Updated to: 29 January 2019Download as PDF
Country contact on SEA
Ms. Nadia Al Ahmar
Head of the Service of Planning and Programming at the Ministry of Environment
Phone: 961 1 976555 ex: 459
History of SEA
SEA was introduced to Lebanon through the European Commission LIFE Programme which started in 2002. Under this programme, the Ministry of Environment (MoE) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched project activities aimed at institutional strengthening and capacity building on SEA.
Legal framework for SEA
The Environmental Protection Law 444/2002 is the enabling law that obliges environmental assessments. This law does not specifically call for SEAs.
Year of introduction of enabling law
First national detailed SEA regulation
Details on the procedure and process for SEA are outlined in Decree 8213, issued in 2012.
Year of introduction of first national detailed SEA regulation
Recent updates and additions to the SEA legislation
Current enabling legislation for SEA
Decree 8213 issued on 24/05/2012
Current national detailed regulation for SEA
In addition to the SEA Decree 8213, Decision No. 589/1 of 2015 outlines procedures for reviewing SEA reports.
In Article 1 of the Decree 8213/2012 the objective of he SEA is described as “to determine mandatory procedures to be followed for the assessment of potential environmental impacts of any policy, plan, program, study, investment or organization that tackles an entire Lebanese region or an entire activity sector, in order to ensure that these activities are compliant with conditions related to health, public safety, the protection of the environment and the sustainability of natural resources”.
Scope of SEA application
Decree 8213/2012 provides that any proposal for or amendment of a policy, plan, program, studies or investment proposed by a public body require an SEA before approval. An SEA could cover the entire Lebanese region or a specific sector or activity such as; water and wastewater, energy, transport, master plans for the use of lands, development of residential, industrial, agricultural, touristic and environmental areas, natural resource investments and extracted materials.
Exemptions from SEA application
National defense related activities and disaster management activities are exempt from SEA requirement.
Institutional setting for SEA
Central SEA authority
The MoE is the authority responsible for screening, the review of scoping and final SEA reports and following up on the SEA's implementation. The proponent of the policy, plan or programme is responsible to conduct the SEA study.
Screening requirement and authority
Screening is a formal step in Lebanon under MoE's responsibility.
The screening process starts when the proponent submits a Project Screening Form (Annex 1 of the SEA Decree 8213/2012) to the MoE for its intended plan, policy or programme. The MoE screens the proposal through its Service Planning and Programs to determine if SEA is required. The screening methodology is outlined in Annex 1 of the SEA Decree.
Upon receiving the screening request, the MoE informs the proponent on its decision within 15 calendar days. If the MoE fails to do so, the proponent may start the study in line with existing laws and regulations.
Implementing the SEA
Scoping is a required step in the Lebanese SEA procedure. The required contents of the scoping report is outlined in Annex 2 of the SEA Decree 8213/2012. Once submitted to the MoE, the scoping report is reviewed by a technical committee within the MoE, in accordance with the procedures outlined in Decision 589/1 of 2015. The MoE must inform the proponent on the outcomes of this review within 15 working days.
Participation in scoping
The proponent is required to prepare a scoping report in coordination with the MoE an concerned authorities and by involving affected stakeholders.
Assessment/mitigation of effects
After engaging a qualified environmental consultancy, the SEA study is conducted and the report prepared according to Annex 3 of the SEA Decree. The SEA report is submitted to the MoE.
Content of SEA report
Annex 3 of the SEA Decree outlines what should be contained in an SEA report. The required information includes: a summary, baseline, legal and policy framework and an institutional analysis, alternatives, impacts, recommendations for decision making, records of public consultations and information on those who conducted the SEA.
The MoE must review whether the SEA and the proposal comply with the conditions for protecting the environment and sustainability of natural resources. For the review, the MoE establishes a technical committee of three persons from within the Ministry. If needed, they may also involve external experts and concerned departments. The review must be completed and communicated to the Minister within thirty working days and the Ministers informs the proponent within two days. Otherwise, the study will be considered as implicitly approved. Further details on the review process are described in Annex 6 of decision 589/1 of 2015.
Participation in review
Stakeholder participation in review is not explicitly mentioned in the SEA Decree.
Informing and influencing decision-making
SEA and planning decision-making
The results of the review may be approval, conditionally approval or the rejection of the SEA. The MoE may demand the completion or amendment of the study. In such case, the the proponent can decide to revise the proposal and its SEA and re-submit it to the MoE. The proponent may also submit the proposal to the Council of Ministers to issue a final decision.
The SEA decree does not specify any monitoring requirements for individual SEAs. The decree does outline that the MoE shall assess the results and application of the SEA every four years.