LEBANON: Arab environment ministries seen as second division

Most environment ministers in Arab countries are incapable of enacting or enforcing environmental legislation, since their role in the government is marginal and the actual power remains in the hands of "first class" ministers. Some environment ministers are fighting back but success is far from guaranteed, reports The Daily Star.

The new Government in the Lebanon promised to develop a national environmental policy, address environmental priorities in the framework of defined strategy and integrate this among different government departments. It then proceeded to halve the Ministry of Environment’s budget to $1.5 million.

This is typical of many Arab governments, where “due to the lack of money, experience and power, ministries of environment become submissive tools in the hands of contractors, middlemen and entrepreneurs”, writes Najib Saab, architect and editor-in-chief of Environment & Development magazine, the The Daily Star.

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