية وفعالية‬ ‫في تدبير هذه القضية والقضايا المماثلة في العالم‪ .‬وقد‬ ‫أسهمت قرارات هذه االتفاقية الدولية في إنقاذ العديد من‬ ‫األنواع من األنقراض‪ ،‬مثل الفيلة اإلفريقية والنمور األسيوية‬ ‫والغوريال وغيرها‪.‬‬ ‫‪Captive bluefin tuna inside a transport‬‬ ‫‪cage Greenpeace Mediterranean Tuna‬‬ ‫‪Campaign, Esperanza, 2006.‬‬ ‫‪© Greenpeace / Gavin Newman‬‬

‫إنعقد المؤتمر الخامس عشر لهذه االتفاقية في الدوحة – قطر‪،‬‬ ‫من ‪ 13‬حتى ‪ 25‬آذار ‪ .2010‬وألول مرة إنعقد هذا المؤتمر في دولة‬ ‫عربية‪ ،‬مما جعل منه فرصة ذهبية لتحقيق إنجازات ذات أهمية‬

‫حتت املاء‬

Spring Awakening 2010


‫كبيرة‪ ،‬في اتخاذ قرارات كبيرة‪ ،‬ذات أهمية حاسمة‬ ‫في حفظ األنواع المهددة‪ ،‬وال سيما منها التونة ذات‬ ‫الزعانف الزرقاء‪ ،‬حيث كانت مناقشة هذه المسألة‬ ‫مطروحة بقوة على جدول األعمال‪.‬‬

‫كان مؤتمر الدوحة فرصة نادرة إلقرار ضم‬ ‫التونة المتوسطية إلى المرفق األول (األصناف‬ ‫المهددة باإلنقراض)‪ ،‬وفرصة للدول العربية‪،‬‬ ‫الستكمال انتسابها إلى هذه االتفاقية‬ ‫الهامة (لبنان‪ ،‬البحرين‪ ،‬العراق وفلسطين)‪،‬‬ ‫وللتصويت بقوة لصالح اقتراح موناكو لحظر‬ ‫االتجار الدولي بالتونة ذات الزعانف الزرقاء‪،‬‬ ‫وخصوصا أن عددا كبيرا من البلدان العربية‬ ‫معني مباشرة بالحفاظ على الحياة البحرية‬ ‫والتنوع الحيوي في البحر األبيض المتوسط‬ ‫وللحفاظ على إستمرارية هذه السمكة الرائعة‬ ‫والمميزة‪ .‬بإنقراض البلوفين تونا سنفقد‬ ‫نوعا مهما من األسماك النادرة بخصائصها‬ ‫ولدينا الفرصة تاريخية في المساهمة بإنقاذها‬ ‫لألجيال القادمة‪.‬‬

‫تقدمت إمارة موناكو باقتراح رسمي إلدراج التونة‬ ‫ذات الزعانف الزرقاء على الئحة الملحق األول التفاقية‬ ‫“سايتس”‪ ،‬إي إضافتها إلى قائمة األنواع المهددة‬ ‫باالنقراض‪ ،‬ومنع تدوال هذا النوع بكل صور وجوده‬ ‫ومنتجاته في التجارة الدولية‪ .‬ويعتبر وضع األنواع‬ ‫على قائمة الملحق األول‪ ،‬أعلى مستوى من الحماية‬ ‫الدولية‪ ،‬حيث يتم حظر جميع الواردات والصادرات‬ ‫من الحيوانات وأجزائها والمنتوجات التي تحتويها‪.‬‬ ‫إن التونة ذات الزعانف الزرقاء تستوفي كل الشروط‪،‬‬ ‫التي تتطلبها االتفاقية من أجل فرض حظر دولي‬ ‫على التجارة الدولية بها‪ .‬وتؤيد كل األدلة المتوفرة‬ ‫إدراجها على قائمة الملحق األول التي تحدد األصناف‬ ‫المهددة باإلنقراض‪ .‬وهذا من شأنه أن يضمن الحد‬

‫ كما علت أصوات المنظمات الغير الحكومية‬ ‫مطالبة الدولة اللبنانية ومن خاللها الدول‬

‫بفعالية من الصيد غير المستدام في شرق األطلسي‬ ‫والبحر المتوسط‪ .‬أعلنت فرنسا والواليات المتحدة‬ ‫تأييدهما القتراح موناكو‪ ،‬ويتم السعي ألن يحتضن‬ ‫االتحاد األوروبي هذا االقتراح‪ .‬وقد إقترح الفرنسيون‬ ‫تأخير الحظر لمدة ‪ 18‬شهرا بحجة منح الصيادين مهلة‬ ‫للتكيف‪.‬‬

‫العربية الغير أعضاء في اإلتفاقية إلنضمام‬ ‫“لسايتيس” وكما هناك بوادر تحركات في‬ ‫العالم العربي للضغط على حكوماتهم‬ ‫إلتخاذ موقف قوي يساهم في إنقاذ البلوفين‬ ‫تونا ويضعها على الئحة األصناف المهددة‬ ‫باإلنقراض‪.‬‬

‫‪pictured Turkish tuna fleet Purse Seine‬‬ ‫‪fishing and transferring catch to‬‬ ‫‪transport cage‬‬ ‫‪© Greenpeace / Gavin Newman‬‬

‫ماذا عن التونة ذات الزعــانف الزرقاء؟‬ ‫* تستطيع أن تقطع المحيط األطلسي‬ ‫في ستين يوما‬ ‫* السمكة الوحيدة ذات الدماء الدافئة‪،‬‬ ‫وتصل حرارة جسمها لعشرون درجة‬ ‫مئوية‬ ‫* يصل وزنها ‪ 679‬كلغ أي ما يعادل‬ ‫وزن حصان بالغ‬ ‫* يمكن أن يصل طولها ألربعة أمتار‬ ‫* أسرع من الرصاصة‬

‫* تنطلق من صفر لمئة متر في ‪ 7‬ثوان‬

‫* يتم إصطيادها بشكل كبير وتدميري‬ ‫لتغذية سوق السوشي وخاصة‬ ‫المستهلكين اليابانيين‬ ‫* يصل سعرها لمئة وثمانين ألف‬ ‫يورو(‪ )$243,000‬للسمكة الواحدة‬ ‫* تتواجد في خليج المكسكيك‬ ‫ومناطق تواجدها األكبر هي البحر‬ ‫األبيض المتوسط‬


‫أي أسرع من سيارة بورش (‪)911‬‬


‫ ‪Spring Awakening 2010‬‬

Greenpeace causes bluefin tuna traders a headache

Environmental activist group Greenpeace has done more than dispatch Lebanese oceans campaigner Garabed Kazanjian to the CITES meeting in Doha in a bid to preserve the bluefin tuna. The organization has for years been calling on the countries of the Mediterranean to protect bluefin tuna with marine reserves in their breeding and feeding areas. It is in fact campaigning for the immediate closure of the Mediterranean bluefin fishery, until stocks recover, and for 40 percent of the Mediterranean to be designated as marine reserves. This is essential to give the oceans a chance to recover from decades of large-scale industrial exploitation. In the Pacific, urgent measures including halving the amount of tuna taken, a ban on transferring fish at sea, and the creation of marine reserves in key areas of international waters must be to save the Pacific tuna fisheries and the tuna populations themselves from collapse, Greenpeace notes. Meanwhile, Greenpeace has been asking supermarket retailers across the world from Norway to New Zealand and USA to Spain hard questions like: “Where does our tuna come from? Is it sustainable? Is it caught from an area where developing countries are being ripped off? Is it stolen?” The group says it is grilling them to ensure “that they know where their tuna originates, from boat to shelf, and commit to only selling tuna which is caught sustainably, by smallscale developing country fleets or under agreements, which are fair to the people of the Pacific.”

CITES fails to protect bluefin tuna The CITES committee has voted on Monaco’s proposal to prohibit international trade of Atlantic bluefin tuna. Unfortunately, the proposal failed by a vote of 20 for, 68 against, and 30 abstentions. The CITES “committee vote not to protect Atlantic bluefin tuna is an unfortunate step backwards. This deeply disappointing and irresponsible vote signals a bleak future for this iconic fish,” said Susan Lieberman, director of international policy for the Pew Environment Group.

Reality bites Tuna is one of the world’s favorite foods and sushi is yummy. But it is essential to understand that when we order tuna on a sushi restaurant’s menu, we are actually contributing to the destruction of the species. That is why many chefs and famous names have decided to lay off bluefin tuna for a while. We can only hope the world will dig in too.

A dead bluefin tuna underwater Greenpeace is calling on the countries of the Mediterranean to protect bluefin tuna with marine reserves in their breeding and feeding areas. This would be part of a global network of marine reserves across 40 percent of the world’s oceans that are needed to give the oceans a chance to recover from decades of large-scale industrial exploitation. Š Greenpeace / Marco Care

Spring Awakening 2010


Illegal fishing must stop by hook or by crook Words by marcos hado, Photographs by MICHEL ZOGHZOGHi

human being is God’s valuable creature. In order for him/her to preserve his/her existence, he/she continuously thinks of new methods – decent or destructive – to improve his/her way of living, oblivious to the influence of those methods on the environment. Hence, man’s daily tasks involve destroying mechanically and with no misgivings what took nature billions of years to create, arguing that “the end justifies the means”. The problem is that we are all aware of the consequences of global warming, deforestation, diseases and many other ecological problems that haunt our system, and yet continue to devastate our environment ignoring the impact of our actions in the near future. We, individuals and ecologists, need to start exerting more pressures and making more efforts to rescue what we have and save nature from being undermined. The sea is considered as a relief for most people – besides being a place to relax or engage in water activities, it has 112


been people’s major source of food and sustenance for over thousands of years. Catching fish has always been one of the hardest jobs ever, and being part of it drives people to be more respectful of the blue waters. In fact, an authentic fisherman is usually represented as an old man who discovered seclusion and turned it into knowledge – an unpretentious person who survived another day of challenge and confrontation with the merciless giant of all giants, the ocean… Unfortunately, times have changed, and geocentricism and ignorance have replaced wisdom and reverence of the sea. Today’s fishing industry has substituted the image of the old man fishing by the book with that of unscrupulous parasite fishing illegally, desiccating the marine environment, and leaving a wasteland behind Illegal fishing is rampant in Lebanon and can be observed in net fishing, hook line, dynamite, as well as tank fishing, which harms the fauna the most.

Great White Shark breaching the surface next to Seal Island, South Africa

Spring Awakening 2010


Dynamite and poisoning Blasts and poisoning are both nonselective, environmentally damaging fishing methods. Explosions and poisons kill all stages of life of the target species and most other organisms nearby. The reeves, which form the basis for the ecological habitats of the species, are also destroyed and a complete recovery may take several decades.

Photographs by MICHEL ZOGHZOGHi

Ghost fishing and nets Ghost fishing occurs when fishing gear, which are made from non-biodegradable synthetic fibers, are lost or abandoned at sea. This gear might continue to catch fish, turtles, and other species indefinitely,

thus disrupting the harmony of the reef. To avoid such a disaster, regulations are applied on nets forcing users (fishermen) to abide by them. In details, the net should not be less than two millimeters wide and the immersion time should not exceed 24 hours. Tank and compressor divers Many fishermen use air compressors to facilitate underwater harvesting. This is the worst cause of destruction along the Lebanese coast, as tank and compressor divers scout the reef, dip for a period of four to six hours, and end up catching very small size fish. Night hunters mostly catch the big size fish. During daytime they veil in deep waters, 100 to 200 meters, and

by night they inspect the shallows for their banquet. Therefore, diving by night will prevent and disrupt this process and lead the fish to search for a new sea zone. Consequently, these kinds of fish will start to vanish as reproduction decreases. In fact, the living area in this reef zone has been reduced by 60 percent because of such fishing methods. The illegal fishing procedures directly compete with the use of more desirable gear such as grilled nets and hook lines and tank spearfishing. Ultimately, tank and compressor fishing should be completely banned due to their effects on the ecosystem. Prohibiting compressor and tank spearfishing would have a beneficial effect on the ecology of fisheries.

A rapid decline in the number and diversity of adult sizes fishes on the reef slope has been observed. This includes a 50 percent drop in species richness and an 80 percent plummet in abundance in three years. A ban on compressor and tank spearfishing would serve to restrain this decline and help safeguard the breeding populations, which will aid in supplying the coastal reefs along the Lebanese coast with annual recruits. It is worth pointing out on a final note that breath-holding spearfishing is one of the most ecological ways to catch fish as it follows specific and disciplined rules, which totally forbid the use of tanks or other harmful methods and prohibit fishing at night. It is also an international sport.

Great White Shark breaching the surface next to Seal Island, South Africa

Spring Awakening 2010


water water everywhere

Oh Mr. Spearman, bring me a dream

As a marine biologist, Marcos Hado promotes spearfishing to instill a sense of environmental responsibility among divers, and encourage ethical, safe, and sportsmanlike fishing practices. A Greek-Turk who speaks fluent Lebanese Arabic, the spearfishing and free diving champion shows us his underworld in lebanon.

Spring Awakening 2010


lebanon under water

Spring Awakening 2010


Eco-religious the crushingtourism story

Recycling in Lebanon...

is it down in the dumps? Words by Hala Naffah Illustrations by Fadi adleh

ecycling, as a waste treatment method in Lebanon, is still not up to par, as it is challenged by lack of awareness and proper regulations, and fears of market monopoly. Perhaps what is needed is more action... perhaps we need to recycle our attitudes first!

Cedar Environmental also builds municipal recycling facilities (MRF), which are given to municipalities to sort garbage, compost organic materials, and then process the recyclables. "So far, we've constructed 11 facilities," Abichaker said. "The Lebanese municipalities we provide MRFs to do not even amount to one percent." And the future looks bleak. "We do not expect much progress in the future. We are looking to find work in neighboring countries where regulations apply," he added.

Lebanon generates an average of 1.4 million tons of municipal solid wastes per year, according to a report by the Mediterranean Environmental Technical Assistance Program (METAP). Paper and cardboard constitute 20 percent of municipal solid waste in Greater Beirut and 17 percent nationwide. The municipal generation growth in Greater Beirut reaches 6.5 percent per year, according to METAP. The percentage of recycling in Lebanon is surprisingly low compared to other adopted waste treatment methods.

But it looks better in other areas, as Cedar Environmental’s initiative to help farmers switch from traditional to organic agriculture had good vibrations. Not only does this approach restore the biological components of the soil, but it also saves wastes from being dumped in landfills and the sea, Abichaker pointed out.

Based on the METAP study, municipal solid waste collection coverage reaches 95 percent in rural areas and 100 percent in urban areas, eight percent of which are composted, another eight percent recycled, 46 percent landfilled, and 38 percent open dumped.

Elie Debs, manager of plastics recycling company Lebanese Recycling Works, said 70 to 80 percent of collected wastes are recycled in Lebanon with the exception of iron and aluminum. Debs explained how recycling works.

Rubbish reports However, Ziad Abichaker, CEO of waste management company Cedar Environmental, stressed a lack data on the national level, adding that he does not count on environmental state reports, which he described as "bogus." For Abichaker, the state of recycling in Lebanon is “deplorable”.

Crashed and burned In stage one, his company's suppliers – basically supermarkets and individuals – sort their wastes according to category. Paper, cardboard, and plastics as well as nylon sheets and bags are each picked up separately. PETs or polyethylene terephthalate, or water and soft drinks plastic bottles, are sorted apart from other plastics.

"What we have been doing is only the tip of the iceberg," Abichaker said. Though he noted that many small and new industrial ventures have recently been established, recycling rates in Lebanon are unlikely to improve.

Once the sorted out wastes are delivered to Lebanese Recycling Works, there is even more categorizing – this time by color and type. High density polyethylene (HDPE), blow molding, and polypropylene

materials are each sorted aside. "Then, we grind the materials in crushers, wash them via washer liners, and granulate them," he added.

Recycle) method. The initiative trained some 100 firms in less than two years, according to Daher.

Abichaker said that his company recycles 95 percent of the collected wastes, using the Dynamic Composting Technology, which transforms organic wastes into compost in 72 hours in addition to seven to ten days of maturation. This technique stands out from the traditional composting methods, which require 90 days

Abichaker agreed with Daher that the government's contribution to environmental causes is minimal – in fact he described it as “totally absent”. "There are incompetent people in charge and we lack environmental regulations," he said. Daher, on the other hand, said that CRAFT was initially launched

for the completion of the composting process. Pierre Daher, architect of the Campaign of Recycling Among the Friends of Trees (CRAFT), a non-profit environmental project, commented on the state of paper recycling in Lebanon. "Although paper recycling plants have been present in Lebanon for over 40 years, general awareness on this subject is still very low," Daher said. "Currently in Lebanon we have several recycling plants in different regions, but they mostly recycle paper into cardboard, brown/grey paper, or tissue paper. We don’t have the technology to produce high quality white recycled paper yet," he added. Trashing state efforts Daher stressed that the Ministry of Environment has limited resources to tackle environmental problems, and described the ministry as "secondary" in the political power game. However, he noted that due to the involvement of several stakeholders in the promotion and implementation of paper recycling programs, awareness to that extent is growing. The project, planned and executed by a team of dedicated Lebanese young volunteers, aims to encourage the biggest paper consuming entities in Lebanon to adopt the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse,

from the Grand Serail (government headquarters) under the patronage of the Environment Ministry. Nevertheless, he noted that it is much easier to approach private sector companies and institutions than public offices and organizations. He voiced hopes that he would be able to meet with Environment Minister Mohammad Rahal to discuss potential ways for future collaboration. While limited government support give Abichaker and Daher headaches, Debs has migraines because of “recycling monopoly”. He said Sukleen, the largest waste management company in Lebanon which operates within Greater Beirut and Mount Lebanon, bought a recycling line in 2005. "Why should Sukleen, which already gets paid for the garbage it collects from municipalities, be allowed to recycle?" Debs asked, adding, "Logically, the company can monopolize the market." He said the state gives Sukleen more benefits than any other company, “and some municipalities prohibit us from collecting garbage from their areas," he said. Abichaker concluded by calling for the exertion of more concrete efforts to recycle in Lebanon. He also took a jab at NGOs, which he said launch campaigns without taking any real action.

