SDG 13.3.1: Local education programs or campaigns on climate change risks

The issue of climate change has become a global challenge, and a joint response to this problem has become an urgent necessity at the global level. 

Based on the importance of this thorny issue and its multiple direct and indirect negative effects on ecosystems, including oceans and biological diversity, as well as on sustainable livelihoods and sustainable consumption and production patterns, 

Given Lebanon’s commitment to the international community towards environmental issues, especially the issue of climate change, which is represented in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and Reducing Emissions, Lebanon issued Law No. 115 of March 29, 2019, which provides for the approval of concluding the Paris Agreement annexed to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate change.

On September 30, 2015, Lebanon signed the Nationally Determined Contribution of the General Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Lebanon’s contribution presents the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030, and this percentage is divided between a 15 percent reduction as an unconditional goal and an additional 15 percent reduction in emissions conditional on international support. 

Within the context of Lebanon’s commitment to international issues, it should be noted that the Lebanese Ministry of Environment participated in the Climate Change Summit that was held in New York on 9/23/2019, where the Secretary-General of the United Nations called on the participating countries to present concrete and realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by the year 2020.  In line with reducing gas emissions by 45 percent in the next decade, leading to zero emissions in 2050, pointing out that the world is in a race to confront climate change and achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. 

Whereas most of the environmental problems are due to wrong behavioral patterns that are attributed to the lack of environmental awareness.  

Whereas the university believes that the solution to these problems can only be achieved by increasing the environmental awareness of the human being because the latter is an essential element in this environment and the only beneficiary of it and the direct cause of its problems. Therefore, the university has included in its educational decisions many courses that aimed at introducing the environment and its regulations such as environmental law, ENVIRONMENT FOR ENGINEERS, and other courses. 

In order to ensure the proper behavior of its students towards their environment and rationalize this behavior, the university has set up programs that contribute to serving the environment with the aim of increasing its students’ knowledge of how to deal with and preserve the environment, increase their awareness of the impact of their activities on the environment and the climate, especially those that affect its degradation. 

For example, the University organized “The fifth international conference to be held in Lebanon, About: Environment and Sustainable Development – Challenges and Solutions”. 

In addition to this, the university has been explaining and informing its students about the dangers and disasters that may result from climate change, which has become a reality that must be confronted either by adapting to it or by knowing the reasons to mitigate its harmful effects on humans and nature. The first step was establishing an environmental club in 2017 including students from all specializations to make the university environmentally-friendly through sorting and recycling, reducing plastic consumption, securing environmentally friendly alternative energy, and managing violations. 

In order to achieve these goals, the university organized training workshops on preparing source-sorting programs. 

One of the events that has been held on April 2019 at Wardanieh campus and was related to the sustainability is titled “Public Safety Culture (education, implementation and oversight)”. Figure shows a part of the poster of the event which has been organized in collaboration with the Order of Engineers and Architects in Lebanon. 

The objectives of this workshop were: 

  • Discuss how to fill the gap between education and implementation. 
  • Exchange experiences related to the way the public safety culture is transferred to students. 
  • Explore the challenges faced in implementing the Lebanese public safety decree #7964. 
  • Discuss the future of the Lebanese public safety norms and decrees. 

IUL has taken every measure to meet these goals and adopt government policy concerning climate change. 

At last, everyone is taking climate action with great consideration. We have no choice. We all need to act on climate change to secure a future for upcoming generations. Thousands of businesses and cities all around the world have committed to bold climate action. In Lebanon, four summits were organized concerning this issue in Tripoli, sour, Beqaa and in Beirut. 

Within the framework of the challenge to the impacts of climate change, the university has been cooperating with the local community, especially with the municipalities, on activities that contribute to adaptation and reducing the risks of climate change, so it organized several campaigns, including the Cleanling Campaign along the southern shore in cooperation with the Union of Municipalities of Tire.