File - Cedar trees at the Chouf forest reserve. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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Samar Malek – teasingly known as "the lawyer of the frog" by her family – has a passionate air when she talks about sustainable development. The Environment Ministry's Service of Environmental Technology, which she heads, is tasked with pushing Lebanon toward achieving its sustainability goals, but is given little weight to do so. In 2017, it had a budget of around $9 million – tantamount to 0.003 percent of the total funds allocated to ministries. Amid economic hurdles, the Service of Environmental Technology, which works in close collaboration with the United Nations Development Program, is attempting to navigate Lebanon toward meeting the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development goals.The Environment Ministry, the Finance Ministry, Banque du Liban, the World Bank and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation set up a system of zero-interest loans for 7 years with a two-year grace period and free technical assistance to finance development projects in compliance with environmental assessments.In 2013, the Energy Ministry launched five real-time monitoring air quality stations across Lebanon, with the support of the United Nations Environment Program and UNDP.
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