Sustainable development is at the core of a prosperous and sound society. We are convinced that only steps considering the welfare and gain for all of Lebanon’s citizens as well as related environmental impacts are truly steps forward. Thus we are partnering with the rich Lebanese civil society movement(s) and others trying to help them to put their ambitious programmes into practice.
The focus here is not to anchor what we deem to be the tailor-made path forward for Lebanon but rather to help existing, already active domestic players to overcome structural disadvantages they are often facing compared to traditional players. This may be achieved for instance by putting partner organisations into contact with likeminded stakeholders in Lebanon or abroad. We can thus make sure that their programme and ideas are put under a reality check or, more precisely, partners can act as a sparring partner with an outside expert’s perspective in order to enrich the idea portfolio and to vaccinate against standard counter arguments. The ultimate goal is to enter into a constructive dialogue on possible future development pathways and how to achieve agreed goals.
To work for – and find alternative paths to – a better socio-economic situation for Lebanese citizens has been the original objective of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung ever since the Beirut office was established back in 1966. Here, trade unions have always been an important addressee for our work in this respect as they are – or should be – the natural stakeholder representing worker’s interests. However, this presupposes also the formulation of respective positions and its advocation against other stakeholders. This should also override political affiliations if needed.
Lebanon suffers from a very uneven allocation of wealth and the gap is growing. The FES engages with partners manly from civil society and academia who work on strategies for overcoming the current situation and to improve the economic situation of marginalised groups.
Lebanon as a comparatively small state has to utilize its space and resources efficiently and as sustainably as possible. Yet a number of ongoing issues and others that have recently emerged, spanning from national electricity deficit to an absent solid waste management system as well as high risks of air pollution demand long overdue planning and steps that need to be taken urgently in order to categorize and organize environmental friendly approaches and traditional solutions.
At the same time, Lebanon is entering into a new stage of oil and gas exploration and questions of urban and infrastructure planning need to be risen. There is a lot of work to be done towards a sane future set-up of the sector. FES endorses Lebanese partner organizations to engage in local and international discussions to identify the best solutions and approaches on these matters.