MoU to Promote Environmental Awareness

DAMASCUS, (ST) - Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs signed recently a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of the protection of the environment and promote environmental awareness between the two ministries for the implementation of joint programs aimed at the social and environmental dimensions.

The note includes promoting the integration of the environmental dimension in the civil action by supporting the establishment of civil environmental communities and setting up an environmental committee in the civil organizations and communities that carry out environmental awareness field campaigns dealing with the importance of preserving and protecting the environment and the sustainability of natural resources. 

The note also includes the implementation of the working sessions of the citizens, especially young people in the centers of temporary residence and the affected areas about the basic knowledge and skills to be provided to promote and protect the environment, the application and dissemination of interactive environmental activities in cooperation with associations and civil society aimed at raising environmental awareness among young people and children in the affected areas and temporary accommodation centers.
The memo stated that environmental competitions for youth and adolescents will be held  in the field of painting, theater and crafts, recycling and preparation of training manuals and guidelines, posters, magazines and awareness brochures about environmental health issues to reduce the negative effects of the current crisis in Syria, in addition to supporting the implementation of initiatives and activities of the environmental community for youth and adolescents in cooperation with associations and civil society organizations and the participation of individuals and activities of the local community within the affected areas and temporary accommodation centers and strengthen the capacity of employees of the two ministries in the field of the protection of the environment and promote environmental awareness.
Under the memo,  a joint coordination committee, comprising representatives from the ministries, will be formed to map out the necessary work on the preparation of action plans for development of executive programs for each of the areas covered by the memorandum of understanding. 

Minister of State for the Environmental Affairs, Dr. Nazira Sarkis, confirmed that community participation is one of the basic tools needed for the advancement of society and improve the lives of individuals socially, economically and environmentally through voluntary effective actions in supporting all efforts by government agencies and private organizations aimed at the development of society and the reduction of negative reflexes on the environment caused by the current crisis in Syria.
Dr. Sarkis showed that the environmental NGOs play an important role in the activation of community participation in development issues, especially the environment and the protection of its natural resources through the dissemination of environmental awareness among all segments of society.

For her part, Minister of Social Affairs, Dr. Kinda Al Shammat, explained that the ministry gives the environmental issues a priority, especially in centers of temporary residence indicating the need to work on the principle of environmental awareness through partnerships with government agencies, including the Ministry of the Environment in order to promote environmental awareness in our society and the implementation of activities aimed to deepen the environmental education on the principle of active citizenship to keep our society and our environment.

Sh. Kh.