Environment Ministry marks World Environment Day, stresses preventing illegal trade in wildlife

Damascus, SANA – On the occasion of the World Environment Day (WED), the Ministry of State for Environment Affairs organized an event to carry out several activities with the participation of popular organizations, unions, professional associations and civil societies.

The event, held under the title of “Illegal Trafficking in Wildlife”, included cleanliness campaigns, a stage show to raise awareness of the importance of preserving environment and an exhibition of recycled products.

In a press statement, Minister of State for Environment Affairs Nazira Sarkis called for enhancing efforts to protect environmental diversity and reduce direct and indirect pressure threatening it.

She pointed out that the ministry has prepared a national legislation for controlling and regulating tarde of animal and plant species that are threatened with extinction which will be issued soon.

Sarkis referred to the massive damage caused to living creatures by the terrorist organizations, stressing that Syria is committed to preventing trade in wildlife.

For her part, Wadiaa Jeha, the director of Environment Affairs Directorate in Damascus, said the reports of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have showed that the decline of wild animal numbers has become much steeper than expected due to the growing human needs against nature by 50%.

The reports, she said, showed a significant decline in the numbers of fish, mammals, amphibians and reptiles in the world by 52%, adding that humans are directly responsible for the extinction of some kinds of animals and their exposure to risk as around 11% of animals are expected to face the risk of extinction by 2050.

Dr. Wajih Khoury of the Agricultural Engineers Association said there are about 143 species of migrant birds that stop in Syria for breeding, including 71 species of transient birds, 83 species of winter residents and 15 species of summer residents.

M. al-Frieh/H. Said

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