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National Implementation of Agenda 21

SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC

COUNTRY PROFILE

IMPLEMENTATION OF AGENDA 21:
REVIEW OF PROGRESS MADE SINCE THE
UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON
ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT, 1992

Information Provided by the Government of Syrian Arab Republic to the
United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development
Fifth Session
7-25 April 1997
New York

United Nations Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development
Division for Sustainable Development
The Information contained in this Country Profile is also available on the World Wide Web, as follows:
http://www.un.org/dpcsd/earthsummit

SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC

This country profile has been provided by:

Name of Ministry/Office: Ministry of the Environment

Date: 20 January 1997

Submitted by: A.H. El-Munajed. Minister of State for Environmental Affairs

Mailing address: Ministry of the Environment

Telephone: 2234309-3330510

Telefax: 3335645

Tlx: 412686 ENV.SY

E-mail:

Note from the Secretariat: An effort has been made to present all country profiles within a common format, with an equal number of pages. However, where Governments have not provided information for the tables appended to Chapters 4 and 17, those tables have been omitted entirely in order to reduce the overall length of the profile and save paper. Consequently, there may be some minor inconsistencies among the formats of the different country profiles.

All statistics are rendered as provided by the respective Governments.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACRONYMS
OVERVIEW
FACT SHEET
AGENDA 21 CHAPTERS
2. International cooperation to accelerate sustainable development in developing countries and related domestic policies
3. Combating poverty
4. Changing consumption patterns
5. Demographic dynamics and sustainability
6. Protecting and promoting human health
7. Promoting sustainable human settlement development
8. Integrating environment and development in decision-making
9. Protection of the atmosphere
10. Integrated approach to the planning and management of land resources
11. Combating deforestation
12. Managing fragile ecosystems: combating desertification and drought
13. Managing fragile ecosystems: sustainable mountain development
14. Promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development
15. Conservation of biological diversity
16. Environmentally sound management of biotechnology
17. Protection of the oceans, all kinds of seas, including enclosed and semi-enclosed seas, and coastal areas and the protection, rational use and development of their living resources
18. Protection of the quality and supply of freshwater resources: application of integrated approaches to the development, management and use of water resources
19. Environmentally sound management of toxic chemicals, including prevention of illegal international traffic in toxic and dangerous products
20. Environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes, including prevention of illegal international traffic in hazardous wastes
21. Environmentally sound management of solid wastes and sewage-related issues
22. Safe and environmentally sound management of radioactive wastes
23-32. Major groups
33. Financial resources and mechanisms
34. Transfer of environmentally sound technology, cooperation and capacity-building
35. Science for sustainable development
36. Promoting education, public awareness and training
37. National mechanisms and international cooperation for capacity-building in developing countries
38. International institutional arrangements
39. International legal instruments and mechanisms
40. Information for decision-making

ACRONYMS

APELL Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at Local Level
CFC chlorofluorocarbon
CGIAR Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research
CILSS Permanent Inter-State Committee on Drought Control in the Sahel
EEZ exclusive economic zone
ECA Economic Commission for Africa
ECE Economic Commission for Europe
ECLAC Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean
ELCI Environmental Liaison Centre International
EMINWA environmentally sound management of inland water
ESCAP Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
ESCWA Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
GATT General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
GAW Global Atmosphere Watch (WMO)
GEF Global Environment Facility
GEMS Global Environmental Monitoring System (UNEP)
GEMS/WATER Global Water Quality Monitoring Programme
GESAMP Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Pollution
GIPME Global Investigation of Pollution in Marine Environment (UNESCO)
GIS Geographical Information System
GLOBE Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment
GOS Global Observing System (WMO/WWW)
GRID Global Resource Information Database
GSP generalized system of preferences
HIV human immunodeficiency virus
IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency
IAP-WASAD International Action Programme on Water and Sustainable Agricultural Development
IARC International Agency for Research on Cancer
IBSRAM International Board of Soil Resources and Management
ICCA International Council of Chemical Associations
ICES International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
ICPIC International Cleaner Production Information Clearing House
ICSC International Civil Service Commission
ICSU International Council of Scientific Unions
IEEA Integrated environmental and economic accounting
IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development
IGADD Intergovernmental Authority for Drought and Development
IGBP International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (ICSU)
IGBP/START International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme/Global Change System for Analysis, Research and Training
ILO International Labour Organisation
IMF International Monetary Fund
IMO International Maritime Organization
INFOTERRA International Environment Information system (UNEP)
IOC Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
IPCS International Programme on Chemical Safety
IPM integrated pest management
IRPTC International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals
ITC International Tin Council
ITTO International Tropical Timber Organization
IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
MARPOL International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships
OECD Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
PGRFA plant genetic resources for agriculture
PIC prior informed consent procedure
SADCC South African Development Co-ordination Conference
SARD sustainable agriculture and rural development
UNCTAD United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNDRO Office of the United Nations Disaster Relief Coordinator
UNEP United Nations Environment Programme
UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNFPA United Nations Population Fund
UNICEF United Nations Children's Fund
UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organization
UNU United Nations University
WCP World Climate Programme (WMO/UNEP/ICSU/UNESCO)
WFC World Food Council
WHO World Health Organization
WMO World Meteorological Organization
WWF World Wide Fund for Nature (also called World Wildlife Fund)
WWW World Weather Watch (WMO)

