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In 2000, the late Prime Minister Rafik Hariri invited me to introduce environmental dimensions into his parliamentary elections platform, while the economic and social aspects were assigned to Bassel Fleihan.This was the first time that a bold and clear environmental policy was introduced into a government program in Lebanon.The environmental crisis in Lebanon is the product of a failing system.Lebanon might not lack good plans and programs, as much as the political will to implement them.At the forefront of environmental problems in Lebanon are waste management, pollution of air, water and food, coastal zones, deforestation and poor management of water resources.However, the most serious crosscutting threat to the environment in Lebanon is the chaotic state of land use. The government's statement of October 2000 was the most serious attempt to approach the environmental challenges at the national level.This will be accompanied by the development of a viable program that identifies priorities for implementation in collaboration with relevant ministries and departments, including: land use regulation, air quality, clean and renewable energy, water management, agriculture and forestry, integrated waste management, education and environmental awareness.
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