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Mount Lebanon: Hub of Community-Led Peacebuilding Initiatives
Posted on Mar 24, 2021 |
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This edition of the peacebuilding supplement explores local approaches to peacebuilding, an area of growing emphasis in the fields of both peacebuilding and development. Like previous region-specific issues of the peacebuilding supplement, such as the one focusing on the city of Tripoli, this edition provides a critical opportunity to explore localization in practice, this time through the experiences of local communities in the governorate of Mount Lebanon.
the Author
UNDP Resident Representative
Mount Lebanon: Hub of Community-Led Peacebuilding Initiatives

This edition of the peacebuilding supplement explores local approaches to peacebuilding, an area of growing emphasis in the fields of both peacebuilding and development. Like previous region-specific issues of the peacebuilding supplement, such as the one focusing on the city of Tripoli, this edition provides a critical opportunity to explore localization in practice, this time through the experiences of local communities in the governorate of Mount Lebanon. In addition to being a major economic centre of Lebanon, Mount Lebanon is also one of the most ecologically and culturally diverse governorates in Lebanon. Communities in Mount Lebanon, both urban and rural, regularly face the challenges of mitigating and managing tensions and disputes relating to religious and political differences, environment and natural resource management, and competition over jobs and services. While these challenges are being aggravated in the current context of compounded crisis in which Lebanon finds itself today, peacebuilding actors in Mount Lebanon – local people, governments, civil society organizations, businesses and external multilateral and bilateral actors – are grappling to address this immense complexity through a range of initiatives. This edition seeks to highlight some of the community-led peacebuilding initiatives grounded in participatory dialogue, dispute resolution and governance in Mount Lebanon, with a view to identifying lessons and good practices with resonance for broader efforts to rebuild trust and the social contract within communities across the country. Particularly, contributors will explore how initiatives in Mount Lebanon are addressing questions of national resonance, such as:

- How civil war memorialization, healing and reconciliation efforts are providing a foundation for local communities to build Lebanon forward even in the context on ongoing crisis;
- How former fighters are helping to build a movement for peace in Mount Lebanon;

- How environmental issues (such as deforestation, sustainable natural resource management, energy and pollution) are increasingly becoming part of a renegotiation of the public good in Lebanon;
- The role of women and youth as agents for preventing and mitigating conflict and promoting sustainable, inclusive and peaceful pathways out of current crises;

- How digital platforms can be leveraged for peacebuilding, and how youth are leading the way in managing the risks of greater digital access by debunking fake news;
- The situation of Syrian and Palestinian refugees and the peacebuilding potential of participatory local development in Lebanese host communities; and

- The importance of development-centred urbanization in reducing social tensions.
As a long-standing partner of peace building initiatives, UNDP is excited to share the stories of how local communities, including women, youth and vulnerable groups, are creating dialogues, processes and structures to define and realize their own vision and aspirations of a peaceful, tolerant, and inclusive future. We look forward to reflecting together on the challenges, opportunities and potential of scaling up successful peacebuilding and development practices from Mount Lebanon, and to connecting these local initiatives to national frameworks aiming to strengthen trust and accountability in Lebanon. 

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Mar 2021
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The articles and interviews and other information mentioned in this supplement do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations Development Programme. The content of the articles is the sole responsibility of the authors.
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