Integrating environmental considerations into the industrial sector

22 May 2014

imageSigning ceremony at the Ministry of Environmet

Under the patronage of His Excellency the Minister of Environment, Mr. Mohammed Al Mashnouk, and Minister of Industry, Dr. Hussein Hajj Hassan, the Ministries of Environment and Industry have held along with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) a conference to announce the partnership on “Updating and completing the industries’ database” on Wednesday 21st, 2014 at 10:00 AM in the Conference Hall at the Ministry of Environment.

The conference was preceded by a closed-door meeting attended by both Ministers, Resident Representative of the UNDP in Lebanon, Ross Mountain, the Association of Lebanese Industrialists (ALI), the heads of Industrial Unions or their representatives in addition to a working group of the two ministries. The meeting focused on the practical details of the application of the mechanism agreed upon between the two Ministries, specifically the role of trade unions in circulating a format in factories to collect information.

These institutional arrangements between the Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Environment aim at:

1-Updating and completing the industries’ database available at the Ministry of Industry,

2-Preparing economic, industrial and environmental indicators pertaining to the industrial sector in Lebanon to better conceptualize the industrial development,

3-Creating a sustainable mechanism between the two ministries and the industrial sector for the collection and exchange of environmental and industrial information with a view to documenting it, since all parties need to collect this information on a regular basis.

After the closed-door meeting, a memorandum of  understanding - the first of a series of memoranda that the Ministry of Environment intends to sign with all ministries – was signed to coordinate the environment-related action of both ministries by identifying the priorities of cooperation in many fields including the industrial pollution control, calculating the amount of greenhouse gases stemming from the industrial sector and the climate change.

During the press conference, Minister of Environment, Mr. Mohammed Al Mashnouk, delivered a speech in which he pointed that the environment is a shared responsibility as each individual and institution has a role in conserving the natural resources praising the importance of the partnership between the private and public sectors in light of the need to address the difficulties and problems faced by Lebanon through unity, solidarity and cooperation among all sectors.

On his part, the Minister of Industry voiced his bias to the environment and industry alike as the evolution of industrial productivity cannot be at the expense of the natural resources, and vice versa. Hajj Hassan stated that Lebanon does not have too many industries harmful to the environment as aluminum industry. However, the cooperation between the two ministries is part of the collection of all information needed to adopt industrial policy decisions that serve the scientific-based sustainable development.

The Minister of Industry supported the motivational initiatives provided by the Ministry of Environment to encourage industrial enterprises to cooperate starting from the Certificate of Environmental Compliance (CEC) passing by the Certificate of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting arriving to the technical and financial support for the completion of environmental studies of industrial enterprises.

As for UNDP Resident Representative, Ross Mountain, mentioned “across the world, the multidisciplinary management of economic, social and environmental sectors at the national level is a crucial task of Government and the way of the future. Our gathering today is the perfect example of this multidimensional approach.