Arab Republic has become the 82nd Party to CMS as from
1 June 2003. The country is situated in the Middle East,
bordering the Mediterranean Sea and five countries, two
of which are already Parties to CMS. Syria's accession
brings the total number of CMS Parties in Asia, which
includes the Middle East, to ten.
The Syrian Arab Republic is already Party to the Convention
on Biological Diversity (CBD), United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), United Nations Convention
to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the Ramsar Convention
on Wetlands. Of direct relevance to CMS, Syria has already
ratified ACCOBAMS and submitted the instrument of accession
to the African Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) simultaneously
to CMS accession.
The Syrian Desert, crossed by the Euphrates River, semiarid
and desert plateaus dominate the landscape. A narrow coastal
plain alternates with high mountains in the west.
The Syrian Arab Republic is a range State to numerous species
of CMS interest.18 species listed on CMS Appendix I are
reported to occur in Syria. These include, among others,
three species of marine turtles (the loggerhead turtle Caretta
caretta, the green turtle Chelonia mydas and
the leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea), the
critically endangered slender-billed curlew (Numenius
tenuirostris), the lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni),
the ferruginous duck (Aythya nyroca), and the white-headed
duck (Oxyura leucocephala), all species designated
for concerted actions under CMS. A few individuals of Mediterranean
monk seal might also still occur along Syrian coasts. Among
the numerous Appendix II species reported in Syria, a special
mention deserves the houbara bustard, for which a multilateral
agreement under CMS is currently being negotiated. Among
the mammals, the Asiatic wild ass and the Black-tailed gazelle
have been included in Appendix II by the last meeting of
the Conference of the Parties.
On a more general level, the territory of the Syrian Arab
Republic is situated along the important flyway linking
Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia with East Africa
through the Bosphorous and the Eastern Mediterranean.