Spring Awakening 2010


‫يدعون‬ ‫الغذاء الصحي والسليم‪ ،‬موضع تجاهل ممن ّ‬ ‫تمثيل المواطن والحرص على مصلحته‪ .‬هل طرح أي‬ ‫حزب سياسي لبناني خطة مفصلة للنقل العام في‬ ‫ظل ازمة سير خانقة حولت مداخل بيروت الى عنق‬ ‫زجاجة يصعب الخروج منه؟‬ ‫ومن المعلوم أن لبنان يستفيد من أكثر من ‪ 300‬يوم‬ ‫مشمس في السنة‪ ،‬وباستثناء المحطات التي تقوم‬ ‫بتركيبها قوات “اليونيفيل” إلنارة الطرقات في البلدات‬ ‫الجنوبية‪ ،‬تخلو المشاريع التنموية المتعلقة بالطاقة‬ ‫من أي اعتماد للطاقة الشمسية المتجددة‪ .‬كما تخلو‬ ‫موازنات األبحاث العلمية في لبنان‪ ،‬على ضآلتها‪ ،‬من‬ ‫أي بحث في مجال الطاقة المتجددة‪ ،‬وخصوص ًا إصدار‬ ‫أطلس للرياح والشمس‪ .‬واستطراداً‪ ،‬هل سمعتم أن‬ ‫حزب سياسي لبنان بحث هذه القضايا الهامة في‬ ‫اجتماعاته الدورية؟ وهل يعرف جمهور هذه األحزاب اي‬ ‫كلفة اقتصادية تكبدونها من جراء عدم وجود طاقة‬ ‫نظيفة ومتجددة في لبنان؟‬

‫البيئية باعتبارها قضية مصيرية وقضية حياة او موت‬ ‫للبيئة‪ .‬وفي ظل االنقسام السياسي الذي يعاني منه‬ ‫لبنان يبدو أن الرأي العام اللبناني مقتنع باألولويات‬ ‫غير البيئية التي يطرحها كل فريق‪ .‬وال معنى ألن يكون‬ ‫للبيئة فقرة في برنامج حزب سياسي‪ ،‬إذا لم يقتنع هذا‬ ‫الحزب وجمهوره بأن البيئة هي نفسها أولوية‪.‬‬ ‫عندها قد ينتقل النقاش من جدوى االستراتيجية‬ ‫الدفاعية‪ ،‬الى نقاش جدوى االستراتيجية البيئية‪ ،‬والتي‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫تتركز على مبدأ المحافظة على االستدامة‬ ‫يفترض ان‬ ‫الذي يعني ضرورة العمل على المحافظة على‬ ‫استدامة الموارد الطبيعية في لبنان‪ ،‬وعدم استنزافها‬ ‫اثتاء استغاللها‪ ،‬وعلى االستدامة في السياسات‬ ‫والتشريع وطرق الحماية والرعاية واالقتصاد‪.‬‬ ‫قدم حزب البيئة اللبناني مالحظاته حول فهم النظام‬ ‫السياسي اللبناني واالحزاب والقادة السياسيين‬ ‫لحقيقة العالقة بين البيئة والسياسة‪ .‬ورأى انهم‬ ‫لن يستطيعوا فهم هذه العالقة بشكلها الحقيقي‬

‫غالب ًا ما تتلو األحزاب فعل الندامة عندما تفاجئ‬ ‫باالرقام التي توردها التقارير الدولية حول كلفة‬ ‫التدهور البيئي في لبنان‪ ،‬وتدعو الى التصحيح وتطرح‬ ‫الشعارات الرنانة‪ ،‬لكن العقبة االساسية تكمن في‬ ‫سوء فهم القضية البيئية‪ ،‬وفي اتجاه النقاشات‬ ‫والنزاعات على مكاسب لصالح مواقع زائلة ال توقف‬ ‫حاجة الناس إلى الهواء والمياه والغذاء والتمتع‬ ‫بموارد الطبيعة‪ .‬ولألسف ال تزال غالبية القوى‬ ‫السياسية تجد في تدمير البيئة وهدر الموارد أرخص‬ ‫طريق إلى الربح السريع‪ ،‬وما زال البعض يعتبر أنه يحوز‬ ‫على رضى الناخبين أو رضى بعض أصحاب المصالح‬ ‫إذا عمل على حماية مقلع صخور ومخالفة بناء هنا‬ ‫والتعدي على شاطئ أو غابة هناك‪ .‬ازاء ذلك يمكن‬ ‫االستنتاج أن إدخال البيئة الى البرامج الحزبية لن تجدي‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ظل عدم وجود حزبيين يحملون القضية‬ ‫نفع ًا في‬

‫إال عندما يفهموا عالقة اإلنسان مع الطبيعة‪ ،‬وهي‬ ‫عالقة تشبه الى حد التطابق عالقة الجنين بأمه‪ .‬فكما‬ ‫نختار إنقاذ حياة األم إذا خيرنا بين إنقاذ حياتها او إنقاذ‬ ‫الجنين‪ ،‬كونها تستطيع أن تنجب غيره إذا استمرت‬ ‫في الحياة‪ ،‬وكونها هي المولدة للحياة‪ ،‬على االحزاب‬ ‫السياسية أن نختار «صحة الطبيعة» إذا خيرت بينها‬ ‫وبين صحة مجموعة من الناس تربطهم بهذا الحزب‬ ‫او ذاك عالقة مصالح انتخابية او نفعية‪ .‬وعبثا نحاول‬ ‫ان نبحث بعد ذلك عن األولويات بين تلوث الهواء‬ ‫او التربة او المياه او انقراض األنواع او صحة اإلنسان‪،‬‬ ‫فليس في الطبيعة أول وثان او مهم وأقل أهمية‪،‬‬ ‫بل نظام متكامل وشبكة حياة‪ ،‬الكل مرتبط بالكل‬ ‫بشكل شبه دائري‪ ،‬ولكل كائن دوره وأهميته في هذا‬ ‫النظام‪ .‬وتصبح األولوية لمعالجة كل ما يخل بالنظام‬ ‫وما يهدد الحياة واستدامتها‪.‬‬

‫في السياسة‬

‫البيئة واالحزاب اللبنانية‪:‬‬ ‫إقرأ تفرح ج ّرب تحزن‬ ‫بقلم بسام القنطار‬

‫هل تضع األحزاب اللبنانية القضية البيئية على‬ ‫جدول أعمالها السياسي؟ الجواب هو نعم من‬ ‫حيث الشكل‪ ،‬وكال من حيث التجربة العملية‪.‬‬ ‫في الحمالت االنتخابية األخيرة وضعت األحزاب‬ ‫السياسية المتنافسة‪ ،‬البيئة‪ ،‬في صلب برامجها‬ ‫االنتخابية‪ ،‬من دون أن يقنع «اهتمامها» البيئيين‬ ‫الحقيقيين الذين شككوا بنوايا المرشحين واحزابهم‪،‬‬ ‫ووصفوا خطوتهم بـ«الشكلية»‪ ،‬وطالبوهم باثبات‬ ‫ذلك من خالل برامج العمل على ارض الواقع كتبني‬ ‫خيار الطاقة المتجددة في توليد الكهرباء‪ ،‬التي‬ ‫تصنف انها علة العلل في لبنان‪.‬‬ ‫تزخر «البرامج الحزبية» ببنود تتعلق بالبيئة‪ .‬ففي‬ ‫غمرة شعارات الحرية والسيادة واالستقالل‪ ،‬وجد‬ ‫ينص على‬ ‫فريق ‪ 14‬آذار مكان ًا للبيئة في برنامجه‪ ،‬إذ‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫حد لتدهور البيئة وإطار الحياة في لبنان»‪.‬‬ ‫«وضع‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫أما تيار المستقبل فلم يغفل عن تضمين برنامجه‬ ‫نص على «تأمين حق المواطن‬ ‫االنتخابي بند اً بيئي ًا ‪ّ ،‬‬ ‫في بيئة صحية ليرجع لبنان أخضر أمانة لألجيال‬ ‫المقبلة»‪ .‬وفي غمرة انشغال حزب اهلل في التأكيد‬ ‫على خيار المقاومة في برنامجه‪ ،‬أفرد الحزب جزءاً‬ ‫هام ًا منه للبيئة‪ ،‬فدعا إلى «إدارة رشيدة للثروة المائية‬ ‫واعتماد وسائل جديدة إلنتاج الطاقة تكون مالئمة‬ ‫للبيئة‪ ،‬دون أن ينسى «دق ناقوس الخطر وإعالن حالة‬


‫ ‪Spring Awakening 2010‬‬

‫ّ‬ ‫تشذ جمهورية العماد ميشال‬ ‫طوارئ وطنية»‪ .‬وال‬ ‫عون الثالثة عن القاعدة‪ ،‬فلقد أفرد التيار الوطني‬ ‫الحر البابين الثالث والثالث عشر للحديث عن «البيئة‬ ‫والموارد الطبيعية وتنظيم األراضي والتوعية البيئية‬ ‫في المدارس والجامعات»‪.‬‬ ‫وعلى الرغم من أن البعض يعتبر أن إدخال الشأن‬ ‫البيئي في البرامج الحزبية واالنتخابية «إنجاز نوعي»‪،‬‬ ‫أن جمعيات بيئية لبنانية تنظر بالكثير من التشاؤم‬ ‫إال َّ‬ ‫الى جدية تطبيق هذه البرامج‪ .‬جمعية الخط األخضر‪،‬‬ ‫كانت واحدة من الذين عبروا عن هذا «التشاؤم» من‬ ‫خالل حملة الحقوق األساسية للمواطن من الموارد‬ ‫الطبيعية والبيئية تحت شعار «حقك! اطلبه من‬ ‫مرشحك‪ ..‬اطلبه من نوابك»‪ .‬ولقد اتت هذه الحملة‬ ‫التي ترافقت مع االنتخابات النيابية في العام ‪،2009‬‬ ‫في إطار برنامج العمل المطلبي للجمعية‪ ،‬وفي ظل‬ ‫استمرار التدهور في إدارة الموارد البيئية‪ ،‬وفي حصول‬ ‫المواطن على حقوقه األساسية من الموارد الطبيعية‪،‬‬ ‫مثل الطاقة والمياه والمساحات الخضراء‪.‬ومع وصول‬ ‫الحمالت االنتخابية إلى ذروتها وانتقال المتنافسين‬ ‫الى استخدام كل الوسائل والشعارات وأساليب‬ ‫التحريض والتجييش الجتذاب الناخبين‪ ،‬وجد البيئيون‬ ‫اللبنانييون أن حقوق المواطنين المعيشية األساسية‬ ‫مثل الماء والكهرباء والهواء غير الملوث والوصول‬ ‫الى المساحات الخضراء والشواطئ العامة‪ ،‬وتوافر‬

climate change

The Copenhagen conundrum Talks, outcomes, and prospects Words by The League of Independent Activists - IndyACT

-any people still vehemently remember the speech that US President Barack Obama delivered on Dec. 18, the last day of the Copenhagen summit when he announced that a climate deal was reached. Others, meanwhile, recall news of the Copenhagen Climate talks ending in failure. Until now, the international community continues to struggle to entirely decipher how good or bad the outcome of the talks turned out. It is commonly known that goals and expectations were not entirely met at Copenhagen. Meanwhile, it remains essential to move forward. Success or flop? The Copenhagen summit was planned as the climate meeting where governments would agree on a global plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions like CO2 originating mainly from the burning of coal and oil. However, and despite all the hype and two-year negotiations and preparations, countries were unable to reach a final deal that would stabilize these emissions to levels that would prevent catastrophic impacts of climate change that threaten the existence of human civilization. Instead, after weeks of negotiations, the Copenhagen meeting wrapped up by extending the process another year until the next climate summit. The Copenhagen Accord was the only political outcome out of the gathering – a deal which was actually drafted very fast by the leaders of the United States, China, Brazil, India, and South Africa on the last day of the negotiations. The accord was then presented to all countries for adoption during the closing session. While most countries expressed their willingness to adopt the Accord despite reservations, others rejected it, knowing that it is inadequate to save the planet. Adopting a decision by the Conference of Parties requires consensus, so in the end and given the deadlock, countries agreed to “heed” the accord rather than adopt it, which essentially means that countries only acknowledge

that the accord exists. In other words, the provisions of the accord have no legal standing within the United Nations climate convention’s processes, and parties are not obliged to implement it. The good, the ugly, and the aftermath We have established that the Copenhagen achievements were insufficient to ensure the survival of poor communities and most species on Earth. So far the Earth’s temperature has increased around 0.8 degrees Celsius from average. This small rise has already caused a lot of damage, from sea level rise, extreme storms, droughts, to the millions of deaths. What has been agreed in Copenhagen will lead to more than four degrees warming. This will cause the extinction of more than half of the world’s species. Scientists say that we need to stay below 1.5 degrees Celsius if we want to avoid these catastrophic impacts. To achieve that we need much stronger action than what world governments committed to at Copenhagen.

On the other hand, Copenhagen did succeed in bringing about important decisions that countries have not been able to take for years, so it was not all bad. Think of climate change as a speeding car reaching a cliff. The car is going at a very high speed towards the cliff. Copenhagen did not stop the car, but it did slow down its speed. What is needed is to continue hitting the brakes, and push countries to do more actions. We still have a chance. One of the main achievements in Copenhagen is that countries agreed to be more transparent and share information more. This was a main task from the United States to China. Other actions include implementing a program to assist developing countries to stop forest loss, as well as provide funding to help poor communities to cope with climate change impacts and transform their economies into clean ones. What's next? The fact that the Copenhagen Accord was formed outside the framework of the official United Nations poses a risk that supporters of the accord would

move away from the UN process, where all countries exist. This is unacceptable, and small countries, like Lebanon, should ensure that the UN remains the official place where the world decides what should be done. Although the UN is flawed, and is not a perfect democracy, it is still the best place for all countries, big or small, to protect their future. Unfortunately, climate change cannot be solved by individual and national action alone. We need coordinated global effort by all countries, and this can only happen by reaching a new global treaty. So the Mexico Summit from Nov. 29 to Dec. 10 is now our new Copenhagen opportunity. Mexico is another chance for countries to get it right. To achieve this, we need similar and bigger public mobilization to what we have noticed last year ahead of and during Copenhagen. Politicians must keep feeling the pressure and the need to finish what they have started. We have no choice. We need to radically change the way we produce energy in the coming five years, and we can do it. Spring Awakening 2010


‫يجب تفعيل دور وزارة البيئة واعتبارها‬ ‫في قمة الوزارات الحكومية واإلقرار لها‬ ‫بميزانية مالئمة لدورها الحقيقي فال‬ ‫تبقى أصغر الوزارات وال تبقى وزارة‬ ‫استشارية غير قادرة على التحرك‪ ،‬بل‬ ‫تتحول إلى وزارة فاعلة وكاملة الحضور‬ ‫اإلداري واإلصالحي‪ ،‬ليصبح لبنان ريادي ًا‬ ‫في مجال البيئة ومثا ًال يحتذى به‪،‬‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ولعل بصيص األمل يكمن في البيان‬ ‫الوزاري للحكومة الحالية الذي أتى‬ ‫منصفا للبيئة وقد عبر عن رغبة قوية‬ ‫من قبل الحكومة العتيدة بتبني‬ ‫قضايا التنمية المستدامة في البلد اال‬ ‫أنه يُخشى أن يبقى ذلك حبراً على ورق‬ ‫وان يستنفد لبنان مقوماته الطبيعية‬ ‫من شواطئ وثروة حرجية وجماالت‬ ‫طبيعية بمعدالت تفوق التصور سنويا‬ ‫في غياب التطبيق الفعلي للسياسات‬ ‫البعيدة المدى فيخسر لبنان رويدا رويدا‬ ‫جاذبيته السياحية بفقدانه المستدام‬ ‫لثرواته الحرجية‪ ،‬كما جودة شواطئه‬ ‫ونوعية هوائه ومياهه التي تشكل‬ ‫عناصر تمايزه في محيطه‪.‬‬

‫ويمارسوها للحفاظ على أنفسهم إذ أصبح‬ ‫بديهي ًا ان نحافظ على البيئة ونحسنها‬ ‫لكي نحفظ انفسنا من الهالك؛ فعلى كل‬ ‫مواطن أن يدرك أن أي جريمة بيئية هي‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫بحقه شخص ّي ًا إذ إن األثر األول‬ ‫جريمة مرتكبة‬ ‫واألخير للتدهور البيئي هو على اإلنسان الذي‬ ‫يعيش في هذه البيئة‪ ،‬ومن هذا المنطلق‬ ‫على كل مواطن يشهد على جريم ٍة بيئ ّية‬ ‫أو يدرك حصولها أن يتوجّ ه فوراً‪ ،‬ومن دون‬ ‫أي تلكؤ أو مماطلة أو إستهتار‪ ،‬إلى النائب‬ ‫العام البيئي ويخطره بهذا التعدي لتتمكن‬ ‫النابة العامة من أداء دورها القانوني الالزم‪،‬‬ ‫وبالتالي الحد من الجرائم البيئية إن كان عبر‬ ‫العقاب و‪/‬أو التفادي‪.‬‬ ‫وعي بيئي فردي‬ ‫ٌ‬

