American Univesity of Beirut

Climate Change and Environment



    ​The Climate Change and Environment program (CC&E) was originally launched in 2008 as "The Research and Policy Forum on Climate Change and Environment in the Arab World, as part of the IFI’s strategy to use academics technical expertise to answer socially driven questions on climate change and environment in order to fill policy gaps in Lebanon and the Arab World.

    The program’s strategic objective is to generate, and influence policy related to climate change and environmental issues in Lebanon and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, in a multidisciplinary approach. The program aims to reach its objective through:

    1. Impactful policy-relevant research; 
    2. Harnessing academic research and translating and linking it to policy; 
    3. Connecting and facilitating engagement between different stakeholders such as national public institutions, local public institutions, researchers, civil society, funding agencies and international institutions and other; 
    4. Developing and implementing Memoranda of Understanding and/or Partnerships with regional and international institutes; and
    5. Developing and realizing capacity building programs on topics of interest and relevance to the program’s objectives.

    ​​The Program's Strategic Objectives​

    1. To support IFI overall mission to understand the policy process, specifically that which gives rise to environment climate change policies.
    2. To define the most appropriate policy recommendations by linking development in Applied Sciences on issues related to climate change and environment to Social Sciences and develop an information bridge between academics/researchers and pertinent officials in the government, government agencies, the media, civil society and others involved in implementing or influencing public policy in Arab countries.
    3. To influence national and regional debates in International negotiations on climate change and sustainable development through analytical research.

    The Short Term Program's Objectives

    1. To harness and promote multidisciplinary research in transportation and agriculture in relation to climate change and environment in order to enrich public policy debate in Lebanon and the Arab World
    2. Analyze and track the framing of environment and climate change policies and international negotiations 
    3. Analyze and critique current events in environment and climate change in the Arab region's context


    ​Track 1​
    ​Sustainable Transportation​
    ​Track 2
    Agriculture and Climate Change​
    ​Track 3
    ​Framing Environment / Climate Change Policies and International Negotiations
    ​Track 4
    ​Guiding Principles towards a National Adaptation Plan
    ​Track 5
    ​Current events and advocacy

    The program focuses on three main areas and their interlinkages: 

    • ​​Climate Change Adaptation Policy Development and Action Planning in Lebanon and MENA 
    The future of the countries of the MENA region will greatly depend on their ability to adapt to climate change impacts. Policies informed by research, from and for the region, will be instrumental in leading adaptation that prioritizes fundamental and sensitive sectors, resources, regions and population groups. 
    The themes “Water-Energy-Food Nexus,” “Water Governance,” and “Assessment of Vulnerability to Climate Change,” are given special attention owing to their importance and relevance to the region and Lebanon as well as due to the substantial gaps in related research.

    • ​​Climate Change Vulnerability and Resilience Building in Urban Settings ​
    Lebanon and the Arab World are experiencing very rapid urbanization with more than 55% of the population of the Arab world currently living in cities, with that percentage projected to reach 66% by 2020. Therefore, the need to think of cities in a more sustainable context is important not only for the cities’ continuity but also to reduce their impacts on the environment.Areas of focus within this theme are the vulnerability of cities to climate change and the resilience to climate change in cities.

    • Climate Change and Security 
    Under certain circumstances, climate-induced impacts are likely to contribute to political instability and conflict. Understanding the role that climate change plays as a threat multiplier to conflict at both national and regional level is important to create policies that would dilute its significance within this interplay of other factors. 

    ​Main Contacts​


    ​Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for the Lebanese Coastal Cities of Batroun and Tyre​

    Water-Energy Nexus of Water and Wastew​at​er Service in Lebanon​​​

    ​The PHEMAC Project Consortium​​​​

    ​On-going IFI-Research/Projects​

    2014 – 2017:
    Capacity Building Programme on Water Integrity in the Middle East and North Africa 
    The Climate Change and Environment in the Arab World Program, IFI, AUB is the Lebanese National Partner to the “Capacity ​Building Programme on Water Integrity in the Middle East and North Africa” which is implemented by The Stockholm International Water Institute and partners with the financial support of the Swedish government.

