July 30, 2019 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Lebanon and Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) today to collaborate on various environmental issues including climate change, pollution prevention/control, and sustainable solutions. Collaboration will take the form of monitoring, knowledge sharing, awareness raising, and academic research between NDU students and faculty members, and UNDP staff. The signing took place at the NDU President’s Office, between NDU President, Fr. Pierre Najem, and the UNDP Resident Representative, Celine Moyroud.
Fr. Najem said that NDU upholds its mission of sustainability: to follow the UN Sustainable Development Goals in line with Pope Francis’s Encyclical Laudato Si (care for our common home).
This cooperation is part of the on-going program of UNDP at the Ministry of Environment to raise awareness on climate change and to promote action on both adaptation and mitigation within Lebanon’s commitments to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. In signing this MoU, NDU continues its mission towards sustainable development and outreach programs, both on campus and off, as part of the sustainability taskforce’s goals, NDU’s dedication towards the UN SDGs, and its aim to be a regional pioneer of sustainability research.
The two parties have agreed to organize events which promote awareness and action in Lebanon, and to encourage the exchange of knowledge and professional development of staff, academics, scholars, and students. The two entities will also exchange data and collaborate, whenever possible, on research capstone projects and other academic work that feed into the national environmental, and climate change agenda. Internship opportunities for NDU’s undergraduate and graduate students will be provided as well.
Participants included Vice-President for Academic Affairs Dr. Elie Badr, University Legal Counsel, Asma El Khazen, the sustainability taskforce, the Ministry of Environment, and representatives from the UNDP Energy and Environment Programme.