Vision of SEPS:
Establishing of our NGO
Our Society (The Syrian Environment Protection Society) is the pioneer Non-Governmental Organization and the first Environmental movement that had been founded and announced publicly in Syria.
Our Society board of founders is consisting of a group of professionals specialized in different fields of environmental sciences, engineering (agricultural, architectural, civil), medicine, dentistry, law and education.
Our aim, values and principles:
We aim at positively healing , correcting and shaping the natural and urban environment, combating the threats against our Environment and clarifying the misconceptions using the awareness campaigns, thereby improving people’s living conditions and their habitat.
- Environmental sound use of resources as it secures development opportunities for future generations.
- Cooperation in a spirit of partnership as it leads to successes.
- Transparency and integrity as they produce clarity, and so create trust.
Environmental problems in Syria
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 affecting 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 on 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).
Strategy of SEPS:
1- Build capacity and general education
2- Working for appropriate environmental laws and legislations.
3- National awareness campaigns and training programs.
4- Information exchange and research.
5- Seeking for Policy development and institutional adjustments.
6- Prevention of contamination and depletion of water resources
By conducting pricing studies, and by drawing integrated water resources management plans.
7- Land resources conservation
By finding methods for protecting the agricultural lands and controlling illegal settlements.
8- Poor air quality control
By conducting a transport, traffic and vehicles studies which include: the implications of using unleaded fuel(Gasoline), ways to hasten replacement of old vehicles, establish an air quality management center.
9- Protection , rehabilitation of Biodiversity
By planning and establishing: Natural reserves and protected areas, Gene banks, National Parks, Bio-safety, and Eco-tourism.
Activities that are added to the strategy of actions:
- Promoting public awareness and environmental education for the problems and threats on Environment & Ecosystem resulting from pollution, degradation and over-exploitation and that could be done combined with educational and promotional activities.
- The publishing of books, brochures, stickers, calendars, notebooks, posters, greeting cards …etc. about Environment.
- Arranging of lectures, meetings, seminars, journeys to different places inside and outside Syria.
- Arranging of campaigns on city and country level to respond to urgent Environmental matters and problems.
- The conducting and implementing of projects and ventures in various Environmental fields according and depending on the availability of funds.
- Taking the initiative and submitting the recommendations, suggestions and modifications for amending or enacting new laws relating to the general interest and corresponding to the Environmental requirements for all sectors of people.