Press Conference on partnership between the Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Environment

21 May 2014

Statement of H.E. Mr. Ross Mountain

UNDP Resident Representative in Lebanon

 

on the occasion

of the Press Conference on partnership

between the Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Environment

 

“Updating and completing the industries’ database”

 

 

 

Ministry of Environment

Beirut - Lebanon

 

21 May 2014

 

 

 

Your Excellency Minister Hussein el Hajj Hassan, Minister of Industry

Your Excellency Minister Mohammad Al Mashnouk, Minister of Environment

Your Excellencies

Dear members of the press,

Dear Friends,

 

-         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.  I extend my sincerest thanks to both the Minister of Environment (our kind host) and the Minister of Industry for their collaboration. 

 

-         Numerous development challenges are facing the world and Lebanon today which require coordinated action.  This is evidenced by the on-going fuel, climate, water, financial and environmental issues that we are encountering on a daily basis.  The current Syrian refugee crisis is only exacerbating the situation. 

 

-         In signing the memorandum of understanding, the Government of Lebanon is taking the first step towards integrating environmental considerations into the industrial sector while industries are promoting green activities that would benefit both Lebanon’s environment and economy. The industrial sector is no longer focused solely on quantity and quality of production. Corporate Social Responsibility, sustainability and environmental engagement are now essential pillars for any successful industry.

 

-         The promotion of “green jobs” is the way of the future.  The approach of a greener, low-carbon economy that is being sought today attempts to look for ways to address employment, energy and environment at the same time in order to increase job opportunities, especially for the youth.

 

-         UNDP has been working for decades with the Government of Lebanon to promote this integrated and comprehensive approach. UNDP’s partnership with the Ministry of Environment through the implementation of numerous projects such as the Low Emission Capacity Building Programme, the Ozone Office and the Lebanon Environmental Pollution Abatement Project is trying to create technical and financial incentives, including low interest loans and grants, to support industries to adopt cleaner technologies.  UNDP is also supporting institutional mechanisms to report on environmental indicators and build capacity towards a lower carbon development strategy  UNDP believes that greening Lebanon’s economic sector will more job opportunities, increases returns not only to the private sector but to the economy as a whole and expands market opportunities.

 

-         Today, we are proud to see that all this work has materialised into a solid partnership between the Ministries of Industry and Environment.  This is a significant step forward in meeting environmental compliance, reporting on greenhouse gas emissions and generating new industrial and environmental indicators.

 

-         The efforts deployed thus far should be maintained and multiplied so that Lebanon becomes an example in the transparent and efficient reporting and collaboration between the industrial and the environmental sector; between both the public and the private sector.

 

-         I would like to thank the Ministry of Industry, in particular the Minister and the Director General, for believing in this initiative and for working closely with the teams on the ground to make this collaboration happen.

 

-         In closing, I would like to thank everyone at the Ministry of Environment, in particular the Minister for his dynamism and leadership, and the climate change and LEPAP teams for their perseverance and hard work.  I look forward to our continued collaboration, and hope to extend this joint effort to other sectors.