FACT SHEET

SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC

1. Name of Key National Sustainable Development Coordination Mechanism(s)/Council(s).

Technical Secretariat

Contact point (Name, Title, Office):

Eng. Yahia Awaidah

Ministry of the Environment

Telephone: 4421386

Fax:

e-mail:

Mailing address: P.O. Box 3773 Suria, Damascus, Tolyani Str., Syria

2. Membership/Composition/Chairperson:

2a. List of ministries and agencies involved:

Chairman: A.H. EL MOUNAJED, Minister of Environment

Vice Chairman: Eng. Yahia Awaidah (Chief Engineers in the Ministry of Environment)

11 members of the Consultant Committee

6 members of the Technical Secretariat

2b. Names of para-statal bodies and institutions involved, as well as participating of academic and private sector bodies:

Public Sector

2c. Names of non-governmental organizations involved:

Women's Union; Youth Union; Labour Union

3. Mandate role of above mechanism/council:

1. Consultant Committee (Ministry of Environment)

2. Technical Secretariat (Ministry of the Environment)

3. Working Groups (concerned sectors)

4. Working Committee (concerned sectors)

4. If available, attach a diagram (organization chart) showing national coordination structure and linkages between ministries:

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 2: INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION TO ACCELERATE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES AND RELATED DOMESTIC POLICIES (with special emphasis on TRADE)

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: In this field, Syria concentrates on the following aspects: transfer of environmentally sound technology; foreign trade and export commodities in the context of its environmental policies.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministries of Environment, Health and Labour, Local administration, Petroleum, Agriculture, Irrigation, Housing, Electricity, and Economy and the Central Bureau of Statistics.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 3: COMBATING POVERTY

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT:

Focus of national strategy

Syria concentrates on the following aspects: making available sustainable living conditions and promoting rural development, undertaking procedures for reversing imigration from cities to rural areas and concentrating on integrated human development policies with the help of UN in order to implement the National Programme for Combating Poverty.

Highlight activities aimed at the poor and linkages to the environment

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministries of Environment, Health and Labour, Local administration, Petroleum, Agriculture, Irrigation, Housing, Electricity, and Economy and the Central Bureau of Statistics.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information.

NB: Developed countries, where domestic poverty alleviation is not a major concern may wish to briefly describe their position regarding global poverty alleviation.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1985
1990
1992
Latest 1991
Unemployment (%)
2.7
Population living in absolute poverty
Public spending on social sector %
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 4: CHANGING CONSUMPTION PATTERNS

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT:

National policy objectives/focus

Syria is concerned with the following issues: patterns of water and energy consumption and the protection of its resources by reducing waste generation and by making resources available for the poor.

National targets

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministries of Environment, Health and Labour, Local administration, Petroleum, Agriculture, Irrigation, Housing, Electricity, and Economy and the Central Bureau of Statistics.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1985
1990
1992
Latest 199_
GDP per capita (current US$)
Real GDP growth (%)
Annual energy consumption per capita (Kg. of oil equivalent per capita)
Motor vehicles in use per 1000 inhabitants
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 5: DEMOGRAPHIC DYNAMICS AND SUSTAINABILITY

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: In this context, Syria concentrates on collecting and disseminating information about population indicators and policies as well as balancing factors between population and the environment and resources and development.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministries of Environment, Health and Labour, Local administration, Petroleum, Agriculture, Irrigation, Housing, Electricity, and Economy and the Central Bureau of Statistics.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1990
1993
Latest 199_
Population (Thousands) mid-year estimates
Annual rate of increase (1990-1993)
Surface area (Km2)
Population density (people/Km2)
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 6: PROTECTING AND PROMOTING HUMAN HEALTH

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: Syria's activities are concentrated on the following:

- Making primary medical care available especially in rural areas;

- Monitoring and prevention of communicable diseases;

- Challenges of environmental safety in urban areas;

- Reduction of pollution risks.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministries of Irrigation, Health, Labour, Housing, Tourism, and Local administration.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1980
1990
Latest 199_
Life expectancy at birth

Male

Female

Infant mortality (per 1000 live births)
Maternal mortality rate (per 100000 live births)
Access to safe drinking water (% of population)
Access to sanitation services (% of population)
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 7: PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE HUMAN SETTLEMENT DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: Under this chapter, Syria is concerned with the following issues:

