AUB – Nature Conservation Center (NCC)

The AUB - Nature Conservation Center (NCC) is an interdisciplinary academic research center, operating under the Office of the Provost at AUB, and currently under the directorship of Dr. Najat A. Saliba. In addition to research, the Center fosters a range of projects across a multitude of themes, from the Waste Management Program​ to sustainable entrepreneurship and planning awards​, and to a number of reforestation activities, student debates, and other outlets, which are directed towards bringing up a new generation of people who appreciate nature and aim to protect it. Ultimately, the key priority for the NCC is to raise awareness regarding the different ecological issues relevant to the area, to provide opportunities for individuals and groups to be exposed to diverse opportunities to learn about the environment, and to take an active part in conservation and development. 

Project Title

University Support for Participatory Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan and Practices (USforISWM)

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Brief about the project

USforISWM will utilize a public participatory approach to develop and harmonize sustainable municipal Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) plans and practices. As a means for stimulating public action, an environmental and human health damages assessment of current waste management malpractices will be conducted by experts in air quality, water quality, and human health. By targeting health and the most publically concerning environmental damages, USforISWM will attempt to shock and stimulate the public into participation in ISWM and the municipalities into working together to alleviate multi-level damages, and together manage their waste in a sustainable fashion. AUB-NCC will target six villages in order to take advantage of economies of scale while preparing the municipalities, through the development of an inter-municipality ISWM strategic plan, to independently pursue the creation of waste management facilities able to serve them all. AUB-NCC's activities entail:
1- Creating Citizen Committees, which will involve members from diverse 4 socio-economic backgrounds, occupations, and gender equal, to help in building capacity in the community, effectively communicate and build awareness, co-facilitate campaigns to reduce waste and recycle, and adapt to dynamic community needs.
2- Administering a perception/intention survey to better understand the public’s mindset around solid waste, barriers to participation, and how to increase efficiency of consumption to reduce waste streams.
3- Supporting waste sorting and reduction campaigns in 5 targeted municipalities (In Aabey - Ain Drafeel, 80% of households are already sorting so AUB-NCC will not conduct a waste sorting campaign there, however they will take part in the waste stream reduction campaign).
4- Conducting 1 citizen committee meeting to decide what is the best option for the municipality to reduce incidences of open burning and open dumping by either selling sorted rececables, compost organics, or sending the waste to a Sanitary
Landfill.
5- Conducting damages assessment In three parallel lines, atmospheric, hydrologic, and human health in target municipalities and a control population.
6- Holding a municipal festival to exchange best practices and knowledge
7- Launching a communication campaign to maximize the dissemination of knowledge on the damages of malpractice in solid waste management.
8- Establishing an inter-municipal committee to facilitate negotiations and build consensus on an ISWM plan that is suitable, feasible, and sustainable for all the municipalities included.
9- Creating a model IWSM strategy to be adopted by additional Lebanese municipalities
10- Conducting an end-of-year assessment to evaluate the level of change in the communities. Another survey on behavioral/perceptual/willingness/knowledge will be administered at the end of the project. AUB-NCC anticipates that at this stage, there will at least be a 15% reduction in waste generation and a 40% increase in households sorting waste.

Direct Beneficiaries

  • Municipality of Baawerta:The citizen committee of Baawerta
  • Municipality of Binay: The citizen committee of Binay
  • Municipality of Kfarmeta: The citizen committee of Kfarmeta
  • Municipality of Aabey – Ain Drafeel: The citizen committee of Aabey – Ain Drafeel
  • Municipality of Basateen: o The citizen committee of Basateen
  • Municipality of Aaramoun: The citizen committee of Aaramoun
  • Inter Municipal Committee of all 6 villages
  • Socio-Economic Institute for Development (SEID)
  • Aaramoun Cultural and Social Organization
  • Stop Naameh Landfill Movement

Partners in the Consortium

  1. Baawerta Municipality
  2. Binay Municipality
  3. Kfarmeta Municipality
  4. Aabey Ain-Drafeel Municipality
  5. Basateen Municipality
  6. Aramoun Municipality
  7. Stop Naameh Landfill Movement
  8. AUB Center for Inhaled and Atmospheric Aerosols (CARS)
  9. AUB Faculty of Engineering an Agriculture
  10. AUB Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  11. AUB Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences
  12. Olayan School of Business
  13. AUB Faculty of Medicine