Environmental Background :
Syria’s population expansion rate of 3.6% is placing increasing pressure on the country’s resources . In addition to that industrial and agricultural sector activities are effecting a large number of components of the environment including water , land resources and air . In turn these effects all have a negative bearing on the economic and social well being of the population as a whole .
Pressures on the Environment :
human settlements in Syria have always been concentrated on the fertile valleys along the banks of rivers , however , increasing demands for natural resources has exceeded the sustainable capacity of these areas , while waste from human settlements and industrial sites have further harmed the environment , the pressures that have given rise to severe environmental problems include :
– Intensive cultivation especially the increase in irrigated crops which now accounts for (85-90%) of fresh water consumption .
– Increasing urbanization which led to crowded urban sprawl and a decline in the living conditions .
– Increasing pressure on the biological resources .
– Increasing industrialization with subsequent energy demand , and excessive polluting waste .
– Increase in demand for domestic potable water (growing at 4.2% /year) .
– Over hunting , Overgrazing , Over fishing .
Contamination , depletion and dissipation of water resources .
Poor air quality and air pollution (industrial and urban) .
Deterioration of urban environment and uncontrolled urban expansion .
The growth of illegal settlements .
Poverty and population growth .
Inappropriate solid waste disposal (domestic , industrial “ hazardous & toxic” ) and waste water pollution .
Degradation of biodiversity and habitat deterioration and poor use of biological resources .
Soil , land and rangeland deterioration & degradation (soil salinization , land contamination and erosion ).
Deforestation and desertification
Lack of public awareness of environmental issues .
Lack of industrial zones .
Food contamination , food diseases & epidemiologies , food security , environment security .
Coastal degradation .
Excessive use of agro-chemicals and pesticides .
The wrongful hunting .
Cultural heritage degradation (archaeological and historical sites)