Illegal quarries, estimated to number between 700 and 1,300 quarries in Lebanon, extract stone or sand, which is then used by construction companies to build apartments, shopping malls and offices, and for landscaping. The proliferation of quarries began in the early 1990s, at the end of the civil war, as the country tried to rebuild itself after 15 years of large-scale destruction. While quarrying can be performed in a sustainable way, most of the country’s quarries are illegal, unregulated and rapidly beheading Lebanon’s mountains.
The more the “Mafia Quarry” is putting behind their back the environment problems that they are causing due to the chaotic approach of destruction of the forest and trees the more climate change is affected. We all know that the quarry companies are generating lots of money so stopping them is impossible but what we are asking is to have an organization, monitoring and application of the correct law therefore the negative impact of the quarries.
We want to advocate these operations in environmental ways, to find rules and the laws to control them. In fact, those rules were established by the Ministry of Environment in 1997, according to environmental journalist Nabil Abu Ghanem, but are not applied. In my opinion, it is crucial that the quarries choose locations that do not adversely affect the natural surroundings and the living creatures that are there; they need to know how to select the site.
On another note but in the same context, we can notice that in Lebanon the private sector consortium still didn’t understand the real concept of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). For example a famous company destroyed the only and rare green space in Beirut to build a mall (as if we need another one). The same company is preaching through a CSR program about Recycling and Eco-conscious initiatives. Finally and with hope, that the Lebanese government will start applying the environmental rules on the quarries and private sector start implementing sustainable strategies into their core businesses instead of harming the environment and then “doing good”.
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