This paper examines the variation in the effects of individuals’ vulnerability and trust on human behavior within five geographical areas (Akkar, Menieh, Tripoli, Koura, Batroun) along the northern coastline of Lebanon in the context of recurring armed conflict. Lebanon has been subject to regular episodes of armed conflict since 1975, with severe impacts on the social, economic, and political levels as well as on the environment. We argue that the episodes of armed conflict have increased individuals’ vulnerability and negatively affected citizens’ trust among themselves and between them and the stakeholders in the public sector at the national level involved in the environmental management process. The findings are based on 499 questionnaire surveys among citizens in the study area, 24 structured interviews with heads or representatives of heads of the villages and cities in the study area, and secondary literature including previous studies and official documents. The findings show spatial variation of citizens’ vulnerability to environmental damage caused by armed conflict. Citizens of Akkar, Menieh, and Tripoli show higher levels of vulnerability compared with citizens of Batroun and Koura. In addition, distrust between citizens themselves and between them and public sector stakeholders was one of the results of recurring armed conflict. Lack of trust between citizens and stakeholders of public sector is particularly relevant in environmental management in Lebanon.
|Publication status||Published - 20 Mar 2014|