Phase III: September 2007 -
This project phase provides an extended and final support to the on-going UNEP project titled "Support for the Environmental Management for the Iraqi Marshlands." This phase is financed with contributions from the Government of Japan. The project supports the implementation of Environmentally Sound Technology (EST) pilot projects to use alternative energy sources to improve the provision of drinking water and to conduct water quality/wetland restoration. The project also supports community level initiatives, targeted training, and dissemination of monitoring results of pilot activities. These activities have been formulated based on consultations with the Iraqi counterparts, taking into consideration the lessons learned from the earlier phases of the project.
Training Course on Sustainable Management of the Iraqi Marshlands (7-15 April 2008, Damascus, Syria)
UNEP organized a training course of Sustainable Management of the Iraqi Marshlands, in cooperation with the UNEP Regional Office for West Asia (ROWA) and the Arab Center for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry Lands (ACSAD). The course focused especially on wetland and water resource management, biodiversity management and solid waste management. As the only training course for this phase of the project, it provided comprehensive overviews on how to strengthen Iraqi ownership and coordination for the longer-term sustainability of the Iraqi Marshlands management. The participants included mid-career representatives from the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works, and Ministry of Water Resources, as well as a community representative from the Marsh Arab Forum.
Local Community Level Initiative: Environmental Awareness Programme
The environmental awareness programme for the third phase has been conducted from April to August 2008, in cooperation with the Women and Environment Organization (WEO), an Iraqi nongovernmental organization. This awareness programme supported the organization of local initiatives on marshland management, focusing on the impacts of daily activities of the residents, such as solid waste management. The programme was designed to cover nine Marshlands communities in Basrah, Thi-Qar and Missan. To promote participation of a wide number of communities and to ensure equity in support access, the targeted communities were selected from areas that have not received previous community level assistance from UNEP. Similar to the second phase community initiatives, the programme supported tangible activities that could be implemented locally and understood well by the target population, such as public awareness campaigns, community level workshops with local female instructors, distribution of illustrative/easy-to-understand information materials and small goods to improve environmental and health conditions of the target group.
Pilot Project for Alternative Energy Utilization for Drinking Water Provision
The pilot project is organized to implement and evaluate the effectiveness of alternative energy, such as solar energy, to augment available conventional power supply to facilitate drinking water provision in Al-Ghreej Village. The pilot is designed to provide insight for the feasibility of alternative energy options for drinking water provision in the marshland villages, as the critical need for drinking water is often hampered by increasingly limited availability of power in Iraqi communities. In addition, the application of solar stills, an environmentally sound technology that produces relatively small volumes of potable water at the household level, is carried out to evaluate the feasibility of this EST approach in Iraq.
Pilot Project for Water Quality / Wetland Improvement
The project is implementing a pilot project to utilize the constructed wetland technology for water quality and wetland improvement. One of the candidate sites is along the Main Drain, which is used as drainage of wastewater from Baghdad and upstream areas and has diverted water that used to flow into the marshlands. By implementing measures that can improve the water quality and wetland conditions, this pilot project aims to demonstrate a viable option to minimize further damage to the wetland conditions and assess the feasibility of increasing the availability of water for longer-term marshland rehabilitation.
Monitoring of Pilot Activities and Dissemination of Results
The project is supporting the monitoring of pilot activities for drinking water provision and for the water quality improvement/wetland restoration. The monitoring sites include pilot sites from the previous phases. Data to be monitored may include water quality, biodiversity and marshland conditions. The project plans to disseminate the results among Iraqi stakeholders and other audience, utilizing the Marshland Information Network (MIN).
Evaluation Meeting: Support for Environmental management of Iraqi Marshlands (3 September 2008, Kyoto, Japan)
UNEP organized the Evaluation Meeting: Support for Environmental management of Iraqi Marshlands on 3 September 2008, in Kyoto, Japan. The meeting evaluated all project phases implemented thus far by UNEP from 2004, namely Phase I, supported by the UNDG Iraq Trust Fund with Japanese contributions, Phase II-A, supported by the Government of Italy, as well as Phases II-B and III, supported by the Government of Japan. Her Excellency Mrs. Narmin Othman, Minister of Environment of Iraq participated in the meeting together with other representatives from the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works of Iraq. The evaluation meeting was also attended by representatives from the Government of Japan and Italy.
Taking the opportunity of the visit of Her Excellency Mrs. Narmin Othman, to Japan, UNEP also organized back-to-back events with the Evaluation Meeting. The events include the consultation meeting with UNEP, site visits, courtesy visits to the Government of Japan and the press conference. For detail, please see the following site.
Side events of the Evaluation Meeting (2-5 September 2008)