‫إن البيئة هي ملك لألجيال القادمة ولكل‬ ‫إنسان الحق بها على أن تكون سليمة‬ ‫مستقرة‪ ،‬وإنقاذ هذه البيئة إنما يحتاج‬ ‫إلى عاملين أساس ّيين هما‪ :‬سياسات‬ ‫متقدمة إلى جانب وعي‬ ‫بيئية حكومية‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫بيئي فردي؛ فإنه من واجب كل من الدولة‬ ‫والمواطن على ح ٍد سواء‪ ،‬السهر على‬ ‫حماية البيئة وااللتزام بالمبادئ العامة‬ ‫المرتبطة بحمايتها‪ :‬فإلى جانب حتم ّية‬ ‫توعية الفرد بيئ ّي ًا ّ‬ ‫وحثه على التحرك لحمايتها‬ ‫وإدراكه لمدى خطورة التهديدات لها‪ ،‬يجب‬ ‫التأكيد على وجوب اعادة االعتبار الى دور‬ ‫الدولة في وضع االستراتيجيات وتنظيم عمل‬ ‫المجتمع والقوى الفاعلة فيه وادارة الموارد‬ ‫الطبيعية وحفظ حقوق االنسان‪ .‬وأيض ًا‬

‫ختام ًا‪ ،‬ال بد من اإلقرار بأن اي تغيير يطرأ‬ ‫على مكونات الجهاز البيئي ينعكس‬ ‫أثره بالتأكيد على اإلنسان‪ ،‬لذا فإنه من‬ ‫الضروري احقاق التعاون بين الوعي الفردي‬ ‫والجهات العامة والجمعيات واألحزاب‬ ‫السياسية في سبيل التكيف مع تأثيرات‬ ‫التغير المناخي وتحقيق االدارة المستدامة‬ ‫للموارد ودعم المنتوجات الصديقة للبيئة‬ ‫وتفعيل دور وزارة البيئة والحفاظ على‬ ‫البيئة بحسب مفهوم التنمية البيئية‬ ‫المستدامة والشاملة التي نادت بها‬ ‫قمة األرض عام ‪ 1992‬في ريو دي جانيرو‬ ‫والتي تدعو الى تلبية حاجات الحاضر دون‬ ‫المساس بقدرة األجيال القادمة على تلبية‬ ‫احتياجاتهم‪.‬‬

‫الوعي البيئي‬

‫إجرام بيئي مستمر ‪ ...‬وغياب الشعور بخطر‬ ‫ٌ‬ ‫تدهور ٍ لدى المواطنين!‬ ‫بقلم أنطوان جرمانوس‬ ‫رسومات فادي عادله‬

‫ّ‬ ‫ظل حالة الطوارئ البيئية المعلنة في‬ ‫في‬ ‫لبنان والعالم‪ ،‬ومع تصاعد الحركات البيئ ّية‬ ‫للفت أنظار العالم إلى مخاطر التغيير‬ ‫المناخي وأثره على مصير اإلنسان واألرض‪،‬‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫والمنظمات‬ ‫اتجهت كافة الجمع ّيات‬ ‫المعن ّية في لبنان الى تكثيف الحمالت التي‬ ‫تهدف الى التوعية البيئية النقاذ ما بقي من‬ ‫طبيعة لبنان األخضر إذ إن أكثر عامل بات‬ ‫يهدد هذا الواقع الحيوي في لبنان اليوم‬ ‫هو غياب الشعور بخطر التدهور البيئي لدى‬ ‫المواطنين أنفسهم!‬ ‫تحول اإلجرام البيئي بمختلف تجلياته إلى‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫سلوك يومي واالنتهاكات تقع على كل‬ ‫المعطيات الطبيع ّية وال سيما على قوانين‬ ‫تنظيم المقالع والكسارات والنفايات‬ ‫الصناعية والطبية واألمالك العامة البرية‬ ‫والبحرية ومصادر الثروة البحرية والغابات‬ ‫والمساحات الخضراء والنقل والطاقة‬ ‫والزراعات المعدلة جيني ًا والثروة المائية‬ ‫وتصريف المياه المبتذلة والهواء والضجيج‬ ‫والتربة والتنوع البيولوجي والنفايات‬ ‫الصلبة؛ لذا‪ ،‬وبعد أن كثرت االعتداءات‬ ‫البيئية‪ ،‬من دون مراجعات وال حسيب وال‬ ‫رقيب‪ ،‬ولكي ال يتهرب المعتدون على‬ ‫الطبيعة من العقاب‪ ،‬برزت فكرة إنشاء‬ ‫نيابات عا ّمة بيئ ّية تتحرّك لتمنع اإلعتداءات‬ ‫ولمالحقة مرتكبي الجرم البيئي قانون ّي ًا‪.‬‬ ‫تطرح اليوم جميع الجمعيات البيئية‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫والمنظمات المعن ّية في لبنان مشروع‬ ‫تعديل قانون المحاكمات الجزائية وإنشاء‬ ‫نيابة عامة بيئية مركزيّة في إطار السعي‬ ‫للقضاء مرحلي ًا على اإلجرام البيئي‪،‬‬


‫ ‪Spring Awakening 2010‬‬

‫كما تطالب باقرار مشروع قانون يعطي‬ ‫المختصة الحق‬ ‫الجمعيات والهيئات‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫والصفة للتقدم باالدعاء في موضوع‬ ‫المخالفات البيئية‪ ،‬وفي إنتظار هذا التعديل‬ ‫القانوني المرتجى‪ ،‬سعت وزارة العدل‬ ‫المختصة إلى تكليف‬ ‫واألجهزة القضائ ّية‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫نواب ًا عامين في المناطق بمهام «نائب عام‬ ‫بيئي»‪ ،‬على أن يتلقى هذا النائب العام كل‬ ‫الشكاوى الواردة إليه ويهتم بمتابعتها‪.‬‬ ‫النيابة العامة البيئية‬ ‫تكمن أهمية النيابة العامة البيئية في‬ ‫والبت‬ ‫أنّها تضطلع بمسؤولية التحقيق‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫في القضايا التي تتعلق بتلويث الطبيعة‬ ‫واإلضرار بها وفق القوانين البيئية المعمول‬ ‫بها وهي‪:‬‬ ‫• الجرائم الناشئة عن أحكام القوانين‬ ‫البيئية‪ ،‬والصحة البيئية‪ ،‬واالعتداء على‬ ‫ً‬ ‫خاصة‬ ‫أمالك الدولة العامة والخاصة‪،‬‬ ‫الزراعية والمشاعات‪.‬‬ ‫• الجرائم الناشئة عن مخالفة قوانين‬ ‫منع التلوث والحفاظ على الثروة الحرجية‬ ‫والغابات والكسارات والمقالع والمياه‬ ‫الجوفية واألنهر والجو وكافة الموضوعات‬ ‫الزراعية‪.‬‬ ‫• الجرائم الناشئة عن استخراج الرمول‬ ‫وسائر المواد من األمالك العمومية‬ ‫البحرية ومن قعر البحر‪.‬‬ ‫• الجرائم الناشئة عن مخالفة قوانين‬ ‫المحميات والحماية اإلجبارية‪.‬‬ ‫• الجرائم الناشئة عن مخالفة قوانين‬

‫تصنيف المؤسسات والرقابة على سالمة‬ ‫وصحة المواد التي تؤثر على صحة‬ ‫المواطن‪.‬‬ ‫• جرائم غصب األمالك العمومية‪.‬‬ ‫• الجرائم التي تنال من مكانة الدولة‬ ‫البيئية‪.‬‬ ‫وإن لم يكن قانون المحاكمات الجزائ ّية‬ ‫عدل بعد‪ ،‬والنيابات العا ّمة المركزيّة‬ ‫قد ّ‬ ‫ً‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫المستقلة لم تنشأ بعد‪ ،‬فإن نوابا عامين‬ ‫بيئيين قد إنتدبوا في المناطق والمحافظات‪،‬‬ ‫وهم يمارسون مهامهم في التحرّك للحد‬ ‫من الجرائم البيئ ّية وإيقافها كما لمعاقبة‬ ‫المعتدي‪ ،‬فيمكن ألي مواطن يرى مخالفة‬ ‫نوع كانت أن يتوجّ ه إلى النائب‬ ‫بيئ ّية من أي ٍ‬ ‫العام البيئي ويخبره بذلك فتتحرّك عندها‬ ‫النيابة العا ّمة لتقوم بواجبها القانوني؛‬ ‫ولكن المفارقة أن التجربة أثبتت أن هؤالء‬ ‫النواب العامين البيئيين في المناطق لم‬ ‫يتلقوا في الفترة المنصرمة سوى عدد‬ ‫مع ّين وقليل نسب ّي ًا من الشكاوى مع أن‬ ‫المخالفات البيئ ّية كانت أكثر بكثير من عدد‬ ‫المقدمة! ما يضعنا أمام إستنتا ٍج‬ ‫الشكاوى‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫حتمي‪ :‬هو أن الجانب األخطر في اإلجرام‬ ‫البيئي في لبنان هو في غياب الوعي‬ ‫البيئي لدى المواطنين وغياب الشعور‬ ‫بخطر التدهور البيئي لديهم‪.‬‬ ‫إن التوعية اذاً أساسية وضرورية من أجل ّ‬ ‫حث‬ ‫المواطنين على فهم األثر الس ّيئ للجرائم‬ ‫ونموه وصحّ ته‬ ‫البيئية على استقرار الفرد‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫وليؤمنوا بالمواقف اإليجابية من الطبيعة‬

Green & glam

Madame Reve’s artsy replay of vintage Words by May Tannir

s you take up the Gholam flight of stairs in Mar Mikhael Street, Madame Reve, a vintage boutique shop that revisits old accessories and jewelry, cannot but catch your eye – and catch you by surprise for that matter. Tucked away at the end of the posh Gemmayzeh district, lies this impressive circular showroom with necklaces and bags of every imaginable stone and color splashed across the walls from the floor to the ohso-high ceiling. Their collections recreate things of the past, spanning many epochs from the late 19th century to the 1970’s. It was a passion for all things vintage that brought together Hala Mouzannar and Lina Chammaa to unveil a place dedicated to creating modernly stunning accessories from vintage jewelry. It was a passion that set them in 2004 out on a trip to London where they raided some 40 vintage stores for inimitable items that they could use to realize their “dream” in Lebanon – the Madame Dreams. Returning to Lebanon with heaps of bold and beautiful merchandise, they opened their own shop, first selling clothing, and later shifting to jewelry and clutches. Two rare gems with an extraordinary artistic ability to turn drab, unfashionable accessories to gorgeous, wearable

designs, Mouzannar and Chammaa have mastered their craft. Different parts of a single piece of jewelry slowly or frantically huddle up against others to create a whole new piece of art. The beauty of the pieces lies in the details and the devotion that went into preserving them and returning them on display to the world. A few artisans usually give them a hand in making their avant-garde vision a reality. The pair has exhibited their work in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and France among other locations, and they are sold in selected boutiques and outlets across the Middle East and Gulf, Asia, North Africa, North America, and Europe. The possibilities are endless as to what one can produce from vintage pieces, say Mouzannar and Chammaa. They view each item as a new opportunity to create a work of art that is unique in a world of commercialized goods. Each piece under the Madame Reve label has its own story, with most of the vintage pieces exported from London and New York. The recycled pieces reflect the personality of whoever wears them, Mouzannar points out. They can be dressed up or down, but in each case the jewelry will stand out and so will the wearer, she adds.

Photographs by Nada Karam Model Tasha Shot on location in Montana, Ain Aar Garments from vintage love shop

Spring Awakening 2010


Embroidered beige vintage dress by Carlos Miele

Spring Awakening 2010


Vintage mini black dress by Gianfranco FerrĂŠ

Spring Awakening 2010


Brown vintage sheath and silk dress by Elie Saab

Spring Awakening 2010


Vintage see-through blouse by Dolce and Gabbana and Vintage black trousers by Gucci

Spring Awakening 2010


green & glam

She’s a natural! Talking to eco-fashion designer Elena Garcia Model Erica Rodriguez, Photographs by Nick Fallon

Elena Garcia likes to take it slow, both as a designer and as a woman. Her creations are basic yet flattering items that every woman finds herself revisiting time and again. She herself endorses the slow fashion movement, playing up recycled and vintage clothing. She has even taken her time in choosing her career. Garcia originally trained as a linguist, but her passion for design led her in 2001 to hit the books anew, by training as a designer and majoring in Surface Textiles for Fashion at the London College of Fashion.


oncerned about the welfare of the planet, Garcia feels a responsibility to do what she can to preserve the world – thus her choice to source locally whenever possible, and use rapidly renewable and pesticide-free fabrics. But doing the Fairtrade, ethical fashion thing is not the only reason she is making waves on the fashion scene, as her designs are also stunning, seductive, and made-to-measure. Beyond caught up with the Spain-born designer who has based in London for the past 18 years.

BEYOND: You made a career change and chose fashion design over the world of words. What prompted this major shift? ELENA GARCIA: I have been interested in fashion since I was a child. I had never done anything about it until a few years ago, when I decided to give it a go and go back to university. I graduated in 2006.

B: Why did you opt for eco fashion? EG: Knowing what we know now about the environmental impact of our actions, it was impossible not to. If I had gone for a different degree, I would have still tried to do it in the least harmful way. B: Is it more challenging to design as well as market ethical fashion? EG: Yes, you take to think seriously about absolutely everything. There are tough decisions to be made every step of the way. But it is also more rewarding. B: What kind of materials do you usually use? Where do you get them from? EG: I work mostly with organic silk, which I buy either from an agent here in London or directly from the producers in India. B: What is the ethos of Elena Garcia eco-couture? EG: To produce beautiful and comfortable clothes for women of all ages and all sizes with the least impact on the environment, while helping others along the way. B: What makes your Spring/Summer collection stand out? EG: My SS10 is inspired by the desert, and the film Laurence of Arabia. It uses three types of organic silks. My favorite piece is the cutwork cape/top. B: Some designers say they would not make an item they would not wear. Are you one of them? EG: I make a collection I would like to wear, but I dress to my shape, so I don't wear some of the garments I make, as they don't go with my particular shape. The collection follows an aesthetic and there are pieces for every woman that likes that aesthetic regardless of her age and shape. B: What kind of woman do you design for? EG: I design for women who appreciate color, texture, and

materials – women who are not swayed by trends and like versatile pieces that are comfortable and sensuous. My women are intelligent buyers.

B: How often do you put out collections? EG: I make two collections a year, but I am currently thinking of showing one collection with color variations. My clothes are aseasonal, so it makes more sense to do it that way. B: Where are you currently available, and which markets do you plan to penetrate? EG: I have a few stockists in the UK, the US and Australia. I am also available online at I would love to penetrate the Asian market. I seem to be getting great press there! B: What are the perks and drawbacks of what you do? EG: Fashion requires a huge investment and it takes a long time to see the profits; it is a slow process that needs a lot of faith and dedication. On the other hand, seeing someone wear and appreciate your clothes is brilliant. B: Do you think eco-fashion is a trend or is here to stay? EG: It will hopefully become the norm. Things are not going back to the days of the 1980's, for example. People will have to take ethics and the environment into consideration when buying products. B: Any eco fashion designers you look up to or get inspired by? EG: Not really, I look at anything and everything. I appreciate design whether it's eco or not. The product needs to be appealing. The eco tag should not be the only selling point. B: How are you personally eco savvy? EG: I buy very few clothes. I tend to buy second-hand and customize things, or I wear my own designs. When you are in this line of business you can't not be eco-savvy. It goes with the job!

Spring Awakening 2010


green & glam

what a waste!

turning trash to treasured accessories Words by mario najm


ou no longer have to compromise your fashion sense to do the right thing by nature, as it is now possible to carry bags made of recycled waste materials as stylish accessories. These products are the most innovative brand of “green bags” to hit the Lebanese market. The company behind this bold, new concept is wASTE Lb. The founders of wASTE Lb are graphic designer Waleed Jad and interior architect Stephanie Dadour. Jad owns a design production house while Dadour is completing a Doctor of Architecture and lectures at various universities. Jennifer Dadour, the company’s artistic director, also helps in all phases of creation and production. So, what inspired this original concept? “We noticed the alarming overconsumption of plastic shopping bags and FLEX banners, which are made from unrecyclable material and thrown away after usage with no regard to the pollution these substances cause. We knew something had to be done,” Dadour says. The solution? “We decided to make use of these two parameters by recycling. This gave FLEX a second life and encouraged people to stop using cheap plastic bags and instead use heavy-duty reusable bags,” explains Dadour, whose production facilities are located along Mar Mikhael in Ashrafieh, east of Beirut. The result is eco-friendly bags of all shapes and forms. “We make a variety of unisex bags, ranging from shopping bags, grocery bags, laptop bags, and even aprons, coasters, poufs, and the like,” Dadour indicates. How do they obtain the raw materials, you may ask. “We usually buy or are given discarded FLEX banners since most of our products are made from this material. But as we grow and produce more complex products, we have started to use some minor accessories such as zippers,” Dadour explains. The production procedure is simple, according to Dadour. “We clean them, make insertions to create interesting patterns, and send to tailors who sew them, and … we sell. Simple,” she adds with a smile. For now, green fashionistas and the eco-conscious crowd can find these bags at Hip and Luanatic in Monot Street, Earth D at City Mall and Zalka, and Lamsa in Hamra, at a price range of $7 to $53. “Our products will soon be up for purchase online and in major stores,” Dadour adds. As demand continues to increase, wASTE Lb vows to continue to expand while promising high-quality products and innovative designs.

