Lebanon is about to become an oil and gas exploring country soon. Prospects look good and this may open up a way to significant welfare gains within the country not only because of the revenues but also in terms employment possibilities and service industries. However, examples of countries in similar situations like Lebanon who had started to exploit hydrocarbons have shown that without a good management the sector also yields the risk of dragging a country under be it through corruption, environmental catastrophes, health risks or security issues.
The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung has from a very early stage on supported those Lebanese stakeholders who are calling for transparency and a clear rule of law, i.e. regulations to be in place prior to the start of exploration. We are thus happy to announce, that on March 23rd in total nine partners standing up for these aims have joined forces and launched the Lebanese Coalition for Good Governance in the Extractive Industries (LCEI). Beside Lebanese NGOs like the Lebanese Oil and Gas Initiative (LOGI), Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) or Sakker El dekene (“close the shop”) also international organizations like the British NGO Publish What You Pay, the Norwegian Peoples Aid or the Lebanese Transparency Association (LTA) as local branch of Transparency International contribute with their longstanding experience in the field.
A major objective for LCEI besides advocating transparency and good governance in the oil and gas sector will be to inform the public about developments and raise the awareness level among Lebanese citizens.