Strengthening Environmental Governance of the Oil and Gas Sector in Lebanon

In light of potential petroleum production commencing off the coast of Lebanon in the near to medium future,

It is necessary to consider the environmental impact and risk of petroleum exploration, development, production, and decommissioning.

This paper presents the main environmental risks and impacts associated with offshore oil and gas activities, environmental best practices for offshore environmental management, existing relevant legislation in Lebanon and its adequacy for the new offshore petroleum sector, and conclusions and recommendations to strengthen the existing environmental governance system in Lebanon to adhere to the requirements of the offshore sector. While in many aspects the Lebanese environmental governance system meets international standards, it is recommended that Lebanon review its institutional capacity to regulate the oil and gas sector, legislation be strengthened to cover gaps in environmental regulation of the sector, stakeholder coordination be enhanced to ensure roles and responsibilities are clear, and a clear road map to implement a national oil spill response plan be formulated to address potential environmental crises.

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