Organic healing

Rest assured

Ayurveda, a 5,000-year-old Indian curative art presented at the InterContinental Phoenicia Hotel Spa tress could be likened to a silent killer; one that assaults our health continuously until we finally reach a critical threshold and succumb to its ill effects. And while many falsely believe that the ultimate way to counteract stress is by ingesting chemical drugs in the form of sedatives and tranquilizers, few are aware that the solution in fact lies in alternative – often-ancient – forms of therapy. One such curative system is Ayurveda, which derives its therapeutic philosophy from ancient India and utilizes a myriad of oils, herbs, and techniques to combat pain and disease in a holistic fashion (working across multiple layers of the human existence including emotional, spiritual, and physiological levels.) What makes this system so effective is that it not only de-stresses the body, but also tackles the side effects induced by stress. The only drawback with most alternative therapies, however, is coming across genuine practitioners with enough knowledge, expertise, and background to derive positive results. But one need not worry about extracting the full effects from Ayurveda in this country, for the InterContinental Phoenicia Hotel Spa has recently recruited certified Ayurvedic doctors and experts from India, and has been offering an invaluable service since summer of last year. The spa has allocated three rooms for Ayurvedic treatments – one for men, one for women, and a third for general consultation. It also uses only the best in

organic products for the treatments. So far, feedback has been positively overwhelming as more and more people are learning about the unparalleled sensual experience that Ayurveda has to offer and its innumerable health effects. Several treatments fall under the umbrella of this healing system – each with its distinct health benefits, duration, price, and utilized products. Spa officials explain that since every person is unique and has varying needs and health issues, programs are customized in order to take into consideration such variables. And this is resolved after one undergoes the consultation phase; therapists are then able to pinpoint existing or potential problems and imbalances. There is no room for boredom as one could choose from eight initial treatments, three packages, and three combinations. Whether a person is victimized by stress or suffering from an ailing condition, one has a lot to benefit from the safe and effective healing art of Ayurveda.

Spring Awakening 2010



Greener pastures A New Earth eco-store treads uncharted territory in Lebanon Photographs by Nada Karam

alking down a relatively quiet neighborhood in Zahrat el Ihsan Street in the east Beirut district of Ashrafieh, you have probably stumbled upon A New Earth. As you take those few steps downwards leading to a conveniently spacious store that smells, breathes, and screams all things green, you ask yourself, “Where am I? Am I having an out-of-body experience? Is this still Lebanon?” A New Earth eco-living store unveiled last July and has been treading new frontiers ever since, selling everything that promotes a greener lifestyle and better health from the organic chocolate to the aluminum-free deodorant to the conscious gardening tools. As the name may suggest, A New Earth is holler for going green in the face of the growing health and eco hazards – whether it is for personal reasons like taste and wellbeing, or for a greater purpose such as environmental awareness and taking action against the destruction of our planet. The brand name is part of the title of the best-selling book by New Age author Eckhart Tolle: A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, a read that had a life-changing impact on Sabine Kassouf, one of the ladies at the helm of this green ship. A media professional who went through a series of unnerving situations, Kassouf decided to take action on a personal level.

From yoga to self-questioning, she has metamorphosed into someone dedicated to a healthier way of life drawing on her own experience. Her partner, Layane Makarem, has been more exposed to the eco life, having grown up in France – raised in a family of organic foodies and hung around an environmentally conscious crowd. So it was only natural that she continued on the green route when she moved back home. In their 120-square-meter all-stop-shop, Kassouf and Makarem spare nothing in nature-friendly details – they even use recycled paper bags printed with vegetable ink. Beyond rubbed shoulders with the eco-centric girls who spilled much of the soup, which was 100 percent certified organic of course.

BEYOND: What prompted this concept store? Layane makarem & Sabine kassouf: A New Earth was born out a simple fact – there was, unfortunately, no serious hub in Lebanon where each one of us would regroup, get informed, and access certified organic products from fresh produce and a huge variety of packed foods to cosmetics and personal care to household cleaning products.

B: What do you offer? LM & SK: Our objective is to offer a complete line of products. We really want our customers to walk into our store and find most of the groceries they’re looking for and as well as items in all categories. B: What makes you the first eco-living store of the kind in Lebanon? LM & SK: We can proudly say we’re the first certified organic store in Lebanon for the simple reason that we have a full line of products, and that we do not compromise. Every item we sell is a guaranteed and certified organic product. We are living in a very polluted and dangerous food world, partly because of the unregulated excesses of industrial farming. If we want to bring down our high rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and birth defects, we have to change our food choices and how that food comes about. Besides creating profound health and safety problems, industrial farming is a hugely unregulated contributor to global warming and an enormous consumer of energy. We must regulate and significantly reduce the farm use of fuels, pesticides, and fertilizers. These are not choices! These are obligatory! If we are going to seriously tackle climate change and fix our health system, we have to change our form of agriculture. So, offering the products we do is our way to convey that message, by informing our customers so they would encourage our farmers. B: How do you choose items? Are they mostly imported? LM & SK: Choosing is a hard task. We mostly import our products from Europe, the US, and New Zealand. At most times, we select products we have tasted during our travels. We’ve also participated in a lot of organic fairs all over. It’s the best way to try products, and sometimes meet the producers directly. Now, we work closely with our customers. We try to ask them what they need, and invite them to share new ideas and brands they know and like. And when possible, we bring these products here. B: What do you aim to do/promote? LM & SK: A New Earth is a return to the land our ancestors left us, a way to preserve our future generations, their safety, from the air they breathe, to the foods they eat, to their own perpetuation. Whether you’re conscious of it or not, every time you buy an organic product you are promoting a sustainable way of living by encouraging local organic farmers to continue to work the way they do, in harmony with nature, and respectful of our biodiversity, flora, and fauna. B: Can you list the demerits of what you do? LM & SK: The fact that we import products. But when stuck between a rock and a hard place, are we better off not importing them at all? Unfortunately, we’re unable today to supply a full line of locally produced products.

B: List some of the challenges you faced when you first launched? What challenges do you continue to face? LM & SK: Giving a clear definition of organic is our biggest challenge. But here again, it’s a challenge we look forward to. Our biggest competition remains what we call “baladi” (locally grown) products. They are widely considered organic products, whereas there are no guarantees about such products.

Layane makarem & Sabine kassouf

B: What kind of people does A New Earth currently attract? Who is your target audience? LM & SK: Because the organic market is still small and timid in Lebanon, our main clientele remains Lebanese expats. When they return to Lebanon, they’re happy to find a store that has products they would buy abroad. Our target audience, in an ideal world, would be each and every one of us. Good health should not be reserved to a few of us, but accessible to all. B: Do you feel the majority of Lebanese are ready for such a venture? LM & SK: Oh yes. From phthalates in cosmetics to C-8 in cookware and other non-stick items to bisphenol A (BPA) in thousands of everyday products, consumers have become increasingly concerned about the variety of under-regulated and under-researched chemicals and other additives they and their families are constantly exposed. Throw in food safety issues such as genetically modified crops, food tainted with salmonella and E.coli bacteria, milk and other food containing hormones or antibiotics, baby formula laced with perchlorate (a chemical used in rocket fuel and explosives), and it›s no wonder consumers are worried. B: What are your plans for A New Earth? LM & SK: Eventually, on a long-term basis, our plans are to be available in most remote areas in Lebanon, to be accessible to all, and to have a fully Lebanon-made organic store. To get there, we try to organize events every month or so that allow customers to meet farmers, taste and discover different grains and cereals, and build more solid bonds.

Spring Awakening 2010


ethical eating

Don't ruffle anyone's Feathers with your appetite We all have a lot on our plate. But how much of that is green? time to try the green diet.

Words by Zeina Ghossoub ElAswad, MSc.,CPC., Dietician, life, and wellness coach, Vie Saine Illustrations by FADI ADLEH

Spring Awakening 2010


ou have heard of dieting. You have heard of weight loss plans. You have probably heard about protecting the environment and global warming and its disastrous consequences. But have you heard of “the green diet”? What does combining dieting with eco-consciousness exactly and is it of any benefit? If yes, to whom? Does it make us lose weight faster and does it only help the environment? The green diet concept aims at making us live healthier, lose weight, and protect the environment. It is gathering momentum and gaining significant interest worldwide. Eating green means and is focused on a few things 1- Eat organic: Organic foods are produced through techniques that have less of an industrial impact on the world. They are cultivated in a more natural way with less chemicals and mechanical methods. Organic harvesting improves soil fertility, decreases groundwater pollution, and uses less energy. 2- Buy local: If we purchase foods from nearby farmers, we are depending less on foods transported to us from other areas. Less transportation means less pollution and more money. This will make life greener and easier. 3- Limit processed foods: Processing foods means machinery, transportation, packaging, retransportation, and using non-environmentally friendly packaging systems and products. A fresh potato is friendlier to the environment than a potato that has been mechanically mashed, processed, and packaged in a bag. 4- Focus on a plant-based diet: A vegetarian diet is better for the planet, but we do not have to follow a pure vegetarian diet to be green. By consuming less dairy and meat products – which are produced and processing – we are eating healthier and helping our planet.

This is due to the fact that livestock production has a long list of negative impacts on the environment, including animal waste, use of pasture land, production of animal feed, and product processing. Livestock production accounts for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than that contributed by transportations. What’s more, to produce one kilogram of cereal grain, 240 gallons of water are needed for processing. To produce about a kilogram of beef, over 10000 gallons of water are needed. Livestock production contributes to water pollution through erosion, pesticides, heavy metals used in feed production, and antibiotics given to animals, which work their way into the water supply. Livestock production damages the soil in so many more ways. Of all the meats, red meat is the most detrimental to our environment as compared to chicken and fish. But both chicken and fish production or farming have their own set of problems and hazards on the environment. But, how does that translate to weight loss and getting healthier, you may ask? Obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and other health risks are directly related to weight control and food consumption. Losing weight begins with exercise, cutting down on calories, and eating less fatty and leaner foods. Having said that, you can see now how eating fewer calories from fat, increasing fruit and vegetables, and following the weight loss guidelines affect the environment in a positive way. Going greener in our diet helps us with: • Increasing consumption of natural, preservative-free and whole based foods; • Lowering our food budget; • Becoming more environmentally friendly; • Relying on exercise, meaning less car use, and carbon gases production; and • Losing weight, and living healthier.

As it turns out, everything we do affects our environment. What a great combination it is to take the Earth’s freshest and reward it by giving back to it and harming it less. We can all do our part.

Eco-centric Initiatives

Saving the environment one click at a time Words by Mario Najm Illustration by fadi adleh

any of us really do want to save the planet and preserve Lebanon’s natural and quickly vanishing natural beauty. But while our hearts may be in the right place, our wallets/purses may not be. There is hope yet, and in the least expected outlets., a new search engine created and founded by Ghassan Chahine, is a cost-free, time-free method to effortlessly save one’s local environment from the comfort of one’s PC by simply using it as their primary search engine! “We created and optimized a search engine that searches multiple web search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, Bing, Ask, and a host of others to provide users with accurate results. Given that search engines such as Google only provide 75 percent Internet coverage, Gusfinder combines all the results from every available search engine and displays it all in one place for higher precision,” Chahine explains. But what how does this translate into keeping Lebanon green? “A lot,” Chahine says. “By using Gusfinder, you are making a conscious effort to keep Lebanon green and save its environment because the site donates 30 percent of its total advertisement revenue to help support green causes across Lebanon. This 30 percent goes to the Environment Ministry, and all registered environmental causes, such as the ongoing reforestation of our mountains, and many other projects.”

Search engines that attract browsers also attract advertisers. In other words, the more “hits” a site gets, the more ads it enjoys, and the more money it generates – in this case to the benefit of Lebanon’s environment. Like most great ideas, this one was conceived totally unexpectedly. “I got the idea while searching for a subject and couldn’t find all the information on one search engine,” Chahine says. “Then it struck me: Why not create one search engine that can do just that? As someone with an eco sense, I also thought it would be a good idea to create a method that could generate income to help preserve our country’s natural beauty.” It’s also heartwarming to know the site is hosted via a server powered by an overseas wind generated turbine. Gusfinder is a green certified, energy-efficient, and carbon neutral site that respects all ecological standards to preserve the environment.

Spring Awakening 2010


Gree n skies a h ead

Spring Awakening 2010


Sustainable architecture

photographs by georges goraieb

e v i t rrec Co y ack to the future surger ildings go b When bu

the nation have ss o cr a es m o h l g traditiona ort A set of decayin now proud to sp re a d n a ck tu d ip an ral gotten a bit of n era of architectu ew n a in g in er the ok , ush lanning. But for p a sustainable lo le b si n o sp re ir tion years of ilt a bad reputa u b possibilities after s a h r o ct se g cal housin most part, the lo for itself. y‌ r a dose of realit Turn the page fo

Spring Awakening 2010


Constructive chaos? Local architecture and real estate a genuine mess...

My city in billboards by Lebanese artist Zena Assi

Spring Awakening 2010


real stumbling blocks illustration by fadi adleh

Spring Awakening 2010


Concrete ugly shots

Concrete evidence Lo and behold!


onstruction, like many other things in Lebanon, is without a doubt in a state of organized chaos. The urban sprawl can be felt across the nation, gnawing at the beautiful mountains, natural sites, and traditional quarters and biting away at the environment. Popping up everywhere are buildings that are inadequately planned, and if planned properly then poorly implemented. Construction permits are supposed to be approved by the Department of Town Planning before the concerned municipality approves them. But corruption is rampant at the state level, so by knowing the right people and paying the right personnel the right amount, developers usually get away with any plans regardless of their destructive effects – both esthetically and environmentally. There do not appear to be any construction height limits in this country, nor are there set building standards and guidelines – and this is not only the case in the overcrowded capital but across suburbs, villages, and mountains as well. While money is getting poured into new construction projects, old buildings are given the boot and torn down instead of preserving their traditional character, which is unfortunately vanishing into the ether at breakneck speed.

Photographs by steven haddad

Spring Awakening 2010


Asphalt atrocities in Ashrafieh Words by Cathy Chami Tyan

Driving through or walking in the streets of Ashrafieh is heartbreaking. It has turned into a huge construction site: Tower cranes, soulless buildings, and sky scrapers everywhere – old homes demolished, our cultural heritage melting, the soul of the city turned into dust. All of this is the result of ruthless entrepreneurs, corrupt government employees, and the total inertia and absence of our government and concerned ministries.

Concerned citizens have written letters, knocked on many doors, and have returned with this terrible feeling of despair and helplessness in front of this huge and immense destruction machine. With 275 building permits allegedly delivered for new housing units in Ashrafieh recently, the city will turn out looking like an industrial town. Is this what we are looking for? Is this the legacy we would like to leave

for our children? Would the historical cities of Paris and Rome have attracted millions of tourists everyday had all the old houses, homes, and palaces been destroyed and turned into high-rise towers? Stones and their beautiful colors narrate our history, our culture, and the way of life of our ancestors. Aren’t we destroying what they have built with their hands and hearts? Aren’t we betraying them and their

legacy? Are we aware that there is no way back and that once these structures are gone we can’t rebuild them with the same charm and soul? We have succeeded in destroying in a couple of years what 30 years of war have failed to tear down. The situation is dramatic and much worse than we think. If we do not stop this architectural carnage now, it will be too late! We need to save what is left while we still have time!

There are many different and fair solutions to protect the city’s history. It has become more than necessary. It has become an emergency for our government to act before it is too late by passing new laws and implementing a major urban plan with a sustainable vision and development of the city of Beirut. Urban planning cannot be limited to Downtown Beirut. It has to be applied to the whole capital. Spring Awakening 2010


Spring Awakening 2010


...but hope floats

Giving building the green light

Call it eco-friendly • Call it sustainable • Green buildings are increasingly reaching new levels. Words by G NGO


new era of ecological awareness and action has hit the globe in recent years. New technologies and knowledge for the development of green buildings have evolved to a new level. Until recently only a few green real estate developments have taken place. However, today patchworks of green buildings are emerging in many cities, expanding to entire communities and neighborhoods.

Developers are shifting toward a greener era due to the increased governments and consumer awareness and interest. A McGraw-Hill Construction survey in March 2009 predicted that green building would reach a threshold next year and that two-thirds of builders in the US would be building green homes. This green ethic entails the use of energy-efficient buildings having a full spectrum of features that stress on the use of the natural over the chemical, the recycled over the newly produced and the renewable over the finite. Common features now found in green buildings include non-toxic paint and finishes, low-flow showerheads and toilets, sustainable wood floors, high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, recycled and locally obtained building materials, rain and wastewater captured for toilets and landscaping, and panels that double as sunshades and solar power generators.


Green buildings recognize performance in eight key areas: 1. Indoor environmental equality: A green building is designed to maximize fresh air indoors and minimize exposure to toxins and pollutants.

2. Energy efficiency: Green buildings built so far can use 20 -30 percent less energy, and some up to 60 percent less, than a standard building. 3. Water efficiency: Green buildings use innovative strategies to reduce water use and to find creative ways to reuse water. 4. Site selection: Green buildings encourage proximity between homes, schools, shopping, work and transit, maximizing your quality of life and reducing the amount of time you waste in traffic.

5. Site development: Green buildings avoid destructive construction practices and have landscaping and other elements that protect the land where the home sits. 6. Materials selection: Green buildings use recycled, reclaimed, and responsibly obtained materials everywhere possible. 7. Residents awareness: Green building is proactive in educating residents about green features and how to get the highest performance from them. 8. Innovation: Green buildings encourage builders and designers to find innovative ways to increase the built space performance, taking into account local and regional needs and promoting durability for a longlasting, comfortable space.

Why green

Home builders and real estate developers are not following the green trend out of pure idealism. They are realizing its benefits not only for an ethical or health perspective, but are also recognizing its financial added-value. According to the 2007 Geisinger Health System review, the cost of green technologies and construction materials of a medical center listed as one of the best hospitals in America added no more than 12- percent to aggregate cost, a premium easily and quickly recaptured by energy savings. Furthermore, in 2008, the United States Green Buildings Council (USGBC) published a report reflecting on how green buildings on average save up to 70 percent electricity, 50 to 60 percent water, and 36 percent fuel and gas as compared to standard buildings. USGBC reflected in one of their reports that the added value from the health perspective includes improved comfort and wellbeing, reduced absenteeism and turnover, increased productivity, greater customer satisfaction, improved brand strength, better human performance, positive public goodwill and perception, less time lost to asthma, allergies and other illnesses aggravated by mold, stale air, and chemicals found in many conventional buildings. It also goes without saying that aside from safeguarding and improving the environment, building green provides a corporation with a sought-after advanced image.

