New Hunting Law in Syria Reaches its Final Stage

Posted on Thu, 18/09/2014

Syria is a country that distinguishes itself by both its remarkable avian diversity, with around 500 recorded birds species, and its infamous unregulated hunting situation that has been lasting  for several years despite a nationwide hunting ban in place since the mid 90’s of the last century.

To remedy the current unregulated situation, the Syrian government has established in 2013 an expert committee, in which the Syrian Society for the Conservation of Wildlife (SSCW – BirdLife Syria) is represented, with the responsibility of developing a new hunting law and the required implementation decrees.

It is to present the latest version of the new hunting law that the Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform in Syria (MAAR), with the collaboration of SSCW, has organised a national workshop in August 2014 in Damascus.

The objective of this workshop was to discuss the proposed hunting law and gather remarks and recommendations from all relevant national stakeholders to reach a final version suitable for implementation.

“From left to right: Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Agriculture, MSB project coordinator and member of parliament/head of agriculture and irrigation committee”

“From left to right: Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Agriculture, MSB project coordinator and member of parliament/head of agriculture and irrigation committee”

More than 42 experts representing the relevant Ministries and governmental bodies, the civil society, the hunters and local communities have put their mind together and actively participated to the discussion.

Mr. Osama Al Nouri, project coordinator of the Migratory Soaring Birds (MSB) project, declared that “the issuing of this new hunting law will be an important step forward but it is not a silver bullet to the hunting problem in Syria as the road towards regulated and responsible hunting practices is still long and rigged with many obstacles that will require a coordinated effort from all involved stakeholders”.

His excellency Mr. Ahmad Fateh Al Kadiri, Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform, highlighted the geographical importance of Syria for migratory birds and the rich biological diversity that the country holds which need to be protected by regulating the hunting situation at the national level. He stated that “the ultimate goal of this workshop is the issuance of a sound hunting law that is suitable for enforcement and is in line with international conventions ratified by the Syrian Arab Republic”.

SSCW, with the support of the Migratory Soaring Birds project, has played a preponderant and privileged role in drafting this law and in setting the scene to its future implementation through the development of the sustainable hunting national plan (see related news here) as well as the provision of various much needed materials such as the hunter manual and the code of best practices for responsible hunting.

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