Syria is a country situated in the scope of Med-O-Med program, geographical and culturally. That is why and with the objective to use them as reference for the different research and catalogues created by the program, that we present this data for the country in different subjects:
MAIN PHYTOGENETIC RESOURCES OF SYRIA AND THE MAIN THREATS
The National Study on Biological Diversity (1998)recorded 641 species of fungus, 55 bacteria, 754 algae, 10gymnosperms (8 of them at risk), 3,100 angiosperms (330 beingendemic species), 1,439 insects, 452 fish, 16 amphibians (3 atrisk), 127 reptiles (31 at risk), 360 birds (15 at risk), and 125mammals (most of which are at risk).
InSyria forests cover 461,000 ha, of which 232,840 are naturalforests. Themain threats for biological diversity are forest fires, uncontrolledurbanisation and grazing,excessive hunting and fishing, illicit international trade,uncontrolled tree felling and charcoal production, desertification,forest fragmentation, lack of appropriate regulation, invasion byexotic species, land erosion and degradation, depletion of waterresources, chemical pollution, destruction of habitats especiallyalong the coast and rivers, inadequate law enforcement, bad planningof tourism and poor environmental awareness.
STATUS OF IN-SITU AND EX-SITU CONSERVATION
The National Strategy and Plan of Action for the Conservation of Biodiversity include environmental considerations aiming to reduce environmental threats in all development projects and covering the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources. One of the main objectives is to protect natural ecosystems of special biological interest. At Present Syria has 23 protected areas, 1.28% of its total surfacearea, and the aim is to increase the number of protected areas to10% of the total area. Of these protected areas, 5 are wetlands, 3coastal and marine areas, 13 forests and 2 are for the protection of endangered fauna. There are also 30 protected pasture areas.
The Plan of action has two sections. In the short and medium term (1-5 years), the main objectives are to draw up scientific studies on the situation and trends in biological diversity, with a special focus on rare and endangered species, to establish protected areas representing unique local varieties, to train personnel, to create a germplasm bank and a herbarium,especially for endemic species, to identify the causes of the lossof biodiversity and to develop appropriate policies for biodiversity conservation.
In The long term (6-10 years), the objectives are to create a national network of protected areas representing all the country’secosystems based on the IUCN and international criteria for protected areas and bearing in mind the country’s needs and national legislation, and to establish organic framing practiceswith the aim of using natural resources in a sustainable way.
Workis under way to rehabilitate communities of juniper, pistachio,cedar and fir by propagating themin nurseries and replanting the original habitats. The International Centre for Agricultural Research for Desert Areas (ICARDA) is headquartered in Aleppo and carries out many projects involving research and the conservation of the typical plant biodiversity ofdesert habitats. It has a number of experimental field stations,arboretums, nurseries, etc.
Centers of plant diversity
From west to east, the country has three regions: in the west is the coastal plain, separated from the interior by the Yabal Ansariyya, a double mountain range with a number of valleys; the centre, comprising a rugged plateau with several volcanic peaks and crossed from north-east to south-west by a range comprising various formations – Yabal Abd al-Aziz, Yabal Visir, Yabal Buwayda, Yabal Saar, Yabal al Sarqi and Yabal Garbi; and the eastern region comprising the Euphrates valley. The latter is the country’s main river, from east to north-west. Also important are its tributary Jabur and the Orontes river in the west. In the northeast corner, the frontier with Turkey is formed by the Tigris.
The biomes present in Syria, from north-west to south-east, are Mediterranean woodlands, pasturelands and desert. According to WWF, the Mediterranean woodlands comprise two ecoregions by altitude: the eastern Mediterranean low woodlands, and the montane woodlands of southern Anatolia in mountainous areas. The pasturelands and desert correspond respectively to ecoregions called Far East steppe and Mesopotamian shrubland desert.
Syria is a country situated in the scope of Med-O-Med program, geographical and culturally. That is why and with the objective to use them as reference for the different research and catalogues created by the program, that we present this data for the country in different subjects: This post is available in: English Español