Desertification threatens three areas in Kurdistan Region, says head of environment agency
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Desertification is currently threatening three areas in the Kurdistan Region, as the region continues battling the adverse effects of climate change, the head of the environment agency announced on Sunday.
The remarks by Abdul-Rahman Sadeeq, the head of the Environmental Protection and Improvement Board, came during a press conference held in Erbil on the preparations for COP28 expected to be held in late November in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Board is working with the United Nations to increase the green spaces in three areas of the Kurdistan Region, including Garmiyan, south of Duhok and west of Erbil that are threatened by desertification, Sadeeq told reporters.
The board chief said no exact data is available on the areas that are threatened by desertification.
The regional government has a specialized board for combatting drought condition that has similarly affected other parts of the country, particularly in the south, the Kurdish official said.
The Kurdistan Region delegation will take part in the COP28 meeting in Dubai between Nov. 30 to Dec. 12, 2023.
High salinity levels have exceeded 6000 ppm in the wetlands, leading to the deterioration of the environment for fisheries and buffalo breeders. Iraq has recently witnessed thousands of dead fish washed up in the rivers of the marshlands with environmentalists blaming the extraordinary rise of salinity in the water.
Iraq is ranked by the UN as the fifth most vulnerable country in the world to the adverse effects of climate change.
The dangerous level of water scarcity in Iraq has been blamed on climate change, and upstream dam buildings by neighboring Turkey and Iran. Water mismanagement and outdated agricultural practices are also cited as amplifiers of the crisis.