- Making available suitable shelters for its citizens;

- Development of human settlements administration through urban administration and by improving information systems as well as developing sustainable land-use practices;

- Making available water and discharge infrastructure and solid waste administration;

- Building capacity of human settlements development.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministries of Irrigation, Health, Labour, Housing, Tourism, and Local administration.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1990
1995
Urban population in % of total population
Annual rate of growth of urban population (%)
Largest city population (in % of total population)
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 8: INTEGRATING ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT IN DECISION-MAKING

(See pages vii and viii at the beginning of the profile)

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: In order to integrate environment and development in decision-making, Syria concentrates on the following activities:

- Review of economic, environmental and sectoral strategies in order to consolidate environment and development into planning and policy-making;

- Promotion of establishments for this purpose;

- Participation of relevant agencies in decision-making;

- Making legal structures available;

- Using economic instruments.

See also Chapter 33.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure (please also refer to the fact sheet): The Ministries of Environment, Economy, Finance, Agriculture, Irrigation, Industry, Information, Justice, Planning; Remote Sensing; the Scientific Research Center and Information Center.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information.

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 9: PROTECTION OF THE ATMOSPHERE

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT:

Syria has ratified the Montreal Protocol in 1989.

Syria has ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on 6 January 1996.

Additional comments relevant to this chapter

No information.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Meteorological Center, the Ministries of Agriculture, High education, Transport, Petroleum, Electricity, the Atomic Energy Commission, the Ministries for Foreign Affairs and for Interior Affairs, the Ports Commission, and the Ministry of Justice.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1980
1990
Latest 199-
CO2 emissions (eq. million tons)
SOx "
NOx "
CH4 "
Consumption of ozone depleting substances (Tons)
Expenditure on air pollution abatement in US$ equivalents (million)
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 10: INTEGRATED APPROACH TO THE PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT OF LAND RESOURCES

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: Syria concentrates on all activities of Chapter 10 as well as on taking into account environmental considerations during the implementation period of different activities and by not permitting any activities if they do not satisfy the two aspects of environmental protection and natural resources balance. In this context, decision-making is coordinated with the State Planning Commission.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministry of Agriculture, Remote Sensing, Governorates, Irrigation, the Meteorological Center, Scientific Research Center, the Ministry of High Education and Environment.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information.

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 11: COMBATING DEFORESTATION

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: Syria has a High Commission for Forestation which has an annual programme to increase the green belt and to protect forests form fires as well as awareness programmes to encourage planting.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministry of Agriculture, Remote Sensing, Governorates, Irrigation, the Meteorological Center, Scientific Research Center, the Ministry of High Education and Environment.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1985
1990
Latest 199-
Forest Area (Km2)
Protected forest area
Roundwood production (solid volume of roundwood without bark in mill m3)
Deforestation rate (Km2/annum)
Reforestation rate (Km2/annum)
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 12: MANAGING FRAGILE ECOSYSTEMS: COMBATING DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT:

In 1995, Syria signed and ratified the International Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification Particularly in Africa.

Additional comments relevant to this chapter

In cooperation with ACSAD and the Ministry of Agriculture, a desertification map of Syria has been drawn up, and a similar map covering the whole Arabic World will be completed by ACSAD.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministry of Agriculture, Remote Sensing, Governorates, Irrigation, the Meteorological Center, Scientific Research Center, the Ministry of High Education and Environment.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1980
1990
Latest 199_
Land affected by desertification (Km2)
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 13: MANAGING FRAGILE ECOSYSTEMS: SUSTAINABLE MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: The measures under this Chapter aim at securing eco-systems information and sustainable methods for development of mountains and slopes as well as conservation of biodiversity.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministry of Agriculture, Remote Sensing, Governorates, Irrigation, the Meteorological Center, Scientific Research Center, the Ministry of High Education and Environment.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 14: PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: Actions concentrate on all areas of this chapter in addition to migration from rural areas to cities.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministry of Agriculture, Remote Sensing, Governorates, Irrigation, the Meteorological Center, Scientific Research Center, the Ministry of High Education and Environment.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1985
1990
Latest 199_
Agricultural land (Km2)
Agricultural land as % of total land area
Agricultural land per capita
1989/90
1992/93
Latest 199_
Consumption of fertilizers per Km2 of agricultural land as of 1990
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 15: CONSERVATION OF BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT:

The Convention on Biological Diversity was signed and ratified by Syria in 1995.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

No information.

