Droughts and agriculture in Lebanon: causes, consequences, and risk management

This volume examines the causes and consequences of drought on Lebanon’s agriculture. Lebanon is getting hotter and dryer. Projections show droughts will likely become more frequent and severe. Climate change, El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) impact the occurrence of drought to varying degrees, with NAO being the biggest short-term driver and climate change being the biggest long-term driver. The drier conditions will have important ramifications on Lebanon’s agricultural economy and the wellbeing of citizens working in agriculture. Ramifications include production declines and the loss of livelihoods, among others. Drought was not considered an important issue in the country until recently. But, that view is slowly changing as a series of droughts and other extreme weather events over the past decade demanded the nation’s attention. With greater awareness of drought, public institutions slowly begin to change, moving from reactionary responses to taking the first steps towards strategic planning. Still, much more can be done. These actions include: developing a national drought action plan, establishing drought monitoring systems, improving ministerial coordination, utilizing new technologies like hydroponics and early warning systems, improving the quantity and quality of climatic data, and other actions.