AUB’s Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Litani River Authority (LRA) in the sustainability of water and environmental resources in Lebanon.
In this regard, the IFI organized a signing ceremony at the conference hall of the institute at the American University of Beirut, in the presence of the Director-General of the National Authority of the Litani River, Sami Alwiya, and the Director of Issam Fares Institute, former Minister Tariq Mitri.
The IFI issued later on a statement speaking about the memorandum by stating that it will encourage cooperation "in the fields of water resources planning and management, agricultural water use, water accounting, and water productivity, as well as wastewater reuse, governance of water institutions and renewable energy."
In the statement, IFI Director Tarek Mitri described the agreement as a “stepping stone of a journey that seeks to minimize the gap between the producers of knowledge and decision-makers" in regards to water issues.
This partnership aims to enhance the social impact of the two institutions by promoting activities for the development of scientific and human resources in Lebanon, encouraging direct cooperation between them in the fields of:
- Planning and management of water resource,
- Water use in agriculture, accounting, and water productivity,
- Wastewater reuse,
- Governance of water institutions and renewable energy.
The Litani River is the largest river in Lebanon in length and width. It is equivalent to 20 percent of Lebanon’s land area. It rises in the fertile Beqaa Valley, west of Baalbek, and empties into the Mediterranean Sea north of Tyre.
This river used to be one of Lebanon's most precious natural resources. However, it has turned into an environmental disaster after being plagued, and for a long time, by persistent pollution from wastewater, industrial waste, pesticides and medical waste, and other wastes.