Additional comments relevant to this chapter

In cooperation with ACSAD and UNEP, Syria has implemented a project for setting up a national strategy for biodiversity.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministry of Agriculture, Remote Sensing, Irrigation, Scientific Research Center, the Ministry of High Education and Environment.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1992
Latest 199_
Protected area as % of total land area
1990
Latest 199_
Number of threatened species
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 16: ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANAGEMENT OF BIOTECHNOLOGY

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: Syria concentrates on the following issues under this chapter:

- Increasing food and food safety by increasing crops production;

- Protection of the environment through production development processes;

- Development of alternative energy sources;

- Safe application of biotechnology;

- Transfering technologies through the development of establishments.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministry of Education, High Education; Scientific Research Center; Environmental Research Center; Industry; Information; International organizations; Env.; Public organizations, the Atomic Energy Commission.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 17: PROTECTION OF THE OCEANS, ALL KINDS OF SEAS, INCLUDING ENCLOSED AND SEMI-ENCLOSED SEAS, AND COASTAL AREAS AND THE PROTECTION, RATIONAL USE AND DEVELOPMENT OF THEIR LIVING RESOURCES

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT:

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea

See also the attached tables on the next pages.

The priorities under this chapter are the following:

- Integrated administration of coastal areas;

- Protection of marine environment;

- Sustainable use of marine resources;

- Capacity-building;

- Securing the information and development of human resources; and

- Regional and global cooperation.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: No information.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1980
1990
Latest 199-
Catches of marine species (metric tons)
Population in coastal areas
Population served by waste water treatment (% of country's

total population)

Discharges of oil into coastal waters (metric tons)
Releases of phosphate into coastal waters (metric tons)
Releases of nitrate into coastal waters (metric tons)
Other data

Chapter 17 (Oceans) Continued:

Check the boxes in the column below left: Check the boxes in the column below right:
For level of importance use: For level of implementation use:
*** = very important *** = fully covered
** = important ** = well covered- gaps being addressed
* = not important * = poorly covered
N = not relevant O = not covered; N = not relevant

TABLE I. THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED BY THE APPROPRIATE COORDINATING MECHANISM FOR INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF COASTAL AND MARINE AREAS AND THEIR RESOURCES.

LEVEL OF
IMPORTANCE
ACTIVITY AS DESCRIBED IN AGENDA 21
LEVEL OF
IMPLEMENTATION
***
a. Preparation and implementation of land and water use and siting policies.
*
***
b. Implementation of integrated coastal and marine management and sustainable development plans and programmes at appropriate levels.
***
***
c. Preparation of coastal profiles identifying critical areas including eroded zones, physical processes, development patterns, user conflicts and specific priorities for management.
***
***
d. Prior environmental impact assessment, systematic observation and follow-up of major projects, including systematic incorporation of results in decision-making.
*
***
e. Contingency plans for human induced and natural disasters.
0
**
f. Improvement of coastal human settlements, especially in housing, drinking water and treatment and disposal of sewage, solid wastes and industrial effluents.
0
**
g. Periodic assessment of the impacts of external factors and phenomena to ensure that the objectives of integrated management and sustainable development of coastal areas and marine environment are met.
*
**
h. Conservation and restoration of altered critical habitats.
*
***
I. Integration of sectoral programmes on sustainable development for settlements, agriculture, tourism, fishing, ports and industries affecting the coastal areas.
*
J. Infrastructure adaptation and alternative employment.
***
K. Human resource development and training.
*
***
L. Public education, awareness and information programmes.
0
***
M. Promoting environmentally sound technology and sustainable practices.
0
***
N. Development and simultaneous implementation of environmental quality criteria.
0

TABLE II. TECHNOLOGY (MARINE ENVIRONMENT)

LEVEL OF
IMPORTANCE
ACTIVITY AS DESCRIBED IN AGENDA 21
LEVEL OF
IMPLEMENTATION
**
A. Apply preventive, precautionary and anticipatory approaches so as to avoid degradation of the marine environment, as well as to reduce the risk of long-term or irreversible adverse effects upon it.
0
**
B. Ensure prior assessment of activities that may have significant adverse impacts upon the marine environment.
0
***
C. Integrate protection of the marine environment into relevant general environmental, social and economic development policies.
**
***
D. Develop economic incentives, where appropriate, to apply clean technologies and other means consistent with the internalization of environmental costs, such as the polluter pays principle, so as to avoid degradation of the marine environment.
0
**
E. Improve the living standards of coastal populations, particularly in developing countries, so as to contribute to reducing the degradation of the coastal and marine environment.
0
***
F. Effective monitoring and surveillance within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of fish harvesting and transportation of toxic and other hazardous materials.
*

TABLE III. SEWAGE RELATED ISSUES

LEVEL OF
IMPORTANCE
ACTIVITY AS DESCRIBED IN AGENDA 21
LEVEL OF
IMPLEMENTATION
***
A. Sewage related problems are considered when formulating or reviewing coastal development plans, including human development plans.
*
***
B. Sewage treatment facilities are built in accordance with national policies.
**
**
C. Coastal outfalls are located so as to maintain acceptable level of environmental quality and to avoid exposing shell fisheries, water intakes and bathing areas to pathogens.
0
***
D. The Government promotes primary treatment of municipal sewage discharged to rivers, estuaries and the sea, or other solutions appropriate to specific sites.
**
***
E. The Government supports the establishment and improvement of local, national, subregional and regional, as necessary, regulatory and monitoring programmes to control effluent discharge. Minimum sewage effluent guidelines and water quality criteria are in use.
**

