Throughout the month of May, LOGI in partnership with Kulluna Irada, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, and as a member of Publish What You Pay, has focused its efforts on two main areas that are aligned with LOGI’s strategic pillars. The first area focused on the “mitigation for environmental impact in the oil and gas sector”. The second, focused on strengthening civil society’s engagement and use of transparency tools, namely the Access to Information Law and the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative-EITI.
In light of the recent developments in the sector, LOGI has responded to two most welcome calls for input and public consultation issued by the Lebanese Petroleum Administration (LPA) and RSK Environment Ltd, the company that is subcontracted by Total, respectively. In the first call for input, the updated Strategic Environmental Assessment semi final report was posted by the LPA for feedback. LOGI in collaboration with Geoflint, organized and led on meetings with experts to generate input and comments regarding the updated draft. Comments were gathered, organized and sent to the LPA for consideration. The final SEA report is expected to be published within the coming month.
The second call for input was initiated by RSK, the company subcontracted by Total, to execute two studies, the Environmental & Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and the social baseline assessment. These benchmark studies need to be completed prior to the launch of any drilling activity. Early in May, RSK posted the scoping framework for the ESIA for revision. LOGI, as a response, organized an experts meeting to go over the documents made available online. A number of remarks and comments were provided by the experts and subsequently uploaded as feedback on the ESIA scoping framework.
In addition, LOGI has been supporting Lebanese civil society’s involvement in the implementation of the EITI. After an initial call from the Minister of Energy and Water in March 14th asking civil society to elect its representatives on the MSG based on the Code of Conduct prepared and endorsed by the wider civil society, LOGI as a member of the Lebanese Coalition for Good Governance in the Extractive Industries, has been adamant on ensuring that the election process happens in an inclusive and transparent manner. On May 9th, LOGI published an OpEd detailing the framework within which the EITI is best to be implemented in Lebanon.
In accordance to Access to Information Law (number 28/2017), LOGI submitted on May 18th a request (via LibanPost) to have a copy of the contract signed between the Minister of Energy & Water in January 2019 with the Russia-owned company Rosneft. The request was sent to Mrs. Joumana Khawand, head of the Diwan at the Administrative Units at the Ministry of Energy and Water. The addressed person should respond within 15 days upon the receipt of our request. LOGI will be providing updates on the course of this request.