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University of Balamand > Academics > Centers & Institutes > IOE > About the Institute > Message from the Director

Message from the Director

Welcome to the Institute of the Environment

As we embark into the 21st century, we have to address new challenges ranging from population growth, climate change, and depletion of natural resources to providing better health care, food security and peace to humankind, while at the same time protecting natural ecosystems that provide the services which allow life to flourish on Earth. To meet those challenges, profound changes are required in the way that societies conduct their everyday affairs, ways that will lead to the better preservation, protection and the sustainable management of natural resources with lasting impacts. For this, the need for professionals trained in the environmental sciences and policy has become paramount.

Moreover, the Lebanese natural environment has been under tremendous attack from the successive wars that ravaged the country and the lack of awareness among its population of the importance in protecting and sustainably managing Lebanon's resources. In January 2004, the University of Balamand, in line with its mission to serve the Lebanese community, inaugurated its multidisciplinary Institute of the Environment (IOE) to advance ethical and competent environmental practices on the national and international levels.

Through scientific research and public action, the Institute is striving for excellence in the formulation and communication of scientific knowledge that promotes effective decision making, supportive of sustainable development policies. Within this context, the Institute has been actively developing its three main programs: the Marine Resources and Coastal Zone Management Program, the Biodiversity Program, and the Environmental Communication Program. These programs integrate activities that cut across normal disciplinary lines and serve as avenues of outreach to our stakeholders.

The IOE provides students from the Department of Environmental Sciences and from all Faculties and Centers the opportunity to conduct research and development activities in their fields of interest and to gain hands-on experience in how today's world functions in an interdisciplinary framework. These environmental science graduates will be employed in the private, public, research and academic sectors and will contribute to the better understanding of human impacts on the environment, thereby leading in the effort to prevent and/or mitigate those impacts for future generations.

The Institute prides itself with its open door policy and its preparedness to get involved in research and development projects that fall within its area of expertise. Our outstanding faculty and staff have been successful in generating more than USD 1.6 million in external funds for several research and development projects, and they have been an inspiration to many students who elected to follow their careers in the field of Environmental Sciences.

I would, therefore, like to take this opportunity to extend to you a personal invitation to visit our facilities at the University of Balamand, meet our faculty, staff, and students, and to witness how the Institute is preparing today's students to become tomorrow's scientific and community leaders.

"Nothing can survive on the planet unless it is a cooperative part of a larger global life" Barry Commoner

Manal R. Nader, Ph.D.
Director, Institute of the Environment
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University of Balamand,
Balamand Al Kurah,

Tel:  +961-6-930250
Fax: +961-6-930278