TABLE IV. OTHER SOURCES OF MARINE POLLUTION, THE GOVERNMENT HAS:

LEVEL OF
IMPORTANCE
ACTIVITY AS DESCRIBED IN AGENDA 21
LEVEL OF
IMPLEMENTATION
***
A. Established or improved upon, as necessary, regulatory and monitoring programmes to control emissions, including recycling technologies.
0
***
B. Promoted risk and environmental impact assessments to help ensure an acceptable level of environmental quality.
**
**
C. Promoted assessment and cooperation at the regional level, where appropriate, with respect to the input of point source pollutants from the marine environment.
0
***
D. Taken steps to eliminate emissions or discharges of organohalogen compounds from the marine environment.
0
***
E. Taken steps to eliminate/reduce emissions or discharges or other synthetic organic compounds from the marine environment.
0
**
F. Promoted controls over anthropogenic inputs of nitrogen and phosphorous that enter coastal waters where such problems as eutrophication threaten the marine environment or its resources.
0
***
G. Taken steps to develop and implement environmentally sound land-use techniques and practices to reduce run-off to water courses and estuaries which would cause pollution or degradation of the marine environment.
*
***
H. Promoted the use of environmentally less harmful pesticides and fertilizers and alternative methods for pest control, and considered the prohibition of those found to be environmentally unsound.
*
**
I. Adopted new initiatives at national, subregional and regional levels for controlling the input of non-point source pollutants which require broad changes in sewage and waste management, agricultural practices, mining, construction and transportation.
0
***
J. Taken steps to control and prevent coastal erosion and siltation due to anthropogenic factors related to, inter alia, land-use and construction techniques and practices.
*

TABLE V. ADDRESSING CRITICAL UNCERTAINTIES FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE. IN ORDER TO IMPLEMENT THIS PROGRAMME AREA THE GOVERNMENT IS CARRYING OUT THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES:

LEVEL OF
IMPORTANCE
ACTIVITY AS DESCRIBED IN AGENDA 21
LEVEL OF
IMPLEMENTATION
**
A. Coordinating national and regional observation programmes for coastal and near-shore phenomena related to climate change and for research parameters essential for marine and coastal management in all regions.
0
**
B. Providing improved forecasts of marine conditions for the safety of inhabitants of coastal areas and for the efficiency of marine operations.
0
**
C. Adopting special measures to cope with and adapt to potential climate change and sea-level rise.
0
**
D. Participating in coastal vulnerability assessment, modelling and response strategies particularly for priority areas, such as small islands and low-lying and critical coastal areas.
0
**
E. Identifying ongoing and planned programmes of systematic observation of the marine environment, with a view to integrating activities and establishing priorities to address critical uncertainties for oceans and all seas.
*
*
F. Research to determine the marine biological effects of increased levels of ultraviolet rays due to the depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer.
0
*
G. Carrying out analysis, assessments and systematic observation of the role of oceans as a carbon sink.
0

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 18: PROTECTION OF THE QUALITY AND SUPPLY OF FRESHWATER RESOURCES: APPLICATION OF INTEGRATED APPROACHES TO THE DEVELOPMENT, MANAGEMENT AND USE OF WATER RESOURCES

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: Concentrating on all activities of this chapter.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministries of Irrigation, Health, Labour, Housing, Tourism, and Local administration.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1980
1990
Latest 199-
Fresh water availability (total domestic/external in million m3)
Annual withdrawal of freshwater as % of available water
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 19: ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANAGEMENT OF TOXIC CHEMICALS, INCLUDING PREVENTION OF ILLEGAL INTERNATIONAL TRAFFIC IN TOXIC AND DANGEROUS PRODUCTS

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: Syria concentrates on securing the information and building experience, and getting benefits from UN organizations and through regional and international cooperation in addition to building human and institutional capacity through technical help from related sectors and participating in the programme of hazardous waste prevention.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice, Economy, Scientific Research Center, Agriculture, the Atomic Energy Commission, Custom, the Ministries of Health and Industry and the Governorates.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 20: ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANAGEMENT OF HAZARDOUS WASTES, INCLUDING PREVENTION OF ILLEGAL INTERNATIONAL TRAFFIC IN HAZARDOUS WASTES

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT:

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was signed by Syria in 1989 and ratified in 1991.

