Component 5: Awareness Raising and Follow-up
The long-term sustainability of the outputs and results of this project requires the involvement and acceptance by the stakeholders. In addition, broadening the public understanding of the issues confronting the Iraqi Marshlands and programmatic response to date is necessary to address two needs: one is the need to secure further international support necessary to promote longer-term management of the area, and the other is the need to maintain support within Iraq to move beyond a pilot stage to broader implementation by Iraqi institutions. To address these needs, the project has developed and disseminated information in a wide variety of media, including audiovisual materials, reports, brochure, adapted appropriately to target audiences. Public events have been organized to discuss the state of the Iraqi Marshlands and restoration and management efforts. The project has also received significant media coverage, helping to raise awareness around the world.
This project has also undertaken information dissemination and outreach programmes with local organizations to inform and involve communities in marshland management and the implementation of environmentally sound technologies (ESTs). These community level initiatives are described further under Activity Component 3.
The project has produced a five-minute video on Iraqi marshlands and information brochure on the project, and distributed to relevant stakeholders. During the second phase of the project, extensive footage of the marshland conditions has also been filmed, and made available for the BBC Earth Report series, which was broadcast in November 2006.
Public Symposium (24 August 2005, Tokyo, Japan)
An International Public Symposium has been organized in Tokyo, August 2005, to report the achievements and progress of the project. Participants included the Minister of Environment, Japan, a high-level delegation from Iraq, representatives of Iranian and French Embassies in Tokyo, and representatives of US Agency for International Development and Italian Ministry of Environment. A press conference has also been held, with resultant worldwide coverage of marshland issues.
In addition, the project has supported a public meeting to commemorate the Environment Day in Iraq in 2005 to inform the state of the Iraqi Marshlands and efforts to improve the conditions to the general public in Iraq.
"Back to Life"
The project has published a communication tool titled “Back to Life” in Arabic, English and Japanese to inform the public on the UNEP Iraqi Marshlands Project in August 2005. Printed copies have been distributed. This publication has been updated with the progress made in the project in Phase II-B of the project in December 2006. The publication has been made available for downloading.