On 22 February 2019, IHE Delft, with the Embassy of the Republic of Iraq, co-convened a workshop, called “The Iraqi Marshes – Today and Tomorrow”, aimed at supporting restoration and sustainable management of these ecologically and culturally important wetlands.
Wetlands International and Clingendael Institute were co-conveners, and representatives from the Centre for the Restoration of the Iraq Marshes and Wetlands (CRIMW), the Ministry of Water Resources of Iraq, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Deltares, the Universities of Utrecht and Radboud, and Nature Iraq were also present.
During the morning, representatives from CRIMW presented the current status of the marshes, including threats and opportunities relating to them, as well as their recent designations as Ramsar and UNESCO World Heritage-listed wetlands. A panel discussion then tackled the question of how to sustain a system like the Iraqi marshlands in a developing economy, where there exists competition between different water users. Working groups in the afternoon discussed opportunities for Dutch-Iraqi collaboration concerning the marshes. The participating organisations agreed to further explore collaborative activities in the near future.