Additional comments relevant to this chapter

According to the latest information provided to the Basel Convention Secretariat (1996), no accidents have occured in Syria due to transfer or elimination of hazardous waste. Syria also informed the Secretariat about its opinion on a primary study for establishing a regional center for training and technology transfer in Egypt.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice, Economy, Agriculture, the Atomic Energy Commission, Customs, Health, Governorates, Industry, and Scientific Research Center.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues:

3. Major Groups:

4. Finance:

5. Regional/International Cooperation:

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1980
1990
Latest 199-
Generation of hazardous waste (t)
Import of hazardous wastes (t)
Export of hazardous wastes (t)
Area of land contaminated by hazardous waste (km2)
Expenditure on hazardous waste treatment (US$)
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 21: ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANAGEMENT OF SOLID WASTES AND SEWAGE-RELATED ISSUES

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: Syria concentrates on all activities under this chapter.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministries of Irrigation, Health, Labour, Housing, Tourism, and Local administration.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1980
1990
Latest 199-
Generation of industrial and municipal waste (t)
Waste disposed(Kg/capita)
Expenditure on waste collection and treatment (US$)
Waste recycling rates (%)
Municipal waste disposal (Kg/capita)
Waste reduction rates per unit of GDP (t/year)
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 22: SAFE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: Syria's actions in this field concentrate on securing information and experience-building in addition to getting support from UN organizations and agencies and through regional / international cooperation via technical assistance.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice, Economy, Agriculture, Atomic Energy Commission, Customs, Health, Industry, Governorates, and the Scientific Research Center.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information.

3. Major Groups: No information.

4. Finance: No information.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

AGENDA 21 CHAPTERS 23-32: MAJOR GROUPS

The role of major groups are also covered under the various chapters of Agenda 21. The following is a summary of main objectives outlined in Agenda 21. Please check the appropriate boxes and describe briefly any important steps or obstacles.

STATUS REPORT ON PARTICIPATION BY MAJOR GROUPS AT THE

NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEVELS
Ch. 24: GLOBAL ACTION FOR WOMEN TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE AND EQUITABLE DEVELOPMENT.

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women was

No information.

24.a Increasing the proportion of women decision makers: No information.

24.b assessing, reviewing, revising and implementing curricula and other educational material with a view to promoting dissemination of gender-relevant knowledge.

Curricula and educational material: No information.

24.c and 24.d formulating and implementing policies, guidelines, strategies and plans for achievement of equality in all aspects of society including issuing a strategy by year 2000 to eliminate obstacles to full participation of women in sustainable development. Policies/strategies etc.: No information.

24.e establishing mechanisms by 1995 to assess implementation and impact of development and environment policies and programmes on women: No information.

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page):

No information.

STATUS REPORT ON PARTICIPATION BY MAJOR GROUPS AT THE

NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEVELS
Ch. 25: CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.

25.a establishing processes that promote dialogue between the youth and government at all levels and mechanisms that permit youth access to information and opportunity to present their views on implementing A21.

Describe their role in the national process: Participation on advisory and ad hoc basis.

25.b reducing youth unemployment: No information.

25.c ensuring that by year 2000 more than 50% of youth -- gender balanced -- have access to appropriate secondary education or vocational training: The goal will reached by the year 2000.

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page):

In Syria, there are about 1.25 million youths organized in THOURA YOUTH UNION. In the strategy of the Ministry of Environment, there is a plan to build their capacity and use it as much as possible in raising public awareness and sharing in minimizing negative impacts on the environment. The Union also has a plan to establish a Friend of the Environment Community in 1997.

STATUS REPORT ON PARTICIPATION BY MAJOR GROUPS AT THE

NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEVELS
Ch. 26: RECOGNIZING AND STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND THEIR COMMUNITIES.

26.a establishing a process to empower indigenous people and their communities -- through policies and legal instruments: In place.

26.b strengthening arrangements for active participation in national policies

Indigenous people participate as advisers and on ad hoc basis.

26.c involving indigenous people in resource management strategies and programmes at the national and local level.

Indigenous people are fully involved.

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page):

In Syria, indigenous people are involved in decision-making through local administration: they have representatives in the Executive Councils of the Governorates.

Ch. 27: STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS: PARTNERS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.

27.a developing mechanisms that allow NGOs to play their partnership role responsibly and effectively.

27.b reviewing formal procedures and mechanisms to involve NGOs in decision making and implementation.

27.c promoting and allowing NGOs to participate in the conception, establishment and evaluation of official mechanisms to review Agenda 21 implementation:

Mechanisms already exist and NGO inputs are considered important in this respect.

27.d establishing a mutually productive dialogue by 1995 at the national level between NGOs and governments.

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page):

Syria pays great attention to NGOs such as union organizations, vocational syndicates, associations, and they have a major role in the development process in Syria.

