Supporting MP oversight of environmental laws in MENA

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Supporting MP oversight of environmental laws in MENA

Realising international environmental treaties such as the Paris Climate Agreement requires the translation of these commitments into domestic laws and regulations by democratic means. WFD Morocco and Lebanon supported democratic oversight of climate legislation.

Realising international environmental treaties such as the Paris Climate Agreement requires the translation of these commitments into domestic laws and regulations by democratic means. Citizens, political parties, journalists, and parliaments need the capacity and resources to use the extensive evidence available on climate change and environmental degradation to inform and influence policy development and check their countries are delivering on climate commitments.

In 2017 WFD’s Morocco programme supported committees to scrutinise Morocco’s fulfilment of its international commitments, particularly in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. This included a workshop on “Harmonising national legislation on climate change with the requirements of the Paris Agreement.” As a result of this workshop, the House of Councillors identified nine laws that needed to be amended in order to be aligned with international conventions and commitments.

With the discovery of offshore oil and gas in Lebanon, oversight of the energy sector has become a crucial issue for the government.

Since March 2016, WFD’s programme in Lebanon has focused on strengthening parliamentary oversight of oil and gas in Lebanon and providing support and technical advice to the Public Works, Energy, Water and Transport Committee and the Research and Information Department.

The support has, among other things, improved the capacity of MPs and staff to manage the oil and gas sector in an effective and transparent way, enhanced institutional capacity of parliamentary committees; and improved access and openness to Parliament for CSOs engaged in the oil and gas sector.

In September 2018, the Parliament ratified the Transparency of Oil and Gas law. The law ensures the disclosure of information amongst all the relevant administrative bodies and prevent conflicts of interest. It also gives the CSOs legal powers in monitoring the management of oil and gas sector. WFD’s programme contributed positively towards the adoption of the law and ensuring its compliance with international standards.