Helping Partners in Lebanon Combat Environmental Challenges

Lebanon is a country rich in biodiversity. Its complex eco-system has spawned a growing awareness of the value and importance of environmental preservation.

The spillover from the civil war in Syria, however, has had a profound impact, and has resulted in the over-use and degradation of its natural resources.

The resulting buildup of frustration and tension was most dramatically exemplified by the garbage crisis in 2015, which led to massive popular protests.

While Lebanon’s civil society is considered among the most vibrant in the Middle East, the efficacy of its civil society organizations (CSOs) to help meet these increased demands or influence decision makers has been limited.

MSI’s USAID-funded project, ‘Building Alliances for Local Advancement, Development and Investment – Capacity Building” (BALADI CAP), is working to help CSOs and municipalities assist the government address the negative impact that these demands are having on public services and the environment.

One such example is T.E.R.R.E. Liban, a small family-run CSO dedicated to the creation and implementation of environmental preservation and education projects since 1995.  This organization has carried out valuable work, including cleanup of beaches along the Lebanese shoreline, and promoting the importance of recycling in schools.  However, it was unable to have long-term impact and financial sustainability.

Through its participation in our project’s intensive 2-year program, T.E.R.R.E. Liban has strengthened many organizational procedures, and conducted long-term strategic planning for the first time in its history. As a result of its strengthened capacities, it is now a key leader in the environmental and solid waste management movement, and has been able to turn individual and fragmented programming efforts into sustainable achievements with national impact.  It has also positioned itself as one of our legacy institutions to continue to lead advocacy efforts after project close-out in 2018.

BALADI CAP has worked with more than 50 civil society organizations to build capacity through training and other support, particularly in the areas of internal governance, financial management and monitoring and evaluation.

To learn more about our work in Lebanon, read the story, “U.S. Ambassador Recognizes Lebanon Community Resilience Initiative