STATUS REPORT ON PARTICIPATION BY MAJOR GROUPS AT THE

NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEVELS
Ch. 28: LOCAL AUTHORITIES' INITIATIVES IN SUPPORT OF AGENDA 21.

28.a encouraging local authorities to implement and monitor programmes that aim to ensure participation of women and youth in local decision making.

The Government supports local Agenda 21 initiatives.

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page):

Youth and women's unions are represented in the Consultative Committee set up for implementing Agenda 21 in Syria.

Ch. 29: STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF WORKERS AND THEIR TRADE UNIONS.

29.a full participation of workers in implementation and evaluation of A21.

29.b (By year 2000, (a) promoting ratification of ILO conventions; (b) establishing bipartite and tripartite mechanism on safety, health and sustainable development; (c) increasing number of environmental collective agreements; (d) reducing occupational accidents and injuries; (e) increasing workers' education and training efforts.

No information.

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page):

No information.

30: STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY.

30.a increasing the efficiency of resource use, including reuse, recycling, and reduction of waste per unit of economic output.

There are governmental policies encouraging the above objective and requiring recycling.

30.b encouraging the concept of stewardship in management and use of natural resources by entrepreneurs.

List any actions taken in this area:

Building of a treatment plant for tannaries and for industrial liquid waste.

30.c increasing number of enterprises that subscribe to and implement sustainable development policies.

No information.

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page):

No information.

STATUS REPORT ON PARTICIPATION BY MAJOR GROUPS AT THE

NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEVELS
Ch. 31: SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNITY.

31.a improving exchange of knowledge and concerns between s&t community and the general public.

Scientific community has already established ways in which to address the general public and deal with

sustainable development.

The establishment of the Environmental Research Center.

31.b developing, improving and promoting international acceptance of codes of practice and guidelines related to science and technology and its role in reconciling environment and development.

Brief comments on this chapter not already described in chapter 35 (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page):

No information.

Ch. 32: STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF FARMERS.

32.a promoting and encouraging sustainable farming practices and technologies.

32.b developing a policy framework that provides incentives and motivation among farmers for sustainable and efficient farming practices.

32.c enhancing participation of organizations of farmers in design and implementation of sustainable development policies.

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page):

There are plans to increase farmers' awareness and participation through farmers' union. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which pesticides and fertilizers are used and to protecting natural resources by using efficient irrigation systems.

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 33: FINANCIAL RESOURCES AND MECHANISMS

Financial resources and mechanisms are also covered under each sectoral chapter of Agenda 21 where relevant. This summary highlights broader national financial policies, domestic and external (including ODA)

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT:

The annual strategy of the Ministry of the Environment is based on achieving sustainable development and support for all environmental conventions - bilateral, multilateral or global. The improvement of environmental quality in Syria has been ensured through the application of EIA process in all kinds of activities. Assistance has been received from the European Union to build the capacity of the regional directorates, and a national strategy and a national action plan are under preparation to ensure sustainable development in Syria.

CHANGES IN NATIONAL BUDGET TO ADDRESS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: One of the main objectives of the Government policies is the strengthening of the principles of sustainable development in different sectors of the society, especially with regard to the management of natural resources. Environmentally good cooperation has been built up between all sectors, and the Ministry of Environment is responsible for ensuring the participatory approach in both technical and economic terms.

NEW ECONOMIC INSTRUMENTS: No information.

ELIMINATION OF ENVIRONMENTALLY UNFRIENDLY SUBSIDIES: No information.

ODA policy issues

No information

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
ODA funding provided or received (Total US$million)
Average for 92-93
Average for 94-96
Net flow of external capital from all sources as % of GDP
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 34: TRANSFER OF ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND TECHNOLOGY, COOPERATION AND CAPACITY-BUILDING

Transfer of environmentally sound technology, cooperation and capacity-building is also covered under each sectoral chapter of Agenda 21 where relevant. This summary highlights broader national policies and actions relating to chapter 34.

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT ON LINKS BETWEEN NATIONAL, REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL INFORMATION NETWORKS/SYSTEMS:

Links do not exist yet, but initial steps have been taken by establsihing a Regional Center for Clean Production with MAP in Barcelona.

MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION: No information.

Describe any work being undertaken at the national or local level regarding efforts to promote clean production processes and/or the concepts of eco-efficiency. These processes may include training, preferential financial arrangements, information dissemination and changes in legal or regulatory frameworks.

No information.

Provide information on the adoption of environmental management systems. National reaction to environmental management system standards such as the ISO 14000 Series and others. Please note efforts made at the national level to promote their adoption and the creation of certification infrastructure in order to facilitate access to these standards to local industry.

National standards have been specified for air and water and industrial water pollution, and now there is cooperation with the International Academy, Geneva, to introduce the ISO 14000 series.

List and describe programs or work under way to facilitate the transfer of ESTs to small and medium sized enterprises. Please note efforts to facilitate access to financial resources and other transfer strategies.

