Climate Risk Profile: Syria
This profile provides an overview of climate risk issues in Syria, including how climate change will potentially impact agriculture, water resources, human health, and coastal zones. The brief includes an overview and climate summary of the country, as well as projected climate changes. Also included is information on the policy context and information regarding ongoing climate change projects in Syria.
The historically robust agricultural sector in Syria has declined in recent years since the outbreak of the civil war. Climatic research and ethnographic studies have shed light on the possibility that water shortages and climate variability contributed to the conflict. Multiple years of crop failure drove mass migration to urban areas, where unemployment, poor governance, and a multitude of other stressors led to the civil unrest in 2011. Climatic evidence suggests that anthropogenic climate change exacerbated this drought. Research also suggests that the frequency and intensity of droughts, particularly in the eastern Mediterranean region, will increase as global temperatures rise. With much of the infrastructure in ruin and minimal governance because of the civil war, Syria is more vulnerable than ever to future climate-influenced shocks.
Syria ratified the UNFCCC in 1995 and signed the Kyoto Protocol in 2005. The Ministry of State for Environment Affairs (MSEA), with financial support from the Global Environmental Facility and the UN Development Program, prepares all of Syria’s National Communications to the UNFCCC. The MSEA is responsible for enacting all environmental law in Syria, and is the national agency responsible for climate change issues.
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