ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Environmental Protection and Improvement Board in the Kurdistan Region has presented three projects to the council of ministers to reduce environmental pollution, an official said on Sunday.
Hallo Askari, the Kurdistan Region’s head of Environmental Protection and Improvement Board, told local media that the board is waiting for the approval of three projects from the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) council of ministers.
“The first project is to establish an air quality assessment center, which will allow us to identify the main causes of pollution in the Kurdistan Region. The second is to replace nylon bags with paper bags, which is already being implemented and will be completed in the next few years,” Askari said.
“The third project is to establish and implement a mechanism to recycle plastic waste, such as plastic drinking bottles, and reuse them,” Askari added.
He explained that the project to monitor the air quality would cost about half a million dollars.
The project “will allow us to monitor the rate of gases from factories, generators, cars, and electric stations and assess how they contribute to the air pollution and allow us to come up with possible alternatives for them,” the Kurdish official explained.
“Developed countries are using air-quality stations, and, through our research, we already know that we can establish them in the Kurdistan Region to determine the main source of pollution and work with the related ministries to solve it,” Askari added.
The lack of renewable energy forces people in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq to depend on neighborhood and personal generators, which is a primary factor for air pollution. Another factor is the absence of public transportation, forcing people to rely on personal vehicles for transport, which contributes to pollution in cities across Kurdistan.
President Nechirvan Barzani has previously promised that the Kurdistan Region would join international efforts to protect the environment, integrate environmental awareness in its curriculums, improve recycling, take advantage of renewable energy and eco-technology, introduce the electric car in its automobile market, expand public transportation, and move toward clean energy.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany