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Evaluation Meeting for Support for Environmental Management of the Iraqi Marshlands Project (Phase II-A) - Summary Report




20 April 2007
Paris, France

Summary

The evaluation meeting for Phase II-A of the UNEP Support for Environmental Management of the Iraqi Marshlands Project was organized at UNEP on 20 April 2007. The Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land, and Sea (IMELS) has provided support to UNEP to carry out this project phase, with a focus on data collection and management as well as capacity building to support the development of a marshland strategic management and development plan. UNEP has implemented the project in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Water Resources, and Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works of Iraq.

The meeting was organized with the following objectives:

  1. To discuss and evaluate the work undertaken so far with the Italian contributions to UNEP for the Iraqi Marshlands project Phase II-A;
  2. To identify priority areas of work that merit further attention to move towards sustainable management of the Iraqi Marshlands.

The Iraqi Delegation was headed by Her Excellency Mrs. Narmin Othman, Minister of Environment of Iraq, and included representatives from the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Water Resources, and Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works. The Italian delegation included representatives from IMELS as well as Nature Iraq.

The Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Water Resources, and Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works, Nature Iraq, and UNEP presented the status of various project activities undertaken thus far within the framework of the project. Furthermore, the Italian initiatives and other related UNEP activities were presented.



Recommendations

Based on the analysis of project activities carried out thus far, as well as a review of other relevant initiatives, the participants recommended the following additional works to fill the remaining gaps:

  1. Integrate the UNEP-based Marshland Information Network (MIN) and the Italian-sponsored web GIS system to be installed at the three Iraqi ministries, recognizing the differences in types and flows of information. The Italian-sponsored system will be established by September 2007.
  2. Continue to provide capacity building support to utilize the information and data management systems established within the Iraqi ministries. Specifically, provide support to increase the number of trained personnel inside the ministries by conducting continuous education and other measures, involving additional personnel to enlarge the pool of trained technicians and experts, encouraging measures for ministries to retain trained personnel, and contracting with consultancies and Iraqi academic institutions to carry out training.
  3. Encourage initiatives with tangible positive impacts on the social conditions.
  4. Coordinate various activities within Iraq and among donor countries/agencies. In particular, UNEP and Italy are recommended to further continue dialogue on the following:
    • Cooperation on the UNEP-UNESCO Ecosystem Management for the World Heritage proposal and the Italian proposal for the Mesopotamia National Parks and Man and Biosphere (MAB).
    • Cooperation for activities in Kurdistan from the New Eden project ideas for 2007 and the UNEP environmental management of water resources in Kurdistan proposal.
    • UNEP Phase III initiatives, such as the constructed wetland pilot project.
  5. Continue to support cooperation among the relevant Iraqi Ministries, including, but not limited to, Ministries of Environment, Water Resources, Municipalities and Public Works, and the State Minister for the Marshlands, to identify and address priorities to move towards a marshland strategic management and development plan, with due attention to the political and legal frameworks for Iraqi governance. Ensure that the process as well as the institutional arrangement for such strategic management and development plan is clarified and agreed by relevant Iraqi institutions.