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graphic regions. The coastal plain is subtropical. The mountain areas experience lower temperatures and increasing precipitation as elevation increases.

Lebanon imports over 75 percent of its food to support a population of over 4.4 million, with a steady population growth. The impact of global warming is apparent in current environmental concerns, including degradation of forests and woodlands for urbanization, and excessive water use for both domestic water supply and agriculture. Much of the land is littered with landmines from war. Areas susceptible to the effects of climate change include water resources, higher elevations affected by warming, and coastal flooding with increased storm probability and rising sea levels. Higher temperatures could affect the native vegetation that may be unable to adapt, and may be replaced with vegetation that thrives at higher temperatures.

In December 1994, Lebanon ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and prepared and submitted, through funding from the Global Environment Facility, Lebanon's First National Communication Report in 1995 to the Secretariat in November of 2006. Lebanon ratified the Kyoto Protocol (an international and legally binding agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, which took effect on February 16, 2005). It took effect in Lebanon on February 11, 2007. Countries that are parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change are required to undertake national communication, which can include assessment of potential impacts of climate change.

There are more than 30 nongovernmental environmental organizations active in Lebanon. Proposed projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions include assessing energy requirements and possible use of solar and wind energy as well as imported natural gas, improving efficiency of electricity use with advanced technology, improving waste management practices, and methane gas recovery. In addition to research studies on feasibility, the chief components necessary for mitigation of human-induced climate change in Lebanon are raising public awareness, educating policy makers on cost-effective environmental conservation practices, and access to education and experience with advanced technology for professionals.

sEE ALso: Food Miles; Food Production; Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs).

BIBLioGRAPHY. Lebanon Ministry of Environment, "Climate Change: Lebanon's First National Communication Report," www.moe.gov.lb (cited November 2007).

Lyn Michaud Independent Scholar

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