The Blue Gold Project: Water for Lebanon - KarazwLaimoon

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The Blue Gold Project: Water for Lebanon

Monday Talks > 2014 Winter (Season 5) > 2013 Autumn (Season 4)

Monday 2 December 2013 (6:00 - 7:30 pm - Open to all)
Language: English /
لغة المحاضرة: العربية
Speaker: Mr. Ziad El Sayegh, CEO of the Civic Influence Hub (CIH) - See Below
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Why the Blue Gold Project?
Lebanon has a strategic water wealth which is the richest in the Middle East and the Arab world. However, Lebanon is located in an area threatened by desertification from Iran to Cyprus, thus the importance of:

  • Protecting Lebanon water wealth and invest it in an effective and transparent manner as it is an important element of Lebanon’s strategic security.

  • Managing Lebanon water wealth in its strategic dimension as provided by in the international law and preventing the waste of water that may lead to huge loses.

  • Benefiting from Lebanon water wealth so as to serve the Lebanese citizens, who will be partners in this project, and enhancing the cooperation between the public and private sectors.

1) What is the Blue Gold Project?
Blue gold is a national 5-year project optimizing the Lebanese Government water strategy. It is based on an analysis of all the studies done on the water sector launching a new vision that transforms water from a simple commodity to a national wealth, and at the same time aims at fixing weaknesses therein and monitoring projects and initiatives that fall within the strategy with the partnership of the Lebanese citizens.
2) What is the importance of the Blue Gold project?

  • The cost of the Lebanese government's water plan for (2012 / 2020) amounts to 7.3 billion Dollars. This plan is funded by the government and through loans and after eight years, it will only guarantee balance between supply and demand.

  • The cost of Blue Gold Project for (2015 / 2020) is equal to 5 billion dollars. This project will guarantee a surplus of 500 million square meters for Lebanon. It is funded by the private sector with controls that prevent monopoly and encourage the contribution of citizens as partners, provided that the water remains the property of the Lebanese State. This project will also ensure a return of 23.5% for the Lebanese State and 12.5% for the private sector.

The Blue Gold Project will reduce the annual water bill paid by citizens from USD 700 to USD 380. It only needs 16 dams instead of 44. It will provide 3,000 job opportunities.   
3) How can we help with the execution of Blue Gold Project?
We can help by:

  • Establishing a National Water Council that can operate independently and effectively.

  • Launching the work of the commission established by the Council of Ministers for the purpose of studying the law on water issued in November 2012.

  • Cooperating with the Parliament’s Public Works, Water and Energy Committee in order to discuss and adopt Blue Gold Project.

  • Establishing a watch dog to monitor the implementation of the projects.

  • Getting the signature of one million Lebanese citizens on the Blue Gold Project as part of an integrated advertising and media campaign.

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What is the Civic Influence Hub (CIH)?
It is a group of Lebanese business women and businessmen working to build a new vision for Lebanon, away from politics, by joining the Lebanese around socio - economic policies based on the "Federative Economy" philosophy and with equal roles and competences under the scope of the CIH.
1) What is the mission of the CIH?
The mission of CIH is to build a national conscience through the formulation of coherent socio - economic policies on common national issues that concern all Lebanese citizens, regardless of their differences, and exercise positive impact on the decision-making process. These issues include water, electricity, urban planning, environment, technology, infrastructure, creative economy and telecommunication. Its first project is "Blue Gold" along with a big media campaign that falls within this context which is "State Academy", in terms of acquiring the public opinion to support Federative economic projects, with the citizens as partners within specific spaces, thus strengthening partnership between the public and the private sectors as well as Lebanese citizens.

2) Who funds the CIH?
The Civic Influence Hub is financed internally, with equal contributions from the members of the Board of Councilors, which strengthens its independence, practicality, neutrality and partiality towards the national concern based on the Federative Economy.
3) What is the strategic plan of CIH?
CIH seeks to develop integrated policies in the socio-economic sectors with the purpose of:
Preparing integrated studies in their legal, administrative, financing and supervisory dimensions.

Communicating with decision-makers through official institutions, consulting experts and political parties, cooperating with the private sector, civil society organizations and the media with the aim of creating a pressing public opinion to improve the situation.
Submitting these integrated studies to decision-makers and cooperating with them in order to concretely translate these projects into actions.
Mobilizing people, raising the awareness of the public opinion and making citizens partners in these policies.
4) What are the Goals and Challenges of CIH?
The "Civic Influence Hub" is well aware of the challenges it is facing, however, it is determined to initiate a new experience working in the civil society sector and supporting the concept of partnership between the public and private sectors and between the civil society and decision makers in order to build a national conscience, that cares about the citizen, his decent life and the supreme national interest.
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Monday 2 December 2013 (6:00 - 7:30 pm - Open to all)
Language: English /
لغة المحاضرة: العربية
Ziad El Sayegh is the CEO of "The Civic Influence Hub – CIH" (July 2013 – to date).  (Visit the site bluegoldlebanon.com). He is an expert on the Palestinian Refugees issue in Lebanon. He was the Lebanese – Palestinian Dialogue Committee Policy and communication Advisor (Advisor to the LPDC President H.E. Ambassador Khalil Makkawi) in the Lebanese Presidency of the Council of Ministers. Between 2006 – 2009, he published many articles and research studies covering the Palestinian file (in An-Nahar and Al-Hayat and in www.lpdc.gov.lb). Concerning this file, he also participated in all political, legal, security, socio-economic committees (official, non-governmental). He has been frequently interviewed by Lebanese, Arab and International TV channels, launching many conferences and developing and conducting many related workshops.
Ziad has already prepared a vision concerning the Lebanese preparation for any Multilateral Negotiations refusing the permanent settlement and defending the Right of Return for the Palestinian Refugees.
Ziad was a media planning consultant for the Middle East Council of Churches (1998-2009), the Syndicate of Teachers in Lebanon (2003-2007) and the Oriental Studies and Research Center (1998-2004). He has a Masters Degree in Philosophy, a Diploma in Theology and Christian – Muslim dialogue and a Diploma in Pedagogical planning.
Ziad El Sayegh was the Policy Advisor and Team Coordinator of H.E. Lebanese Ministers of Labor Mr. Botros Harb, Mr. Charbel Nahas, Mr. Salim Jreissati and the National Policy Advisor to the International Labor Organization – ILO (January 2010 – June 2013).
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