Examples from the Mideast

The green building modern era has not been limited to the West; there has been an increasing trend of LEED registered buildings from 2005 in the Arab region as well. Even with the recent economic downturn, building owners are more interested in making their facilities more energy efficient to save money and decrease operating costs. Currently, there are a total of 325 LEED registered projects of which only 10 are certified in the Arab region The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry was the first building in the Middle East region to achieve globally recognized green credentials LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design from the USGBC. Some of the significant highlights of the Chamber's green building program included the reduction of water and energy consumption by approximately 77 percent and 47 percent respectively between 1998 and 2008, leading to significant carbon emission reductions and accumulated savings of around seven million AED ($1.9 million).

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), a Saudi Arabian international university also follows the LEED rating system for establishing performance criteria in sustainable development. The university achieved the LEED Platinum status – the USGBC’s highest rating.

Lebanon close in tow

Lebanon is also following suit. There are only two LEED registered buildings in Lebanon to date: Oxy Irani in the American University of Beirut, and Benchmark in Beirut Terraces. Several upcoming projects are planning to register as well, mainly due to the encouragement the Lebanese Central Bank has shown by initiating a new decree on 24/ 06/ 2009 aimed at lowering the interest rate of loans for environmental friendly projects (Green Architecture Projects, Renewable Energy, Ecotourism, and Recycling). There has also been increased awareness by different Lebanese sectors ranging from conferences (Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED)), to banks (Bank Med – Fransabank – Audi – HSBC), and even Institutions (RAMCO). It is these types of initiatives, Lebanese businesses and corporations would do well to emulate. Especially in the context of chronic power shortages and increasing concerns over available fresh water, increased resource conservation of skyscrapers centered in Downtown Beirut, Ain al-Mreisseh, and Ashrafiyeh would not only be a symbolic gesture, but also provide tangible benefits to the capital’s infrastructure.

G for good G is the first Lebanese green consulting and carbon offsetting firm committed primarily to providing environmental consultancy and effective solutions for businesses and organizations in order to promote a healthier environment, cleaner Earth, and a more sustainable future.

Spring Awakening 2010


vertical angles

Certifiable excellence

Greenstone’s green and pioneering way of building


hile the West’s housing sector is on a full gear green joyride, the Middle East seems to lag far behind. In Lebanon, where state laws and policymakers leave no stone unturned to drive the real estate sector to abandon its eco-centric plans, if any, energy-efficient homes have for long been a pie-in-the sky dream. One developer, however, dared to dream with both feet on the ground. A legendary Celtic forest that had a reputation in the medieval imagination as a place of magic, mystery, and greenness has inspired something in Greenstone, the real estate development company of Johnny R. Saadé Holdings, lending its name to their first all-out green signature development. La Broceliande, a villalike exclusive building integrated in a lushly planted L’ArmoniaL area in one of Beirut’s high-end suburbs Yarze, gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “high distinction”. Greenstone wanted the building to meet the technical requirements of environmental certification all the while being aesthetically appealing, and an army of architects, designers, and consultants made sure it was right on target. Sensitive to the nitty-gritty details, La Broceliande blends effortlessly with the natural surroundings of the hillside location, as the environmentally savvy developer excavated as little land as possible in order not to incite nature’s wrath by disturbing the original settings around the building. The project looks at a broad range of environmental impacts, including energy, transport, water, material and waste, land use, and pollution. In its quest for obtaining the UK’s BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) – a meticulously driven certificate that involves stringent technical standards and requirements – Greenstone joined forces with the London-based UK-based EcoConsulting Ltd. The consulting company follows the whole process from beginning to end, and works with other parties to develop a flawlessly eco-friendly construction, gradually adding up points that would qualify a project to earn the coveted certificate. La Broceliande is expected to score a very high grade, explains Karim Saadé, co-general manager, Johnny R. Saadé Holdings. “A project gets certified at two levels: First, when the construction documents are complete, they are submitted to the consultants to obtain the pre-construction green certificate. In the post-construction phase, EcoConsulting also assesses whether the development meets the criteria,” he adds. This, in his mind, ensures that everything is on the green track. Keeping a low profile From low CO2 footprint to low energy consumption lighting and low water consumption plumbing and gardening fittings to thermal and 164


acoustical insulation and solar panels, La Broceliande spares nothing in eco-friendly features, which ultimately makes sense economically. “A green building should also breathe green. Hence, the four-storey La Broceliande has private gardens for each apartment as well as planted roofs,” notes Sandro Saadé, co-general manager, Johnny R. Saadé Holdings. On a land area of 1230 m2, gardens cover up 654 m2. What’s more, Greenstone sought the advice of garden specialists on the types of plants and trees to cultivate to guarantee maximum shade from the sun, thus reducing water and energy consumption – naturally. Even the water used will be treated for garden irrigation. “This is very real example of how a building should be green,” Sandro Saadé says of La Broceliande, which is slated for unveiling in mid 2011. “We as developers are making the choice and taking the risk, as we believe there are people like us who would pay a little extra because they value the fact that they are in a green building with less concrete,” he remarks. Despite being ahead of the game, La Broceliande is not more expensive than other projects in the area, reflecting the ethos of Greenstone, which in Sandro Saadé’s words is “low impact on environment and positive impact on the architecture of the city that is becoming in many ways chaotic.” Against this backdrop, the company’s other development in the pipeline also rings true. Greenstone had the choice to demolish a building that dates back to the 1920’s in the posh district of Abdel Wahab el-Inglizi. But it did not, hence the birth – or in this case the reincarnation – of L’Armonial. “This project is essentially about preserving heritage,” points out Sandro Saadé. Once again, by seamlessly marrying modern with traditional architecture, Greenstone paints its personalized brushes into L’Armonial. So a modern twenty-storey building intertwines with a French

La brocéliande

mandate style house, benefitting from state-of-the-art designs and techniques. “We took the architectural style of the existing building to the next level by adding three floors, and built a modern tower next to it,” Sandro Saadé goes on to say. The project is yet another first for the nation. L’Armonial meets all the components of an eco-friendly development and will also be certified as green building. And Greenstone is going the whole nine yards, partnering with specialists for anti-seismic construction, thermal and acoustic insulation, and energy efficiency. “In that sense, L’Armonial can be labeled green,” Sandro Saadé argues. The development, which is due for completion by mid 2012, sets itself apart as a model economically viable solution for preserving heritage. “We’re happy to give at least an example of how that can be done and how others might wish to follow suit in evaluating a building before deciding to tear it down … in a country where everybody is forgetting about the heritage,” he adds. The plot thickens Legislators are guilty as charged for this haphazardness, Sandro Saadé opines. “Even people attached to their homes will understandably be tempted to sell their property if offered $10,000 to $15,000 per square meter. So owners are not to blame,” he indicates. “Today, one can only buy the coefficient and keep the old house if one owns an empty piece of land next to the plot. So if there is no empty land next to the empty building, the old building is doomed to be razed.” There is a list of ways to deal with this pickle, Sandro Saadé explains. “The municipality can say if you own a piece of land with a house on it you can sell the coefficient to someone else that is not adjacent to the land,” he proposes.


Greenstone has taken local heritage preservation one step further. Last summer, it sponsored “From the Alphabet to the Nahda” event in collaboration with the Culture Ministry, which aimed to promote the conservation of the architectural heritage of the Zokak AI-Blat neighborhood, reflecting a keen interest in safeguarding Lebanon’s rich culture. While the developer plans to press forward with such initiatives, “there is a limit to what the private sector can do, as one cannot expect the whole private sector to do that. Certain laws are required,” notes Karim Saadé. “Initiatives will continue, but for the whole market to be able to systematically work this way, laws are needed.” Spring Awakening 2010


Daring by design

A passion for the pristine Dori Hitti in a league of his own


s we were ushered into the office of architect designer Dori Hitti in Zouk, northeast of the capital, we fretted at the thought of meeting an internationally-revered artist of this caliber. But these feelings were soon dispelled as we shook hands with a man too chivalrous and humble for his own time – and fellow craftsmen. Both brain and brawn, he had us at hello.

Montpellier, Nigeria, Senegal, and Congo, not to mention urban locales like New York City and Dubai, and Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar. But Hitti thinks he has only begun to scratch the surface. “My work experience came from the numerous projects I have taken on, and until this very day I can say that my experience is yet to be gained with every new project that comes my way,” he says in a stroke of modesty.

Hitti understood as a child the shape of things to come, and decided to carve his name in the family stone by going off to Accademia delle Bella Arti in Florence, Italy in the late 1980’s. Upon his return to Lebanon, he began working at Le Cercle Hitti, and founded the architecture department, Le Cercle Hitti Projects. His career took off after that.

His mantra: “To achieve maximum simplicity with minimum distractions.” And that he does. Hitti does not create a house by integrating natural elements into it. He leaves that for the commonplace architect. The forward thinker takes the home to nature, letting the two marry harmoniously – and live happily ever after.

Apart from his native country, Hitti’s work has taken him to exotic places many designers only aspire to visit like

Beyond had a green conversation with the dreamy designer. This is how it went.


Horizons horizon

Beyond: What are the most striking green and natureinspired projects you have undertaken to date? Dori Hitti: All cities in the world have been vastly developing into well cultivated destinations with the new and modern designs. That said, I have taken on numerous projects, which I wanted to tackle differently than the rest by respecting the unique natural setting and environment around the plot, and integrating my vision into the environment rather than having the environment remodified into what my design was. Villa House, Roof Terrace, Beach House, Public restaurant, Chalet, Le Log restaurant/lounge, and Fiona’s restaurant are among the few projects I designed in that framework. They were some of the few developments that have had natural surroundings, which inspired me to create my design without upsetting the natural milieu.

B: Do you have plans to engage in eco-friendly designs in Lebanon and abroad? DH: Currently, there is a project in the pipeline for which all materials used, whether for form or function, will be environmentally conscious. B: Do you find green design more demanding and rigorous than standard design? DH: Green design is definitely more demanding and has constraints as opposed to the general architectural design

that is more commonly tackled. The ideology and concept of sustainable architecture is for the sole purpose of minimizing the negative environmental impact of the design, and having it respect the environment rather than destroy it.

B: Do you think there is a growing interest and demand for green architecture in Lebanon and the region? DH: I unquestionably think that green architecture and environmental design are making their way through Lebanon and the region. Frankly, I have seen and taken on projects that are environmentally conscious. However, one must note Spring Awakening 2010


that such designs are mainly being applied in the mountains where there is ample free and open space as opposed to Beirut’s condensed atmosphere, which to a certain degree is embracing green implementation. B: Do you think green architecture is a just a craze or here to stay? DH: Green architecture and design is definitely here to stay. For example, there are a number countries in which green design has been integrated in the country’s architectural landscape and is becoming a way of life. This shows that had it been a craze, it would have disappeared a long time ago.

B: How are you personally – and Cercle Hitti – ecoconscious? DH: Personally, I try to make recycling a habit of mine and do it as often as I can. Cercle Hitti is eco-conscious in many ways and we are hoping to develop that further in making it more

of a habit. With the heaps of paper that we use for our projects for instance, we make it a point to recycle and use recycled paper for our printing with indicated boxes.

B: Do you have any personal inclinations towards natural settings? DH: Actually, my latest attraction towards a natural setting is at our intended future offices in Beirut, where the building is the only one with a green façade in the precinct. However, one particular inclination to a natural setting, which I have always been intrigued by, happens to be one of my most appreciated works of architecture: The Falling Water House by Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright’s ability to include such a structural element into nature is somewhat of an inspiration and a message. He respected the projects’ surroundings, and thus followed that considerately into developing the house.

Spring Awakening 2010


Urban legends

Standing tall… and sustainable Sky Gate raises the stakes


eople like Nabil Sawabini are few and far between. For one thing, he has a weakness for old, traditional houses, which he is adamant not to raze regardless of the big bucks he will generate by putting up something modernly urbanized instead. And in a country with little attention for sustainable buildings and eco-conscious architecture, Sawabini, chairman and CEO of real estate development company MENA Capital, is leading the charge.

An investment banker for some 20 years with JP Morgan, Sawabini launched MENA Capital in 2004 and the Mena Capital Real Estate and Private Equity Fund in late 2005. Although the company has always concentrated on ample green spaces in its projects, its latest development is reaching new lengths by embracing green technology and cozying up to Earth-friendly construction techniques altogether fresh to the region. Located on the highest point in the East Beirut district of Ashrafieh, Sky Gate looks like an urban wall rising in the center of the capital with four shifting cubical volumes. Design genius Nabil Gholam makes the apartments look like villas in the sky, with dazzling 360 degree views of the city, sea, and upper mountains, and 3000 m2 of landscaping and water features with a running track in the gardens. Beyond got to the bottom of it with Sawabini, whose forerunning green project is due for completion in three years.

BEYOND: What is MENA Capital’s take on sustainable architecture and energy-efficient housing? NABIL SAWABINI: As a high-end real estate company, all of our projects have been distinguished for location, design, and quality of construction. As we developed over the last few years, we have noticed that to really make our mark we need to be very thoughtful of our environment. We started by consciously dedicating some 70 percent of the land of all our projects to gardens, as this city is lacking on green. In that sense, we’re doing green on the outside. Furthermore, we thought that water features are also essential, so we integrated them into the gardens. Then we decided to venture into green building. We found out and continue to learn that this is a wide issue with new things constantly popping up. We discovered that there are many things that can be done today that would make sense for later generations and constructions by saving on energy, maintenance, emissions… And the technology we have introduced is advanced enough to become economically viable. B: How will you go about doing that? NS: We are not adopting all technologies, as there are certain things that don’t make sense at this stage. We will capitalize on

Nabil Sawabini, chairman & CEO, MENA Capital

green trends. With future projects, as the technology advances, we will advance with it. The important thing is that we have started. Some people might speak of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) or other certificates. This certificate is very rigorous and demanding, and I am sure that people who claim they obtained it are not really there yet. We don’t want to claim that. We want to begin adopting green technology, which we’re doing willingly and out of conviction. We believe that we can be environmentally responsible, so we’re doing it both inside out.

B: What led you to go green? NS: It’s social responsibility. I lived for almost 20 years in the United States where I was introduced to that kind of lifestyle, and I realized upon my return home that some of the developments here are not at all environmentally friendly. It hit me that if we continue this way, we would be making our city really ugly, which is really unfortunate. As the green technology is beginning to advance, we definitely need to adopt it not only for our social responsibility but also for our future generations. So instead of throwing responsibility at others, we started taking action right away. B: What makes Sky Gate standout as a sustainable development? NS: It will be the highest quality building in Beirut bar none because it is located on the highest point in the capital, with 70 percent of land being landscape as well as greenery throughout the building. It is distinguished for the green technology leading to energy conservation and our use of environmentally friendly and quality materials. The building

Sky Gate’s eco-friendly features • Seventy percent of plot area to be planted. • Low emissivity double glazing with rolling sun screens to protect from heat and glare and reduce heating and cooling loads, leading to less energy/fuel consumption. • Solar collectors tubes on the entire tower technical roof serving the hot water in apartments, decreasing boiler operation time and fuel consumption. • Tower staircases equipped with natural ventilation, eliminating the mechanical fans and reducing electrical consumption. • High efficient water fixtures for toilets and kitchens, energy-efficient booster pumps, and water drip system to be used for irrigation to reduce water consumption by some 20 percent. • Insulation of all heating pipes considered to reduce heating losses. • Boilers specified and selected to limit gas emission. • Central heating system designed to synchronize usage of boilers for best efficient heating. • Air conditioning: Variable refrigerant volume (VRV) selected using friendly refrigerant gas, protecting the domestic ozone layer and reducing electrical consumption. • Building management system in place to monitor and minimize energy expenses. • Electrical installations and networks designed based on the latest technologies for electrical energy savings and sustainability. • All lighting fixtures specified for the illumination of public areas based on low energy consumption. • Equipment and their installations specified to limit noise pollution.

Spring Awakening 2010


happens to lie on two streets (Georges Haimari Street on one side and Ashrafieh Street). So one has access to these two streets, and enters it from the side street, which makes it more residential. We are also very conscious about spaciousness of area. For example, the parking lot is 1.4 times larger than parking lots in any other buildings. Developers are always thinking of exercise indoors but we’re doing a running track outside in the gardens, and every time one runs around it, he/she would complete one-third of a kilometer (333 meters). So if run thrice, that’s one kilometer. Sky Gate is the only building in Beirut that has that. Moreover, the building does not replicate the concrete structure of other buildings. It has what it known as urban windows so it is four shifting blocks. Every time the block shifts, you can actually see through it, and every time it shifts, there are gardens. It also won second place at the prestigious MIPIM in Cannes in the Tall Buildings category. With all the earthquakes hitting the world now, we are becoming very vigilant about this issue, and Sky Gate will go way beyond the standards. It will probably be the sturdiest building in the region. It is going to cost us, and we have no problem in paying that cost. 172


B: What led you to choose architect Nabil Gholam? NS: Nabil Gholam in my opinion is one of the better architects around. He is very forward thinking, quite innovative, and is very quality conscious. B: Are clients willing to pay more for living in a “green” apartment considering that developers have to shell out more for the special technology? NS: They are not willing to pay unless we convince them of what they are getting over the years. The buyer is more conscious of the obvious: Design, location, quality materials, and amenities. So it requires education on our part and on your part as a magazine to convince them. B: Where do you stand on local heritage preservation? NS: We refuse to take down any old, traditional constructions. We were offered to put down two constructions and erect new ones instead. We refused. I hope there will be more like us who will do the same. Instead of tearing down old houses, we plan to renovate them. I hope urban planning in the country will be smart enough to help developers and land owners take care of their properties by giving them incentives to keep the house yet build next to it.