    Impact of Population Growth and Climate Change in Lebanon and Egypt on Water Scarcity, Agricultural Output and Food Security
    Columbia University Middle East Research Center (CUMERC), the Institute for Sustainable Development Practice (ISDP), the Desert Development Center (DDC) at the American University in Cairo (AUC), and American University of Beirut’s (AUB) Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FAFS) and the Climate Change and the Environment in the Arab World Program of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI). Read more

    Lebanon’s Water-Energy-Food Nexus: Policy and Institutional Analysis
    Nadim Farajalla, Patricia Haydamous, Silva Kerkezian and Rana El Hajj
    Climate Change and Environment in the Arab World, IFI, AUB
    Public Presentations and Panel Discussion – The Nexus Approach: The Road to Water, Energy and Food Security in the Arab World? 

    The Issam Fares Institute commissioned 5 research papers within the 2013 call for proposals on “Sustainable Transportation in the Arab World”

    Economic Impacts of Adopting a Sustainable Transport System in Beirut
    Mazen Omran, Johnny Ojeil, Youssef Fawaz
    Inching Forward: The case for Sustainable Transportation in the Arab World
    Bassam Aoun, Meryl Haddad
    Motorists’ Willingness to Switch to Clean-Fuel Vehicles and the Implications for Public and Environmental Health: The Case of Greater Beirut
    Ali Chalak, Alexandra Irani - American University of Beirut
    Sustainable transportation and mega sport events in Arab countries – the case of Qatar
    Danyel Reiche - American University of Beirut
    Sustainable Transportation in the Arab World: International Benchmarking on Sustainable Transport Policies and their Impacts
    Issam Kaysi, Farid Chaaban - American University of Beirut

    The Economics of Adaptation to Climate change in the Agriculture sector in Lebanon
    The University of Sao Paulo Regional and Urban Economics Lab – NEREUS 
    The Climate Change and Environment in the Arab World, IFI, AUB.
    Lecture and Panel Discussion – Impact of Climate Change on the Arab World.

    Commuters’ Behavior towards Upgraded Bus Services in Greater Beirut: Role of Itinerary and Environmental Information Provision and Implications to Climate Change Policy 
    Ali Chalak, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, American University of Beirut, 
    Maya Abou Zeid, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, AUB

    Completed IFI-Research/Projects​

    ​Country-specific Studies on Climate Change and the Policy-making Process in the Levant
    The Issam Fares Institute commissioned 5 country/region-specific papers on the various issues and stakeholders involved in climate change for the Levant countries (Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria) and North Africa. Regional experts each delivered a short publication and presented their work at a closed seminar on August 4, 2009, at the American University of Beirut, AUB. 

    The Association Between Women's Self-Rated Health and Satisfaction with Environmental Services in an Underserved Community in Lebanon 
    Rima R. Habib PhD MPH MOHS , Kareem Elzein MPH & Safa Hojeij MSc (2013). 
    Women & Health, 53:5, 451-467, DOI: 10.1080/03630242.2013.806387 ​

    Climate Change in the MENA Region: What Health Consequences and Costs?
    ​Iman Nuwayhid, Professor and Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, AUB
    Rima Habib, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Health, AUB

    National Economic, Environment and Development Studies (NEEDS) Project 
    The Lebanese government, through its Ministry of Environment, approached IFI for the first time to study the cost of Climate Change adaptation and mitigation on the Energy and Agriculture sectors in Lebanon. This inter-disciplinary project brought in four AUB faculty members to prepare the study: Leila Dagher, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Nadim Farajalla, Assistant Professor of Hydrology and Water Resources, Marcus Marktanner, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, and Philippe Zgheib, Senior Lecturer, Management, School of Business.
    The NEEDS Lebanon Country Brief was submitted and presented by Dr. Nadim Farajalla at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP15) Copenhagen world summit, December 2009. Lebanon is one of 10 countries selected by UNFCCC to prepare and submit this NEEDS report for the Copenhagen conference. 
    Read / Download NEEDS Lebanon Country Brief 
    Final Report Arabic ||| Final Report English

    Effect of Distributed Electric Power Generation on Household Exposure to Airborne Carcinogens:
    Unintended Consequences of Supply-Side Power Reduction Measures in Poorly Regulated Environments
    Alan Shihadeh, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, AUB
    Najat Saliba, Associate Professor, Analytical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, AUB
    Read the Research Report


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