No information.

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 35: SCIENCE FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT ON NATIONAL SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE, RESEARCH NEEDS AND PRIORITIES:

Research is done by the Univeristies in Syria, and in 1996, 150 million s.p. was earmarked for scientific research. Some of this research can be done for the promotion of sustainable development and as guides for improving environmental degradation. The final assessment for these reasearch activities, i.e. number, qualities, areas, has not yet been specified.

STEPS TAKEN TO ENHANCE SCIENTIFIC UNDERSTANDING, IMPROVE LONG TERM SCIENTIFIC ASSESSMENT, BUILDING OF CAPACITY AND CAPABILITY:

There is a lot of national expertise, but the inability to keep them in Syria for financial reasons causes a lack of experience in some fields.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
Year
Number of scientists, engineers and technicians engaged in research and experimental development # 19--
Total expenditure for research and experimental development (US$eq.) $ 19--
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 36: PROMOTING EDUCATION, PUBLIC AWARENESS AND TRAINING

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT:

At present, the Ministry of the Environment has begun to implement a national strategy on the issue. One of its aims is to raise public awareness through media, seminars, workshops etc.

a) Reorientation of education towards sustainable development

No information.

b) Increasing public awareness

Through Working Groups of the Ministry of the Environment.

c) Promoting training

No information.

ROLE OF MAJOR GROUPS:

Since there are no NGOs working in this field yet, the Ministry of the Environment has taken a leading role in this respect.

FINANCING AND COST EVALUATION OF THE LABOUR ACTIVITIES: No information.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1980
1990
Latest 199-
Adult literacy rate (%) Male
Adult literacy rate (%) Female
% of primary school children reaching grade 5 (1986-97)
Mean number of years of schooling
% of GNP spent on education
Females per 100 males in secondary school
Women per 100 men in the labour force
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 37: NATIONAL MECHANISMS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION FOR CAPACITY-BUILDING IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

National capacity building is also covered under sectoral chapters.

Donors: You may wish to describe here how Agenda 21 has influenced your ODA policies in this area.

Developing countries: You may wish to describe any new national mechanisms for capacity building - and any changes in technical cooperation.

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT ON NATIONAL ENDOGENOUS CAPACITY BUILDING:

The Ministry of the Environment cooperates with regional and international organizations in order to build environmental capacities at the national level. Cooperation is done, for example, through UNDP Capacity 21 programme, METAP, EU, and CEDARE.

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 38: INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS

Ch. 38: Brief summary of any particular UN System response affecting this country/state:

The UN system supports capacity building in environmental affairs in Syria as follows:

UNDP: US$ 1.1 million;

METAP: US$ 300,000;

METAP: US$ 300,00;

UNDP: US$ 250,000.

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 39: INTERNATIONAL LEGAL INSTRUMENTS AND MECHANISMS

Ch. 39: International Legal Instruments are covered under the relevant sectoral chapters. This is a listing of major agreements/conventions (not already covered) entered into and relevant to Agenda 21:

No information.

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 40: INFORMATION FOR DECISION-MAKING

This chapter is also covered under sectoral and other chapters of this profile. The matrix below gives an overview of how national authorities rate the available information for decision making.

Rating of available data and information suitable for decision-making

Agenda 21 Chapters
Very
good
Good
Some good
data but
many gaps
Poor
Remarks
2. International cooperation and trade
3. Combating poverty
X
4. Changing consumption patterns
X
5. Demographic dynamics and sustainability
X
6. Human health
X
X
7. Human settlements
X
8. Integrating E & D in decision-making
X
9. Protection of the atmosphere
X
10. Integrated planning and management of land resources
X
11. Combating deforestation
X
12. Combating desertification and drought
X
13. Sustainable mountain development
14. Sustainable agriculture and rural development
X
15. Conservation of biological diversity
X
16. Biotechnology
X
17. Oceans, seas, coastal areas and their living resources
X
18. Freshwater resources
X
19. Toxic chemicals
X
20. Hazardous wastes
X
21. Solid wastes
X
22. Radioactive wastes
X
24. Women in sustainable development
X
25. Children and youth
X
26. Indigenous people
27. Non-governmental organizations
X
28. Local authorities
X
29. Workers and trade unions
X
30. Business and industry
X
31. Scientific and technological community
X
32. Farmers
X
33. Financial resources and mechanisms
X
34. Technology, cooperation and capacity-building
X
35. Science for sustainable development
X
36. Education, public awareness and training
37. International cooperation for capacity-building
X
38. International institutional arrangements
X
39. International legal instruments
40. Information for decision-making
X

Additional Comments

No information.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1980
1993
Latest 199-
Number of telephones in use per 100 inhabitants
Other data

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Copyright United Nations
Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Comments and suggestions: esa@un.org
1 November 1997