The cause and effects in time and space of climate change constitute an extremely complex
topic. From a scientific point of view, perplexities particularly concern the factors that
caused the phenomenon and the impact on a local and global scale. Although numerous
studies confirm the influence of green house gases (GHG) on the thermal balance of the
earth and they therefore ascribe to climate change an anthropic reason, nevertheless many
experts consider the current increase in the planet temperature as a natural phase of
climatic evolution that has already occurred in other eras.
The lack of agreement on causes of climate change affects the opportunity to adopt a
common strategy to reduce GHG emissions. In the industrial countries, these measures
entail intense changes in the energy policy, investments for the development of alternative
energy and the introduction of constraints and changes for firms. For the developing
countries, forced between environmental and economic emergencies, a change in the
energetic balance and the associated economic system reconversion have to face strong
resistances since they bring about an additional cost delaying the industrial development
and the achievement of short term objectives of development policy.
Given that climate change is one of the factors that contribute to the desertification process,
it becomes particularly important in the Mediterranean basin, which is already
characterized by the presence of large desert areas where the precarious balance is deeply
exposed to environmental degradation.
The Enabling activities for Preparation of Syria’s initial National Communication to
UNFCCC (INC project) is financed by GEF/UNDP and is being implemented at the
Ministry of State for Environment Affairs (MSEA) with the goal of preparing the First
Communication Report on Climate Change in Syria.
Weather in Syria can be divided into five climatic regions and into 5 agricultural settlement
zones depending on average annual precipitation ranging from over 800 mm in the humid
zone I to less than 100 mm in the dry zone V.
In Syria, farming systems have to a large extent been influenced by the physical and
climatic characteristics of the five major agro-ecological zones.
Data collected from 30 metrological stations over the period from 1955 to 2006 show
significant changes in average annual precipitation during both winter and autumn seasons.
Winter precipitation has decreased during the last five decades in the northern and north
eastern zones of Syria. Autumn precipitation, on the other hand, has increased in the
northern central zone Syria. The reasons behind that’s changes are not well understood.
The same data show that there is a general tendency for decreased temperatures during
winters especially in the coastal region and western inlands. The same trend is observed
during springs and autumns. Summer temperatures are observed to increase in the coastal
The majority of agricultural production in Syria derives from small family-based farms. In
total, some 98% of national agricultural production is in private hands. Despite this
dominance of the private sector, the Government plans the areas to be planted annually to
key crops and implements a crop area licensing system for farms of over 0.5 hectares.
The Government also intervenes intensively in marketing and processing. It owns and
operates the majority of the nation’s basic agricultural processing facilities, including all.