Spring Awakening 2010


While you’re sleeping Downtown Beirut … in a lull Photoraphs by Michel zoghzoghi

Spring Awakening 2010

Saifi Village, Beirut





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Spring Awakening 2010


‫التنمية املستدامة‬

‫المسابقة السنوية‬ ‫الثانية ألفضل مشاريع‬ ‫التنمية المستدامة‬ ‫في منطقة جزين‬ ‫بمشاركة ‪ EASEIT & ALONOR France‬تنظم شركتا ‪ Rassemblement Pour le Liban France‬والتيار الوطني الحر ‪ -‬جزين المسابقة‬ ‫السنوية الثانية ألفضل مشاريع التنمية المستدامة في منطقة جزين لتكريم الذكرى المئوية الرابعة لبدء تحديث لبنان وانفتاحه على‬ ‫العالم من قبل األمير فخر الدين الثاني‪.‬‬ ‫تُكر ّم المسابقة الجزينية الثانية تحديث لبنان وانفتاحه على العالم من‬ ‫قبل األمير فخر الدين ب‪:‬‬ ‫• تخصيص جوائز بقيمة ‪ $10000‬ﻷفضل المشاريع ‪.‬‬ ‫• توسيع نطاق المسابقة لتشمل إلى جانب قضاء جزين‪ ،‬أقضية صيدا‪/‬‬ ‫الزهراني والشوف ‪.‬‬ ‫• تخصيص قيمة ‪ )$ 344,417 ( € 250000‬كرسا ميل استثمار ‪Venture Capital‬‬ ‫لتمويل الشركات المستحدثة‪ Startups‬في نطاق التنمية المستدامة‪.‬‬ ‫أهداف ومواضيع المشاريع‬ ‫لالشتراك في المسابقة يجب ان تلبي المشاريع األهداف البيئية ونوعية‬ ‫الحياة وصحة األهالي وعليها أيضا أن تشارك في التنمية االقتصادية ‪ ،‬ألقضية‬ ‫جزين صيدا‪ /‬الزهراني والشوف ‪.‬يجب احترام اإلطار العام أال وهو التنمية‬ ‫المستدامة‪.‬‬ ‫يمكن للمرشحين إما التقدم بمشروع ألحد المواضيع أو بمشروع ينطوي‬ ‫على العديد من هذه المواضيع‪ .‬ويمكنهم أيضا تقديم موضوع مختلف‬ ‫بشرط تحقيق األهداف اإلجمالية للمسابقة‪.‬المطلوب من المرشح أثناء‬ ‫عرضه لمشروعه إلى إطالع لجنة التحكيم على حيثية الطابع العام أو الخاص‬ ‫ألقضية جزين صيدا‪ /‬الزهراني والشوف بالنسبة إلى المواضيع التي يتناولها‬ ‫المشروع‪.‬‬ ‫ا لبيئة‬ ‫تم اختيار المواضيع التالية‬ ‫بالمناطق‪:‬‬ ‫• جودة المياه‬ ‫• األرض دون المبيدات‬ ‫• البنية التحتية للزراعة البيئية‬ ‫• الغابات‬ ‫• التنوع البيولوجي‬ ‫• الطاقة المتجددة‬

‫إما لطابع البيئة العام أو لحساسية معينة‬

‫نوعية العيش والصحة العامة‬ ‫لتشجيع األهالي للبقاء في مناطقهم أو العودة إليها كان من األهمية إيجاد‬ ‫إطار حياة ﺟﺫابا وصحيا‪.‬‬ ‫اختيرت المواضيع التالية‪:‬‬ ‫• ثقافات وتقاليد محلية‬ ‫• مساحات خضراء‪ ,‬رياضة و تسلية‬ ‫• مساحات جديدة ثقافية للكوادر‬ ‫• أدوات تقنية للسكان‬ ‫•المحافظة على الطابع الجزيني‬ ‫التنمية االقتصادية‪ :‬واجهة التنمية المستدامة‬ ‫اإلطار اﻠﺫي اختير هو التنمية المستدامة في إحدى المجاالت التالية‪:‬‬ ‫• إنتاج غذاء كاف وﺫي جودة‬ ‫•تنمية الثروات المحلية والسياحية الريفية‬ ‫• ترويج للطعام «البيولوجي» «‪ »organic‬والتنمية المستدامة‬ ‫• تقنيات جديدة ومراكز تقنية بيئية‬

‫جوائز المسابقة تقيّم المشاريع بحسب جدول معاييرُه احترام مختلف النقاط‬ ‫واألهداف المشار إليها سابق ًا ‪ .‬يتم توزيع جوائز عدة على المشاريع التي تنال‬ ‫أعلى التقييمات ‪ .‬إن مجموع قيمة هذه الجوائز هي ‪ . $10000‬يقرر أعضاء‬ ‫اللجنة الحاكمة عدد الجوائز وقيمتها الفردية حسب نوعية المشاريع النهائية‬ ‫في المسابقة الجزينية الثانية‪ ,‬خلقت شركة ‪ EASEIT‬رؤوس أموال استثمار‬ ‫(‪ )Venture Capital‬بقيمة ‪ $344,417‬و ذلك لتمويل الشركات المستحدثة‬ ‫‪ Startups‬والمنتجة في التنمية المستدامة‪ .‬تستطيع هذه الشركات أن تكون‬ ‫تكنولوجية‪ ,‬بيئية‪ ،‬زراعية‪ ،‬سياحية‪ ....,‬على شرط احترام التنمية المستدامة‪.‬‬ ‫في حال اقتضت الضرورة مثل وجود مشاريع عديدة منتجة وإستراتيجية‪,‬‬ ‫تستطيع شركة ‪ EASEIT‬زيادة مجموع هذه رؤوس األموال‪.‬‬ ‫المقدمة طلب تمويل رؤوس أموال االستثمار‬ ‫خالل المسابقة تستطيع المشاريع ُ‬ ‫‪ .‬في هذه الحالة على المشاريع أن تأخذ بعين االعتبار هذا التمويل لدى تقديمها‬ ‫الخطة االقتصادية )‪ Business) Plan‬و اقتراح النسبة المئوية من رأسمال الشركة‪.‬‬ ‫تستطيع الخطة االقتصادية أن تطلب تمويال ك ّليا أو جزئيا من رؤوس أموال‬ ‫االستثمار ‪.‬‬ ‫المشاريع التمهيدية‬ ‫يتم تقديم المشاريع التمهيدية (الدراسات التمهيدية و الخطوط العريضة‬ ‫للمشروع ) في ال‪ 30‬من أيار‪ 2010‬كحد أقصى بواسطة عناوين البريد‬ ‫االلكتروني أدناه‪ .‬خالل األسبوع التالي يدعى المرشحون لشرح مشروعهم‬ ‫التمهيدي أمام لجنة مؤلفة من ممثلين عن منظمي السابقة‪.‬يتم‬ ‫إعالن المشاريع المنتقاة للمرحلة النهائية عقب ذلك‪ .‬على المرشحين‬ ‫تقديم نسختين لملف يحتوي‪ :‬استمارة التسجيل‪ ،‬قبول شروط االشتراك‪،‬‬ ‫والمشروع التمهيدي‪.‬‬ ‫المشاريع النهائية‪ ‬‬ ‫يتم تقديم المشاريع النهائية في ال‪ 8‬من آب ‪ 2010‬كحد أقصى بواسطة‬ ‫عناوين البريد االلكتروني أعاله‪.‬‬ ‫اللجنة الحاكمة‬ ‫‪ 2010‬يدعى المرشحون لشرح مشروعهم النهائي أمام‬ ‫في آب‬ ‫على المرشحين تقديم‬ ‫لجنة في مكان يكشف عنه في حينه‪.‬‬ ‫نسختين لملف يحتوي‪ :‬استمارة التسجيل‪ ،‬قبول شروط االشتراك‪،‬‬ ‫والمشروع النهائي‪.‬‬

‫طلبات االشتراك واالستعالم‬ ‫يتم تعبئة و تقديم ملفات االشتراك حتى ال‪ 11‬من نيسان ‪ 2010‬إلى‪:‬‬ ‫‪Elie Aouad (Easeit / RPL France)‬‬ ‫‪ ),‬التيار الوطني احلر ‪ -‬جزين( ‪Khalil Harfouche‬‬

* The Cedar is our Flagship

Spring Awakening 2010


Spring Awakening 2010


Eco-religious EcoLab tourism

Let the children pay respect to nature instead of paying the price later Words by Cathy Chami Tyan


e need to educate our children to become responsible citizens. Thus, a good way to promote awareness of environmental issues and environmentally responsible behavior is through increased access to environmental education in schools. This education is to be essentially provided by schools, and educational programs must include awareness, love, and respect of the environment. It is evident that most environmental problems in Lebanon today result from insufficient education about respecting the environment in general and our cultural heritage in particular. In Lebanon, environmental education should mainly focus on making the young generations aware of and comprehend environmental issues and problems the country is facing. Education should promote an understanding of the relationship between humans and

their surrounding environment, and how each one of us is affected by the environment we live in. The fastest way for children to acquire knowledge is by exposing them to environmental concepts at school and applying practical education. Teachers may further encourage understanding by designing lessons and allowing for greater flexibility in program design by challenging students to exercise critical thinking in general. Students must be actively engaged, and programs must be developed focusing on student interaction with their environment. It would also be extremely beneficial that environmental education presentations and programs be designed to allow students to actively apply the information they have just learned. Students should be taken out into the field to view nature. Nature walks will give them the opportunity to experience their local environment, the rich biodiversity of their forests, and beautiful scenery in a more interactive manner than inside the classroom. Studying about traditional Lebanese houses and visiting traditional villages to appreciate the sustainable architecture our ancestors used will help develop a new generation of responsible citizens, sensitive to their culture and environment. Teachers must encourage discussion and debates on the environment whenever possible. The goal of the discussion is to make students think critically about the natural environment, how humans interact with the environment, and what responsibilities we have to protect the environment we live in. Ecology education is also crucial. Giving more importance to ecology classes by incorporating them in the school program and into the standard public and private school curriculum would be of great benefit to all. In their classes, students must learn to protect their forests, and understand the economic value of biodiversity, the high costs (hundreds of millions of dollars) of environmental degradation in Lebanon. The Lebanese civic education program is very dense and totally disliked by students. We need to make that class an interactive one in which teenagers would actively participate to protect their environment. In schools across the world, the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle� (3R) campaign was a major success. Students in some schools have even worked with teachers to establish more extensive environmental programs. In some schools students and teachers have extended their initial program of recycling glass, cans, and paper to include the composting of their food waste. We need to remember that the children of today are the leaders of tomorrow, the decisionmakers of the future. The future of our country depends on the new generation, and so we should do everything in our power to make them appreciate the environment.

International College Ain Aar rides the green wave Words by Ghada Sadek Abela


rees are like the lungs of the planet – they breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. Trees provide habitats for birds and other wildlife. They also reduce contaminants from the air. Surprisingly, in 1960, green forests covered 35 percent of Lebanon’s total area, whereas today they only cover 13 percent! That said, the next generation will be the first to deal with the real risks. In the spirit of trying to make a difference in our world and to pave the way to better days for our kids, the International College Ain Aar Parents Committee with the collaboration of International College Ain Aar management decided to make a wakeup call for Lebanese community in general and for students in particular by launching the “Mission Green” program. The program aims to restore a deforested area, hence creating an ecologically sustainable resource. The mission of IC Ain Aar is enhancing the wellbeing of communities especially in everything related to the

environment. Therefore, parents along with students from grade one until grade nine committed to planting trees in the Metn. They have participated in fundraising and the planting of over 250 trees. Students formed small groups, each responsible for planting a tree. Each tree was labeled with IC Ain Aar, the class level, and the academic year. The cost of each tree covered the preparation of the land for planting, the actual cost of the tree, and its maintenance over a one-year period. In the lower classes, students have developed a nursery in the school by planting seeds that will grow to become small trees. At a later stage, the same students will be able to plant those trees in a deforested land. IC Ain Aar believes that everything is possible. “Mission Green” will continue every year at the school in the hopes of encouraging others to follow our lead and turn our Lebanon even greener than it used to be before 1965.

Spring Awakening 2010


changing colors

13 going on 20 Initiative aims to green up Lebanon by seven percent Words by karim daoud Sawsan Bou Fakhreddine


pioneering initiative was launched this year by the Association for Forests, Development, and Conservation (AFDC) in collaboration with the Environment Ministry to increase Lebanon’s green cover from 13 to 20 percent. AFDC Director General Sawsan Bou Fakhreddine shares with Beyond the vision behind this project, its benefits, and mechanism. The vision The Lebanese National Reforestation Initiative is an ambitious project to completely transform the landscape of Lebanon by increasing the total forests covered area from 13 to 20 percent over the next 20 years, through a joint effort that trickles down from the government to the local grassroots level. 184


The plan Through a collaborative effort between the government, municipalities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector, the initiative aims to plant two million trees annually. During an initial 24-month period, a master plan and an implementation plan will be devised, while tree nurseries will be established as well as a setup for the next phase. Phase two will consist of conducting a field survey, planting trees, and creating an infrastructure for the protection of trees from fires and grazing. This phase is due to start in October 2011. The benefits Such an impressive reforestation initiative has a multitude of benefits on the worldwide environment, on Lebanon, on the economy, and on individual wellbeing.

• A substantial amount of the money (some 50 percent of total cost of the project) would go to creating green jobs at the grassroots level, empowering entire communities. • The project will allow for the development of eco-tourism opportunities. • Media coverage for such a massive project would raise awareness about environmental issues, leading to more responsible citizenship. • The new green space will provide alternatives to existing recreational activities. • The forests will generate new sources of wooden and nonwooden goods. • In 20 years, such efforts would dramatically improve Lebanon’s environmental standing by reducing carbon dioxide (CO2), increasing oxygen (O2), and raising rainfall levels, thus countering the effects of global warming and providing more water. The money AFDC tried to put together a fundraising scheme that is feasible, cost-effective, and innovative. In order to do this, the association plans to bring together key players and reach out to parties who may be of interest, including the Lebanese Diaspora. AFDC sought a variety of financing sources, ranging from the traditional to the more innovative options, Bou Fakhreddine remarks. The association is set to obtain the Clean Development

Mechanism (CDM) certification, allowing it to cover anywhere between 10 and 25 percent of the total cost. AFDC hopes to increase the amount of money raised through individual donations, which will allow for a widespread sense of ownership that will be beneficial to the project’s long-term goals. In numbers •36 million trees will be planted over 20 years. •1.8 million trees will be planted per year. • 70,000 ha (seven percent of national territory) will be planted. • 5,00010,000- jobs will be created. • $15 cost per tree, including the setup of state-of-the-art protective and preventive systems. • Annual budget: $27 million (0.3 percent of government expenditure) On a final note, Bou Fakhreddine points out that a number of reforestation projects at the national level have already proven successful and are under implementation by various local NGOs and municipalities and supported by the private sector, however on a much smaller scale. By unifying already exerted efforts and increasing financial and technical support, AFDC aims to create an exemplary model of successful reforestation, leading the way in the region, and being on par with developed countries. Spring Awakening 2010


Green getaways

Island a model for ecotourism Words by Amer el-Haddad

ocated in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is an island country that enjoys a reputation for sustainable practices and environmental awareness, a fact echoed by a nationwide foray into ecotourism. Despite New Zealand’s small size, remoteness, and relatively tiny population, its outlandish scenery – a collage of rugged landscapes, beautiful beaches, a temperate climate and fascinating animal and plant life – makes it a premium touristic destination for travelers from all over the globe. Travel and tourism in general can have a profound impact on the environment; sometimes affecting the balance of nature by damaging fragile resources and disturbing ecosystems. Well aware of this, New Zealand is keen on preserving its unique environment and offers visitors plenty of opportunities to explore it, on land and at sea, with a growing ecotourism industry aiming for becoming an ecologically friendly tourism model.



Accommodating new lifestyles Taking ecotourism to a whole new level, New Zealand has also ensured the availability of eco-friendly accommodation for tourists throughout the country. World acclaimed fivestar lodges in surreal natural settings through to self-catered eco-lodges and basic trampers’ huts in the wilderness give environmentally-conscious travelers plenty to choose frrom. New properties are constantly gaining Qualmark Green status – the country’s official tourism rating for quality and environmental performance. From land to sea, there is a bit of magic in every experience one has on the island. More than 30 percent of the land in New Zealand has been set aside in national parks, reserves, and special heritage sites. The country’s geography spans white to black sand beaches, mountains, thermal mud pools and geysers, plains, forests, rivers, lakes, and volcanic plateau. A total of 13 national parks are home to a wide variety of unspoiled landscape and

vegetation. Administered and maintained by the Department of Conservation, these parks provide opportunities for an array of activities, including hiking, mountain biking, skiing and snowboarding, kayaking, and trout fishing. New Zealand's high rainfall and many sunshine hours give the country a lush and diverse flora, with 80 percent of the trees, ferns, and flowering plants being of native origin. From the kauri forests of the far north to the mountain beech forests and alpine tussock of the Southern Alps, tourists on guided tours will find fascinating plants and trees in every part of the country. Coo coo for kiwi Isolated in the ocean, the country is blessed by unique birdlife, but human carelessness over the years has led to the extinction of a number of birds and the endangerment of others. Guided tours in the wilderness allow tourists to see many of the remaining birds in their natural habitat. New Zealand's national symbol, the kiwi, has also become an endangered species and is difficult to see in the wild. However, there are a number of "kiwi houses" in zoos and wildlife parks that are open to the public. Another much sought-after attraction in the remote parts of New Zealand is farming. Farm tours give tourists the opportunity

to come face-to-face with farmers and get their hands dirty and experience the daily ins and outs of a real farm. They can participate in some general tasks like milking a cow, feeding baby animals, observing sheep shearing, etc. Farm types include: Sheep, Cattle, Deer, Alpaca, Llama, Ostrich, Pig, Fish, Vegetable, Fruit, Grain, and much more. Towards the waters now. From long sandy beaches to wild rugged coastlines, New Zealand has over 15,000 kilometers of beautiful and varied seashore, offering visitors the opportunity to enjoy many aquatic activities; from sailing through vast bays, island-filled gulfs, and secluded waterways, to exploring inland rivers and lakes. Moreover, an abundant and diverse marine life allows for exquisite experiences in aquatic ecotourism. Whale watching and swimming with dolphins are two of the country›s most highly recommended tourist experiences. Kaikoura – a small seaside town on the east coast of the South Island – is one of the New Zealand’s leading nature tourism destinations. This year-round whale-watching destination is also renowned for its scenic location – a rugged coastline between the Pacific Ocean and the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps. Spring Awakening 2010


Green Art Lounge

Cinematic ecolution By thrusting environmental issues to the forefront, blockbuster film Avatar proves to be more than just a visually arresting masterpiece Words by Richard Labaki Illustration by Fadi Adleh


hilosophy had always been a subject almost exclusively pursued by chronic bookworms and incurable nerds up until "The Matrix" film came along and elevated intellectual heavyweights such as Plato, Descartes, and others to rock-star status. Suddenly, debating deep issues that have haunted the minds of a select few since the dawn of time – like the nature of truth and reality and the possibility of free will – became as cool as popping ecstasy pills and dancing to euphoric music. And what became clear afterwards was that any concept – from the abstract/theoretical to the concrete/practical – could be easily popularized and sold to the masses if it is coupled with groundbreaking Hollywood FX wizardry. This winning formula was skilfully implemented by director James Cameron whose masterwork "Avatar" has done for Gaia crusaders what "The Matrix" did for philosophy groupies. Despite the fact that the film’s story pales in comparison to the mind-blowing 3-D visual effects, and although the theme has been tackled numerous times before by other films, "Avatar" has seemingly succeeded in igniting a widespread infatuation with environmental causes. Some critics have slandered Cameron for deifying nature and equating it with God Almighty, but they

should have probably developed and honed their philosophical skills by watching "The Matrix" a couple of times. Is not the spirit of God present in the intricate web of life, which encompasses nature and all its creatures including us? By honoring and preserving the complex yet fragile realm of nature, we would be honoring and paying our respect to the Creator – not to mention preserving our existence, which is highly dependent upon the fine equilibrium of ecosystems. What "Avatar" has managed to fulfill was to recruit in one fell swoop numerous conscripts into the army of environmentalists, which has remained frail and weak up until recently. And while mass-production industrialists (infamous for depleting natural resources in recordtimes) will not shed tears while watching "Avatar" and undergo a sudden change of heart, the balance has been surely tipped in favor of their tree-hugging enemies. The film has succeeded in raising the collective awareness of humanity by helping us all understand how consumerism and materialism continue to tighten the noose around our necks. In simple terms, we remain instrumental in accelerating our demise unless we change our ways.


