Bordering the shore of the mediteranean and sharing borders
with Jordan Iraq,Turkey, Israel and Lebanon lies Syria .An ancient land steeped
in culture and history.
It has a mediteranean climate which varies from the dry hot steppe country of its vast desert, to its snow along the coastal ranges.
Since recorded history, agriculture in the rich and fertile crescent
of the coastal mountains, through north Syria and down the Euphrates Valley all the way into Iraq, has supported the countrys' economy.
However in recent decades because of modern farming equiptment, industrial expansion and population growth, many of its wetlands have been drained for irrigation purposes.leaving great pressure on its water supplies.
A solution was needed and the creation of a large dam named
Buhayrat al-Asad (Lake Asad) was built, and 1973 saw this huge resevoir covering over 63,000 ha. of the Euphrates Valley . However tensions are strained with Turkey and their hydrological projects, regulating the flow of water in the upper Euphrates river getting into Syria.
The Euphrates Valley has a fascinating biblical history. It was in this valley Moses was born though closer to Baghdad ,many of his wanderings, like so many others we read about in the bible, were spent along this beautiful valley.
Agricultural Production has considerably developed during recent
years as a result of investment development for natural resources and adopting
modern techniques in all fields of Agricultural production, besides the good
Policies and Procedures taken by the government to encourage agricultural investment
and to develop it vertically and horizontally.
As a result self sufficiency has been achieved for most products, also surplus is available for export for many agricultural commodities of good quality.
About /30/ million of forest-plants are produced annually through /38/ nurseries scattered in the country provinces to be distributed in the next year.About /24/ thousand hectares are reclaimed and afforested annually as well as building forest ways of about /2400/ km. long.
Follow-up the forest-protection works and fires-control by wireless communication net, towers, police stations and centers of fires-control.
The growing and promotion operations of natural and artificial forests have being executed, and that leads to the development of forests and their productivity to the best possible level as well as improving the production quantitatively and qualitatively through the field groups distributed in the concerned provinces.
The investment-plans have being made, discussed and follow-up the different forest projects as well as making the plans of manpower, training and supervising the execution and cooperation with Directorate of International - Arab Relations with regard to cooperation with the projects and Arab and Foreign countries.
Rain-making project develops the water resources by planting the clouds to increase the rainfall artificially and improve distribution of rainfall in favor of farming during the stages of growing, increase the abundance of rainstorms to increase the surface flow, feed the water shelf (dams) and increase the stores of groundwater.
Planting the clouds in Syria was performed as from Spring of 1992 through an experiment continued /45/ days by cooperation with the soviet side where /13/ flights of Soviet rain-making laboratory rented planes (Illusion 18) were executed.
In 1991-1992 season, rain-making works were executed according to a contract made with the Soviet side where /93/ flights within five months by using four Russian rented planes, two radar stations and a station of receiving the clouds pictures from satellites.
In 1992, a contract was signed with Central Air Observatory in Moscow aiming at building a Syrian integral project to increase rainfall artificially. The contract included preparation of four Syrian planes, selling and setting up a station of receiving pictures from satellites, four radar stations of weather which were set up in Damascus, Tartous, Aleppo and Deir-Ezzor as well as maintenance of these equipment during the contract effective period for five years starting from 1992 up to 1997, execution of works, training the Syrian specialized employees to be able to guide all works to increase rainfall in the future.
In 1992-1993 season, /84/ flights of rain-making planes were executed, in 1993-1994 season /55/ flights were executed, in 1994-1995 season /40/ flights were executed, in 1995-1996 season /65/ flights were executed and in 1996-1997 season /37/ flights were executed, where the number of flights determined according to the opportunities suitable for the planting works.
It is to be noted that planting of clouds has been executed by cooperation with the Russian side during the contractual period for four months per rain season. The project employees follow up the works without seeking of help from any foreign experience during October, November, April and May of each rain season. There are representatives of Air Force and Air Defense Commands and representatives of General Directorate of Meteorology participating in the project works by executing the flights of rain-making planes.
After the contract period with the Russian side expired, the rain-making project at our Ministry continued executing the works of planting clouds without seeking of help from Russian experts where all project works, flights, investment and maintenance of equipment executed by national experts. The project had executed /44/ flights during 1997-1998 season and they included works of planting clouds in the whole Syrian lands, what means that the project has been ready by national cadres who work independently to contribute in realizing the water security in Syria. They can work in Arab countries as well as in neighbouring friendly countries where the project can present all services and works relating to increase of rainfall to any other special foreign side for the Syrian rain-making project is considered the most integral Arab one concerning its equipment and cadres.
Renewable energy relies on sources that are not depleted with use, such as solar and wind power, or that can be replenished, such as biomass, which uses agricultural waste or other material.
50% of the investment will go for wind power, projected to supply 800 megawatts of electricity.
The other half of the the plan calls for installation of 16,000 solar power units in 1,000 villages. It is expected that 10,000 solar units will be installed in the semi-arid central plain of Al-Baida and 6,000 elsewhere. There is also a viewed need for using agricultural and animal waste, and refuse from urban areas, as energy sources.
Renewable energy will fill about 4 per cent of the country's energy total needs by 2011, according to the plan, and create 7,225 new jobs. It will likely reduce emissions by 2.6 million tonnes a year of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change.
The initial price tag for the plan is considerably more than the $410 million it would cost to generate the same amount of power with conventional energy sources such as oil.Although the cost of implementing these renewable energy supplies cost more than it would have by oil the renewable energy has lower operating costs, giving it an advantage over the life span of the installations. The plan estimated the total cost of using conventional energy at $5.6 billion, compared to $3.26 billion for renewable energy. More info on solar energy here.
Annual electricity consumption in Syria was 863 kilowatt hours per person in 1999, the most recent available data, compared to an average of 1,303 kilowatts in the Arab region and 8,431 kilowatts in the world's high income countries.