An interview with Mrs Nada Zaarour, president of the Green Party in Lebanon
What does the word “green” connote to Lebanese people? Does it refer to preserving trees and forbidding deforestation? Or does it refer to reducing carbon in our daily living? Or simply adopting unusual expensive ways of living? How can Lebanon embrace the “green” economy and politics? And what about the findings of the oil and gas on the Lebanese shores and their impact on the environment?
Coming from a musicology background to later be the first woman to lead a Lebanese party, Mrs. Nada Zaarour, president of the “Green Party of Lebanon”, answers all these questions.
1. Who is Mrs. Nada Zaarour?
I am a social and environmental activist. In an attempt to make a change in the Lebanese “green” politics, I founded the Green Party in 2004 after a long and big struggle. The environment means a lot to me and I feel concerned to preserve it so my grandchildren can still live safely in it.
2. What does the word “green” mean?
The word “green” means preserving the earth and its natural resources to guarantee the continuity of mankind. We have to think “green” in Lebanon. From this perspective, we have to work to alleviate the water wastage and try to convert the country’s politics into a green one.
3. How can the country’s politics turn into a “green” one? And where do you stand as the Lebanese Green Party?
Lebanon should double its efforts to move from the “brown” politics to the “green” one. This can be done through laws and legislations. Our role as the green party is to make sure these laws and legislations are well implemented and to put pressure on the parliament to reduce the crimes against the environment. Such steps require arriving to the decision-making positions whether inside in the parliament or in any ministry or public administration.
4. What is the Green Party of Lebanon?
The Green Party of Lebanon is a modern, environment, social and political party based on the principles of Green Politics. It strives for the promotion of social justice in Lebanon, participatory democracy, sustainable economic and social development and the protection of women’s rights.
It is part of the Global Greens which is an international system of Green parties and political movements around the world.
The Party seeks to prioritizing environmental issues and participates in raising environmental awareness of Lebanese citizens
5. What is the environmental impact of finding oil and gas on the shores of Lebanon?
We all hear that the extractions of oil and gas on the shores of Lebanon will turn the country into a rich and auto sufficient country. This is not the exact truth because it is only the companies who will be exploiting these petroleum extractions that will take all the advantages and benefits. Besides, while prospecting for petrol on the shores, the environment is subject to a big catastrophe in case there is an oil spill.
6. Is there any alternative to help the country’s economy other than extracting oil and gas?
There is another alternative to the country’s economy better than prospecting for oil and gas: investing in the water that is being squandered in the sea. We have a natural rich resource: water. Let us not waste it and capitalize on it!