Developing Sustainable Solutions to Fighting Water Pollution and Environmental Degradation
Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the UN Resolution 64/292 in which the United Nations General Assembly recognized the human right to water and sanitation. Part of our dialogue programme ‘Clean Tigris’ seeks to defend this human right by connecting our Iraqi participants from various communities along the river.
Despite the challenges that Iraq is currently facing (new government, rising numbers of Covid-19 cases, travel restrictions, lockdowns, extreme heat , ongoing protests, and increased violence in cases such as the killing of terror expert Alhashimi in Baghdad or the abduction of the German cultural manager Hella Mewis) a core group of around 20 active participants from civil society, academia and environmental policy continue to meet virtually and develop sustainable solutions to fight water pollution and to improve the water management in Iraq.
And this is very important: in addition to the many challenges Iraq is facing, the country is plagued by massive environmental and water resource problems that threaten the fragile peace and social cohesion: Plastic waste, garbage and waste from the oil industry pollute the rivers and cause massive fish mortality in the Tigris and Euphrates. This deprives fishermen of their livelihood. Dams and droughts also reduce the water levels in Mesopotamia – the land between the two rivers. In particular, the valuable marshlands in southern Iraq are under severe threat. Water shortage and water pollution in al-Ahwar threaten the livelihoods of the Ma’dan (marsh Arabs) and their animals, forcing displacement and destroying biodiversity in the natural heritage.