KRG, Iraqi officials convene symposium on drought, climate change impacts

With Iraq ranking second for the most polluted climate globally, the detrimental impact on public health is undeniable, with harmful particles saturating the air Iraqis breathe on a daily basis.
KRG President, Iraqi President and KRG Prime Minister were among the attendants of the symposium. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)
KRG President, Iraqi President and KRG Prime Minister were among the attendants of the symposium. (Photo: Kurdistan 24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan24) - A symposium addressing the critical issues of drought and climate change impacts convened in Erbil, drawing the participation of key officials from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Iraq, including Iraq's President Latif Rasheed and KRG President Nechirvan Barzani.

The event, held on Sunday, 12-05-24, underscored the urgent need for collaborative action to address the multifaceted challenges posed by climate change on Iraq's political, economic, and demographic landscape.

President Rasheed, alongside KRG President Nechirvan Barzani and KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, emphasized the importance of tackling drought and climate change as integral components of sustainable development efforts in the region.

Iraq's alarming air pollution levels, highlighted in the latest report by the Swiss agency IQAir, underscored the pressing nature of the discussions.

With Iraq ranking second for the most polluted climate globally, the detrimental impact on public health is undeniable, with harmful particles saturating the air Iraqis breathe on a daily basis.

Environmental experts have identified a range of contributing factors to Iraq's air pollution crisis, including inadequate infrastructure, emissions from refineries, vehicular exhaust, and the concentration of factories in urban areas.

Additionally, rural-to-urban migration has further exacerbated environmental strain.

The symposium also shed light on the devastating toll climate change has taken on Iraq's agricultural sector. With approximately half of the country's agricultural land rendered infertile due to climate-induced degradation, the economic repercussions are profound.

Moreover, the nexus between climate change and health was highlighted, with an estimated 30,000 individuals annually suffering from cancer as a result of environmental factors.

As Iraq grapples with the far-reaching consequences of climate change, the symposium served as a platform for dialogue and cooperation, reaffirming the commitment of regional and national leaders to address these pressing challenges and safeguard the well-being of current and future generations.