A roster of upcoming environmental and eco-related events across the globe

APRIL 2010 12-15 Project Qatar, Qatar Sustainability Conference

Doha, Qatar

18 EnviroArabia 2010

Manama, Bahrain

20-23 First Ever Green Economics Conference in Venice

Venice, Italy

MAY 2010 03-05 Environmental Economics 2010 Third International Conference on Environmental Economics and Investment Assessment Limassol, Cyprus

18-19 Mediterranean Sustainable Energy Summit 2010

Athens, Greece medsustainableenergy/overview.asp

18-22 Urban Biodiversity and Design URBIO 2010, Nagoya, Japan php?id=themes

20-21 Green Solutions Conference 2010 Bangkok, Thailand

JUNE 2010 01-04 Project Lebanon 2010, Sustainability Week Conference Beirut, Lebanon

03-05 Save Energy, Save Water, Save the Planet First International Conference and Exhibition Sofia, Bulgaria

07-08 Renewable Energy Beyond 2020 Trondheim, Norway

07-12 Footprint Forum 2010: Meet the Winners of the 21st Century Via Matteotti, Colle di Val d’Elsa, Italy

05-07 Sustainable Tourism 2010

Fourth International Conference on Sustainable Tourism New Forest, United Kingdom

08-10 Second World Ecotourism Conference 2010

Kuala Lumpur, WP, Malaysia http://www.

12-14 Sustainable Architecture and Urban Development

Amman, Jordan saud2010/

26-30 FSBI Fish and Climate Change 2010 Belfast, United Kingdom

SEPTEMBER 2010 05 -11 World Water Week in Stockholm

Stockholm, Sweden

JULY 2010 03-05 First International Congress on Urban and Environmental Issues and Policies Trabzon, Turkey

06-10 25th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition and 5th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion

Valencia, Spain http://

Spring Awakening 2010


In retrospect

Environment in Little concrete actions despite enhanced awareness Words by Suzanne Baaklini


n the environmental front, the first months of the year were characterized by the easing of the striking pressure ahead of and during the UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen in December. At the time, this atmosphere had reached Lebanon, where the newly formed government was represented at the summit by its Prime Minister Saad El-Hariri. The dramatically increased interest in environmental issues and in ecology, and the enhanced awareness of the public, did not result in specific and concrete actions in recent months, except for the intense efforts of the new Environment Minister, Mohammad Rahal, which was felt at various levels. Whether he will honor his promises remains to be seen, of course. Nevertheless, many problems linger, like the huge dump in Sidon, South Lebanon, which is giving Lebanon a bad reputation across the Mediterranean. In any case, here are main events concerning environment as of January.

the the

- January 3: Environmental activists denounce “the surprise construction” of a new fishing port in Manara (the Bain Militaire area) in West Beirut, only a few hundred meters away from the Manara port. The construction of the port caused considerable damage due to the ballast and the work onsite, which activists complained against, not convinced by the arguments of Transport and Public Works Minister Ghazi Aridi concerning the “temporary nature” of the damage. The minister’s decision led Beirut legislators to intervene, doubting the interests of such a project, precisely in that location. However, their presence near the site ended up in an altercation with laborers and fishermen. What happened after that, you may ask? The construction of the port is pushing ahead. - January 15: Following an oil leak in cement works in December that polluted a beach in Chekka in the north – not the first of its kind – Rahal announces his decision to conclude a contract with a petroleum reserve ship ready to intervene at any time in case of

pollution of the coast. A followup committee for this affair was formed. - January 18: Rahal, declares at a press conference, the work plan and program he asked his team to draw up for the coming three years. The minister, furthermore, announces that the document will be open for criticism and remarks until its final adoption, more than one month later. The development and enforcement of the laws, the adaptation to climate change, the management of solid waste, the protection of the natural heritage, etc. formed the backbone of the program, which was the subject of debate and commentary received by the ministry. The principal characteristic of the document is that it states the ministries with which the Environment Ministry would collaborate in each clause in order to achieve its goals. Would this characteristic prove to be the plan’s strength or its weakness, given the few prerogatives initially granted to the Environment Ministry and the conflict of

Lebanon update interests which caused damage to its actions in the past? Later that day, one of the largest illegal quarries in Lebanon – Ain Dara in the Chouf – makes headlines again. That day, Rahal, after announcing his work plan, goes to Ain Dara accompanied by the media in order to supervise the closure of the quarry. But it was the aggression against photographer (Rabih Mwanes) from Beyond who is is kidnapped, detained for hours and beaten by the owners of the quarry that led once and for all to the final closure of the site. In this regard, during a discussion session of his work plan in the seat of the Lebanese Environment Party (LEP) in February, Rahal states that the enforcement of the new master plan for the quarries is being pursued, and that more than 80 illegal quarries have already been shut down. Observers, however, confirm that many others are still operational. - February: This month is reserved worldwide to the spaying of street animals to prevent their proliferation under very difficult life conditions. In Lebanon, two associations for animal welfare –Animals Lebanon and Beta – held spaying campaigns in Beirut

and Roumieh, northeast of the capital. In a related development, the beginning of the year was marked by a long debate between Animals Lebanon and the owners of a circus, which organizes wild animal shows. The affair involved a decision by Agriculture Minister Hussein Hajj Hassan to deport the animals back to Egypt on the basis of inhumane treatment, and an action before the State Council that revoked the decision. Nevertheless, the saga continues. - March: The dramatic proportions of the pine caterpillar phenomenon come to the fore this year. In spite of the warnings of Terre-Liban Association, the delay in the resolution of the problem that threatens all Lebanon’s pines prompted the Agriculture Ministry to consider the use of powerful pesticides to be sprayed over affected areas. But this option was abandoned when it became clear that at this stage, it would do more harm than good. A work plan is in preparation at the ministry to better deal with this situation next season, knowing that the caterpillar is multiplying, essentially due to global warming. - Mid-March: The question of the illegal quarries takes on a new

proportion with the reopening of old sites in Dahr el-Baïdar after a protest by the owners of these quarries. But another statement is published by the Interior Ministry in the interest of the Environment Ministry to close them down again on March 22. - March 26: Rahal signs an agreement with Finance Minister Rayya el-Hassan to exempt environmentally friendly cars from import taxes. - January, February, and March: The winter months are ideal for reforestation campaigning, of which we cite a few. On January 17, thousands of trees were planted in different localities in South Lebanon, including Shhour, Houla, Khiam, and Rashaya elFakhar. Another reforestation campaign was carried out by air through army helicopters on February 17 over the various burnt forests of North Lebanon. In addition, the Association for Forest Development and Conservation (AFDC) pursued its campaigns for reforestation and awareness within the framework of its national project for the fight against forest fires in collaboration with the Environment Ministry.

Spring Awakening 2010


Green Instincts

Have you been naughty or nice to nature lately?

Ghada Abela

Mira Violides

President of the International College Ain Aar, Parents Committe


“If I put myself in the Earth’s place, would I like to be treated this way? I think ignorance and egotism hurt the environment the most."

“I think the environment is directly affected by our daily way of life. So I make sure not to offend nature, and I never throw anything not disposable. I believe that my behavior on the outside should be in harmony with my behavior inside the house.”

Zeina Khabbaz

Sandra Abou Nader

Landscape architect


“I would like to hide all concrete and plant the rooftops with gardens. I would also like to bring back native plants to welcome back the native birds, as I miss hearing them sing.”

“It is our duty to do our best to ensure a clean environment for us to live in and for future generations to thrive in. This includes saving on energy, reforestation, and recycling, as we do not have the luxury to ignore such essential issues.”

Beyond snooped around town to check out people’s eco savvy tendencies and thoughts.

Jyad Murr

Mirna halawi

COO of MTV and Nrj


“I always tend to start a fight with people I see throwing garbage from their cars. As a conscious reminder for people to think about nature, I always end my emails with this note: “Please consider the environment before printing this email”.”

“I support keeping everything clean and not harming the environment wherever I go. I feel very dedicated to nature. Hence, I own and run a vintage clothing store. "

Jacques Chahine

Nabil (Billy) Karam


Rally champion, activist

“I am involved in a series of auditing projects that are related to environmental conversation and water treatment. I am also involved in green building design.”

“I believe it is my duty to show the cleanliness of Lebanon for the sake of tourism. I insist on preserving green areas, and I have engaged in major efforts to reforest Lebanon and green up the country, including Faraya.”

Spring Awakening 2010


Green Instincts

Edward Bahout

Claudine Aoun


Director of ad agency

“I minimize my water consumption and waste production, reuse discarded materials, and reduce my carbon footprint. I also educate my children about the small things that can have an impact on the environment.”

“I recycle paper and glass and try to walk and carpool as much as possible. I use environmentally-friendly materials in all areas every time I can get my hands on them.”

Dana Azar

Zahi Abou Mansour

University professor

Advisor to Minister Akram Chehayeb

“I constantly recycle. I think we should harshly penalize anyone who violates nature, that way we will be generating awareness about this crucial matter.”

“Protecting the environment means providing a suitable setting for our children to grow, explore, and procreate. So sustaining the environment is sustaining life, and I do everything in my power to that end.”



Hadi Akl

Michel Zoghzoghi



“We should do the most basic things in order not pollute the environment and hurt nature. I believe a clean environment is essential. I love gardens so I live in a very green home.”

“I use as few plastic bags as possible and avoid using my car whenever I can. I never use any aerosol, and I politely yell at people who throw their trash on the street, in nature, etc…”

George Mouawad

Elias Azar



“I was involved in the cleanup and waste management of the Normandy dump. I also think consciously about the moves I make and how they would impact nature and my surroundings.”

“My mantra is ‘do not litter’. I do not allow people to throw anything out the window when in the car with me or to leave stuff behind after a picnic. I do my best to save on water.”

Spring Awakening 2010


great in deed

The eco Gandhi

Wael Hmaidan, the last non-violent action hero


inning Wael Hmaidan down for an interview is no easy task. Locating his office is no walk in the park either. But once you manage to sit down with the man, it is well worth both the wait and the effort. How do I define Wael Hmaidan? Let me count the ways.

the action. The action puts you in the spotlight. It’s the lobby work, advocacy, diplomacy, communication, and statement that make the change. Our strength is the advocacy and lobbying, which we work on in depth. Action is only five percent of the work,” he adds.

The first unpretentious description that comes to mind is that he is rare. So rare that the man who established an organization called IndyACT, which has had a rippling effect on our environment since 2006, does not believe he should be both the president and executive director of the group – “otherwise there will be no accountability even though I started IndyACT,” he argues. So rare that the environmentalist who has toured the world and knows some of the most extraordinary, awe-inspiring activists and personalities that ever walked this planet, does not know how to handle a compliment. He blushes, pauses for a few seconds to regroup. This is not a front. The warm sincerity in his voice does not lie. He even thinks the organization is just a tool to make a difference. “The minute IndyACT stops making a difference, it will cease to exist,” he stresses. So the organization should not be more important than the cause, he comments, in an indirect jab at some local and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

That is how IndyACT, or the League of Independent Activists, operates. Remember those big bare bellies that strutted across Beirut in the chilly winter months trying to raise funds to be able join the Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen? That was IndyACT. Some of you might recall “the man in the cube” who lived in a tiny seethrough container in Manara to illustrate the foreboding outcomes of global warming. That too was IndyACT. Their astute, traffic-stopping campaigns were part of endeavors to lobby for climate policy change negotiations in the Arab world. Media work is another five percent of the job, Hmaidan says. IndyACT, which groups environmentalists, feminists, and youth empowerment advocates, “is an incubator that supports environmental and social activists,” he notes. “One of the things we offer the activists is a brand, a name.”

Cause he cares Do not let the charming hazel eyes fool you though. Hmaidan is no saint. He has caused nations the world over headaches and even popped in and out of prison repeatedly for his confrontational action over the past 15 years. “If I see something wrong, I have to act. I cannot be complacent,” the dissident remarks. “The only way you can sustain physical danger and going to jail is if you truly believe and have a cause,” he quickly points out. “We don’t break the law for the sake of breaking the law. We break it because we believe this is for the best of society. We respect the law and believe in it; hence we are campaigning for policies. But sometimes you need to take action.” Action is Hmaidan’s oxygen – but not just any action. “Non-violence is a rule we never break.” So when parliament recently discussed the tobacco control law and they had tobacco moguls inside but not NGOs, activists organized a symbolic non-violent action before parliament in their belief that they should have equal representation. “We broke the law as we should not be there. But we were there to make a statement.” In Hmaidan’s mind, a bit of well-planned symbolic action goes a long way. He cites one of the most reverberating experiences of Indian spiritual and political leader Mahatma Gandhi –the 1930 Salt March. “The British Empire did not allow Indians to extract salt from the sea, as it owned the salt in the ocean by law. For Gandhi, that was unacceptable. He decided to collect water in a glass, put it in the sun for the water to evaporate, and make salt. In that sense, he broke the law. It is very symbolic, as the empire did not care if he extracted that bit of salt. But it was a non-violent direct action. So Gandhi broke the law for the cause.” Thus, action without political strategy is futile, Hmaidan opines. “It’s not the action that brings forth change. It’s the work around

IndyACT is not a grassroots organization. It conducts professional, strategic planning and analysis, says Hmaidan, the group’s executive director and board member. Passion and professionalism are secrets to a successful organization, he observes. “You need passion to drive the movement, as if you want to create change, you need courage, to be daring, and to stop caring about your ego so as to face real problems such as giant companies that can swallow you alive,” he explains. “Second, you really need to know what you’re doing. NGO work, advocacy, lobbying, and activism are art. You don’t just assemble a couple of excited people and they decide where to go from there. You need professionals.” Finding professionals with the right degree of passion is the tricky part. “We try to maintain that balance. We are lucky to have people with passion and long years of experience,” he adds.

A few good men IndyACT was in fact borne out of the passion of a handful of people who independently gathered in the throes of the July 2006 onslaught to fight the oil spill. At the time, the nameless bunch was working alone on containing the environmental calamity. “We mapped the whole Lebanese coast during the war under the bombing.” Later, IndyACT as a brand name would come to the fore. The organization offered invaluable information about the oil spill to the government and the media and widely contributed to the cleanup process. Born in 1976, Hmaidan escaped the real war at home through his imaginary world of comics and superheroes trying to save the planet. He was a classic case of “I want to become a doctor to save lives”. “So I joined the American University of Beirut (AUB) as chemistry premed.” Little did he know, however, that watching the MTV Music Awards would change his reason d'etre. During one ceremony, a group fighting ocean dumping scooped the award that is usually given to

an organization or individual doing or inspiring change. “There was a small inflatable with two people on who tried to situate the inflatable under a huge factory ship throwing chemical waste in the middle of the ocean so as to stop it from depositing the wastes at sea.” This as they say was the epiphany for Hmaidan.

arguing and debating with doctors because the experience I got from my passion, knowledge, and campaigns was very different,” Hmaidan explains. So he finished his courses but decided not to do the thesis. He would remain with Greenpeace until 2006 in his capacity as chief campaigner in the Arab world up until 2006 when he decided to go solo.

In 1996, when Greenpeace took root in Lebanon, Hmaidan was the first to sign up for the international organization. He became an action team leader, and later a professional rope technician who also trained fellow members. He even became part of the Greenpeace International climbing team that trains other officers and engages in confrontational action around the world. At the time he was juggling with his studies, night job, and Greenpeace volunteer work. While he did complete his degree, he realized that his heart was no longer in medicine. So he tried his hand at masters in environmental science instead. “I was always

Now in his minimalist premises tucked away at the end of Gemmayzeh, Hmaidan speaks of his goals. “To make as much difference as possible where I believe I can introduce the most change, be it in the environment or other sectors. And it doesn’t have to be in Lebanon or through IndyAct,” he says. “My main concern is to inspire. That’s the best change I can do. Gandhi helped liberate India. But this is not his greatest achievement. His biggest achievement was inspiring millions to follow his lead, to this very day,” he says, his eyes light up as he speaks of one of his all-time idols. Spring Awakening 2010





‫على األرض مع النائب مروان حمادة‬ ‫رئيس لجنة البيئة النيابية يتحدث عن األهداف والمشاريع البشرية‬ ‫بقلم سوسن بو فخر الدين‬

‫زيادة اإلدراك العام والشعبي للمسؤوليات التي تقع على‬ ‫عاتق الوزارة‪ ،‬وبالتالي السعي إلى زيادة اعتماداتها المالية‪،‬‬ ‫وتفعيل النصوص القانونية واستكمالها لتفعيل تدخل‬ ‫الوزارة»‪ ،‬باإلضافة إلى مساعدة الوزارة في تطبيق الخطة‬ ‫التي طرحها مؤخرا وزير البيئة محمد رحال للسنوات الثالثة‬ ‫المقبلة‪.‬‬ ‫وفي نفس اإلطار‪ ،‬ركز حمادة على أن بقية الوزارات يفترض أن‬ ‫تستشير وزارة البيئة حكما في كافة المشاريع التي لها وقع‬ ‫أو انعكاس بيئي وفي الوقت نفسه أن يكون للوزارة جهاز‬ ‫رقابة لتصبح تدريجيا وزارة تنفيذية وليس فقط وزارة تنظيمية‪.‬‬

‫لإلطالع على الخطوط العريضة لعمل لجنة البيئة‬ ‫النيابية في المرحلة المقبلة‪ ،‬التقت مجلة بيوند رئيس‬ ‫اللجنة النائب مروان حمادة الذي اختصر األهداف القريبة‬ ‫للجنة البيئة بمحاور خمسة أساسية‪.‬‬

‫قررت لجنة البيئة النيابية أن تتوزع بأعضائها على باقي‬ ‫اللجان النيابية كلما بحث أمامها مشروع أو اقتراح قانون له‬ ‫عالقة بالبيئة وذلك لدعم اإلدراك البيئي لدى اللجان االخرى‪.‬‬ ‫ومن أهم اللجان التي ستتعاون معها اللجنة البييئة حسب‬ ‫قول حمادة «هي لجنة األشغال ولجنة الطاقة والمياه ألن‬ ‫هذه اللجان تعنى بمعظم القوانين المائية والكهربائية‬ ‫والبنيوية وهي بالتالي تتالقى وتتقاطع فيما بينها ولذلك‬ ‫وجب التنسبق والتعاون»‪.‬‬ ‫كما وتهدف اللجنة إلى المواكبة المستمرة لوزارة البيئة‬ ‫ودعمها وإفساح المجاالت القانونية والمالية أمامها لكي‬ ‫تنجز بالتعاون مع الحكومة وبرعاية رئيس الحكومة سعد‬ ‫الحريري النقاط أو األهداف التي حددتها لنفسها من خالل‬ ‫البيان الوزاري‪« .‬وبالتحديد سيتم دعم وزارة البيئة لناحية‬


‫ ‪Spring Awakening 2010‬‬

‫وأشار حمادة إلى الهدف الثالث للجنة ‪« :‬إن غياب مجلس‬ ‫النواب عن العمل التشريعي في السنوات الماضية‬ ‫انعكس سلبيا على القوانين ومشاريع القوانين وعلى‬ ‫تخصيص االعتمادات وتبني الموازانات‪ ،‬وهذا أمر ستعمل‬ ‫لجنة البيئة النيابية بالتعاون مع لجنة المال والموازنة على‬ ‫تفاديه»‪.‬‬ ‫باإلضافة إلى ذلك ستقوم لجنة البيئة باالستفادة من‬ ‫جهود الخبراء الذين تم اختيارهم من قبل المجلس النيابي‬ ‫لمساعدة اللجنة‪ ،‬كما ستضع ثمرة دراساتهم وتقاريرهم‬ ‫بتصرف باقي اللجان في المجلس وخصوصا بتصرف وزارة‬ ‫البيئة‪.‬‬ ‫إلى ذلك ستقوم اللجنة بالدعوة إلى مؤتمر بيئي عام‬ ‫بالتعاون مع وزارة البيئة ومختلف الوزارات المعنية خالل‬ ‫الصيف‪« .‬إن المؤتمر سيطرح ويناقش كل المواضيع البيئية‬ ‫الملحة ال سيما مشكلة تغير المناخ وخطة لبنان للتصدي لهذه‬ ‫المشكلة‪ ،‬كما ولالستفادة من المناخ العالمي للحصول على‬ ‫قروض تدعم المشاريع المقترحة من مختلف الوزارات وال سيما‬ ‫البيئة»‪ .‬وفي الختام‪ ،‬ركز رئيس لجنة البيئة على أربعة مواضيع‬ ‫بيئية أساسية يجب العمل بجد عليها وهي البحر والغابات‬ ‫والهواء واألرض‪.‬‬

‫المحتويات‬ ‫األ ر ض‬ ‫‪58‬‬ ‫‪74‬‬

‫ع الخبزة والزيتونة‬ ‫أشجار الزيتون في لبنان‬

‫ها السيارة مش عم تمشي‬ ‫أين تذهب العربية‪ ...‬في نهاية المطاف؟‬

‫الـجـو هـر‬ ‫‪106‬‬

‫مستقبل أسود للتونة ذات الزعانف الزرقاء‬

‫‪ 122‬البيئة واالحزاب اللبنانية‪:‬‬ ‫إقرأ تفرح جرّب تحزن‬

‫إجرام بيئي مستمر ‪...‬‬ ‫ٌ‬ ‫‪126‬‬

‫وغياب الشعور بخطر تدهور ٍ لدى المواطنين!‬

‫آ فـا ق‬ ‫ ‪ 178‬التنمية المستدامة في منطقة جزين‬ ‫‪ 199‬على األرض مع النائب مروان حمادة‬

‫فريق عمل بيوند‬ ‫الناشرة والمديرة العامة‬ ‫باسكال شويري سعد‬ ‫مدير عام مساعد‬ ‫رونالد سعد‬ ‫رئيسة التحرير‬ ‫مها مجذوب‬ ‫اإلستشارة البيئية‬ ‫إدغار شهاب‬ ‫سوسن بو فخر الدين‬ ‫المنسقة العامة‬ ‫جويل شويري مخول‬ ‫مديرة التصوير‬ ‫ندى كرم‬ ‫تصوير خاص‬ ‫ميشال اإلسطا‪ ،‬فؤاد ناصيف‪،‬‬ ‫جورج غريّب‪ ،‬ستيفان حداد‪،‬‬ ‫ربيع مونّس‪ ،‬ميشال زغزغي‬ ‫التصميم واالخراج الفني‬ ‫بولين حاج‬ ‫الكتاب المشاركون‬ ‫سوزان بعقليني‪ ،‬بسام القنطار‬ ‫أنطوان جرمانس‪ ،‬منير أبو سعيد‬ ‫فادي بو علي ‪ ،‬كريم داوود‬ ‫زينة غسوب األسود‪ ،‬عامر الحداد‬ ‫هانيا جرداق‪ ،‬جورج متري‬ ‫هالة نفاع‪ ،‬ماريو نجم‪ ،‬مي تنير‬ ‫كرين زغبي‬ ‫المدير المسؤول‬ ‫أنطوان حاج‬ ‫فرز و طباعة‬ ‫‪Chamas for Printing and Publishing‬‬

‫المزرعة‪ ،‬سنتر كولومبيا‬ ‫تم طبع هذه المجلة على ورق أعيد تدويره‬

‫تصدر عن‬ ‫‪Five Stars Tourism sarl‬‬ ‫شارع العازرية ‪ ،‬مبنى العازرية‪-‬‬ ‫بلوك ‪ A1‬بيروت‪ ،‬لبنان‬ ‫ت‪+961 1 994 006 :‬‬ ‫ف‪+961 1 994 700 :‬‬

‫كلمة الناشر‬

‫هل أجرؤ على الحلم؟‬ ‫تعج الطبيعة في فصل الربيع بالحياة والحيوية‪ .‬هي فترة‬ ‫والتجدد وإستعادة الشباب تقوم خاللها الغابات‬ ‫للوالدة‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫والحقول بالتخ ّلص من ردائها البني اللون القاتم والممل‬ ‫لترتدي اللون األخضر المنعش‪ .‬إنه موسم معانقة األشجار‬ ‫الفوار والجميل ورائحة براعم أشجار‬ ‫وإشتمام رائحة الياسمين‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫البرتقال‪ .‬حان الوقت ألخذ نفس عميق‪ ...‬لرؤية العالم بألوان‬ ‫جذابة وإستنشاق مزاج الربيع البرعمي األخضر‪...‬‬ ‫ً‬ ‫شبيهة‬ ‫هل هي أحالم اليقظة تراودني؟ هل أعيش لحظة‬ ‫بلحظات رواية «أليس في بالد العجائب»؟ هل نسيت الفوضى‬ ‫تعم طبيعتنا؟‬ ‫التي‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫إنني أعيش في عصر أخاف فيه الخروج تحت أشعة الشمس‬ ‫ً‬ ‫خشية من الضرر الذي قد يسببه لي الثقب في طبقة األوزون‪،‬‬ ‫عصر أخاف فيه ّ‬ ‫تنفس الهواء ألنني ال أعرف ما هي المواد‬ ‫الكيميائية واألمراض التي يحملها‪ ،‬عصر أحترس فيه من التمتع‬ ‫بتناول المأكوالت البحرية واللحوم خوف ًا من المواد السرطانية‬ ‫التي قد تحتوي عليها‪ .‬حتى الفاكهة والخضار المزروعة محلي ًا أصبحت اليوم ذات سمعة سيئة‬ ‫التلوث‪،‬‬ ‫إذ يقال أنها تحمل مواد سامة‪ .‬إنه أيض ًا عص ٌر أخشى فيه أن أسبح في مياه البحر الشديدة‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ً‬ ‫متالشية إلى األبد‪...‬‬ ‫عصر اإلبادة السريعة للحيوانات وذبول النباتات‪،‬‬ ‫يزرع هذا الواقع الحزن في نفسي‪ ...‬إنني غاضبة‪ ...‬إنني خائفة‪ ...‬لكنني لست عمياء‪ .‬ومع‬ ‫ذلك ما زلت أجرؤ على األمل‪ .‬لدي أمل ألنني أؤمن بأنه لم يفت األوان لتغيير األمور‪ ...‬الوقت لم‬ ‫يتأخر‪ ...‬لألمل‪ .‬ال يسعني إال أن آمل‪.‬‬ ‫فقدت األمل تكون قد فقدت الحيوية التي تستمر من خاللها الحياة‪ ،‬تكون قد فقدت تلك‬ ‫«إن‬ ‫َ‬ ‫الشجاعة التي تث ّبت وجودك تلك الصفة التي تساعدك على اإلستمرار بالرغم من كل شيء‪.‬‬ ‫لذا اليوم ال يزال لدي حلم‪ »...‬مارتن لوثر كينغ اإلبن‪.‬‬

‫باسكال شويري سعد‬

Photo: Peter Khatcherian 03 - 273603

“The best time to plant a tree was always 20 years ago. The second best time is always today�

With every purchase from YESSAYAN Boutiques you plant a tree

Achrafieh Sassine Square Yessayan Building Tel.: 961-1-322522 Beirut - Lebanon

Le Mall S i n E l F i l 1st floor Grand Habtour Hotel Tel.: 961-1-489775 Beirut - Lebanon


‫في وجه‬ ‫الصعوبات‬ ‫الجمة‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫تمر البيئة في لبنان اليوم بظروف صعبة‬ ‫نتيجة التغ ّير المناخي الذي يترك تأثيراته‬ ‫السلبية على مختلف أنحاء االرض‪ ،‬ما‬ ‫يستدعي منا أن نشبك االيدي ونضافر‬ ‫جهودنا للحفاظ على ثرواتنا ومواردنا‬ ‫الطبيعية‪ ،‬والسيما أن ما ينتظرنا هو‬ ‫أقسى مما نشهده حالي ًا‪ .‬وقد د ّلت نتائج‬ ‫دراسة أجراها الخبير القبرصي في شؤون‬ ‫البيئة والطاقة والمياه البروفسور مانفريد‬ ‫النج حول تأثير تغ ّير المناخ على لبنان في‬ ‫المستقبل‪ ،‬أن بلدنا سيشهد ارتفاع ًا في‬ ‫درجات الحرارة بمعدل درجتين بحلول العام‬ ‫‪ 2045‬وبمعدل ‪ 5‬درجات بحلول العام ‪.2095‬‬ ‫كذلك أشارت الدراسة الى أن معدل االمطار‬

‫الخاص وبأهمية الشراكة والتعاون بينه‬

‫وشدد على‬ ‫فأكد دعمه لما تقوم به الوزارة‬ ‫ّ‬

‫وبين القطاع العام‪ .‬وأبرز خطوة في هذا‬

‫ضرورة احترام قرارات الدولة وهيبة القانون‪.‬‬

‫المجال تمثلت بعقد اجتماع مع مجلس‬ ‫ادارة جمعية المصارف برئاسة الدكتور‬

‫وفي السياق عينه‪ ،‬نتابع خطة التحريج‬

‫جوزف طربيه تخلله نقاش في سبل‬

‫لالراضي المحروقة سواء عبر التشجير‬

‫العام ‪ .2095‬وهذا ما يستدعي من الدولة‬

‫التعاون والتنسيق بين وزارة البيئة والقطاع‬ ‫المصرفي والتفكير مع ًا في كل ما يخدم‬

‫اليدوي أو من خالل نثر بذور الصنوبر‬ ‫والسنديان من الجو بالتعاون مع طوافات‬

‫التأثيرات السلبية والتك ّيف مع التغ ّير‬ ‫المناخي الذي س ُتضاف خسائره الى كلفة‬ ‫المقدرة سنوي ًا في لبنان ب‬ ‫التدهور البيئي‬ ‫ّ‬

‫البيئة ودعم المشاريع الصديقة للبيئة‪.‬‬

‫الجيش اللبناني‪ ،‬وهذه عملية تغطي‬

‫بموازاة ذلك‪ ،‬إننا نسعى بشكل دؤوب‬

‫مساحات واسعة من االراضي نأمل أن‬ ‫يعود اليها االخضرار بعد تق ّلص نسبة‬

‫للحد من تلوث الهواء والمياه‪ ،‬ونراقب‬

‫الغطاء الحرجي في لبنان الى ‪ 13‬في‬

‫بشكل دائم عمل المقالع والمرامل‬

‫المئة فقط من مجمل مساحة لبنان‪ .‬إننا‬

‫والكسارات كي ال تنهش الجبال وكي‬

‫نعدكم بعدم توفير أي جهد في سبيل‬

‫تلتزم بالشروط البيئية الموضوعة‪ ،‬ونحن‬

‫الحفاظ على مواردنا الطبيعية وعلى‬

‫ال نتهاون مع المخالفين ونقف ضد التمديد‬

‫لبنان أخضر وسماء زرقاء صافية‪ ،‬وإن ننظر‬


‫الى وزارة البيئة كوزارة سيادية وليس‬

‫والكسارات‪ ،‬وقد ضبطنا هذا االمر من‬

‫وزارة ثانوية‪ ،‬ونأمل أن نصل بالتعاون‬

‫خالل حصر التراخيص بوزارة البيئة بموجب‬

‫مع المجتمع االهلي والجمعيات البيئية‬

‫القانون ومنع المحافظين أو القائمقامين‬

‫وبدعم من وسائل االعالم الى تحقيق‬ ‫االهداف التي نصبو اليها حفاظ ًا على إرث‬

‫وإن تجربتنا في عين داره خير دليل‪ ،‬وقد‬


‫سينخفض بنسبة ‪ 18‬في المئة بحلول‬ ‫العام ‪ 2045‬وبمعدل ‪ 50‬في المئة بحلول‬ ‫اللبنانية وضع استراتيجية الستيعاب هذه‬

‫‪ 565‬مليون دوالر‪.‬‬ ‫وإن وزارة البيئة حيال التطورات المرتقبة‬ ‫ال تألو جهداً في التصدي للتحديات‬ ‫البيئية‪,‬وإننا‬




‫الوزارية ننكب على درس الخطط البيئية‬ ‫ونعقد اللقاءات والمؤتمرات في اطار ورشة‬ ‫كبيرة بدأت بتفعيل عمل كل أقسام الوزارة‬ ‫ولم تنته بوضع برنامج عمل للسنوات‬ ‫الثالث المقبلة يتطرّق الى معالجة مختلف‬ ‫القضايا البيئية بالتنسيق والشراكة مع‬ ‫الجهات المعنية في القطاعين العام‬ ‫والخاص وبااللتزام بالمعاهدات واالتفاقات‬ ‫البيئية الدولية‪ .‬وأنا كوزير بيئة أتيت الى‬ ‫الوزارة من فريق سياسي يؤمن بالقطاع‬





‫من إصدار التراخيص تحت أي عنوان كان‪،‬‬ ‫كان لمجلتكم الكريمة دور في مواكبة‬ ‫هذه العملية التي وصلت أصداؤها الى‬ ‫مجلس الوزراء بعد حادث االعتداء الذي‬ ‫تعرّض له مصوركم العزيز (ربيع مونس)‪،‬‬

‫محمد رحّال وزير البيئة‬

When distinction and prestige have no limits.

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Spring Awakening 2010


‫الوزير محمد رحّال‬ ‫تشي غيفارا البيئة في لبنان‬ ‫األمم المتحدة تضيء سماء لبنان ‪-‬‬ ‫بواسطة الطاقة المتجددة‬ ‫البلوفين تونا تغرق ببحر من الدم‬