Radio Baghdad

Listen To Live Radio
Now Playing
Sep, 27 2021
Popular Articles
iraqi-economic-development-strategies

Iraqi Economic Development Strategies


Part IAs Iraq moves through its next developmental phase...97680
healthy-food

Healthy Food


Like any other product, healthy foods need to be marketed...23928
who-killed-soad-hosny

Who Killed Soad Hosny?


The family of the late Egyptian actress, the Cinderella of Arab...20279
the-iraqi-british-architect-zaha-hadid

The Iraqi-British Architect Zaha Hadid


“I am the product of an amazing Iraqi environment and an...17305
iraqi-economic-development-strategies-part-ii

Iraqi Economic Development Strategies, Part II


DIVERSIFICATIONIraq is currently a rentier state. By...17165
the-chaldean-renaissance

THE CHALDEAN RENAISSANCE


Basic Outline of a Vision By Bishop Mar Sarhad Y. Jammo  I-...17035
us-launches-cruise-missile-strike-on-syria

US Launches Cruise Missile Strike on Syria


On President Donald Trump's order, two Navy destroyers in the...15721
a-new-rare-guest-at-baghdad-zoo

A New Rare Guest At Baghdad Zoo


Baghdad’s municipality has announced the birth of what it says...15330
iraqi-parliament-denies-a-local-detroit-winner-christian-of-the-iraqi-national-flag-contest

Iraqi Parliament Denies a Local Detroit Winner (Christian) of the Iraqi National Flag Contest!


The Iraqi Government is working on adopting a new National Flag...15241
rxte-black-holes-pulsars-oh-my

RXTE - Black Holes & Pulsars - Oh My!


Black holes and pulsars are two of the most mysterious (and...14241
iraq-country-profile

Iraq country profile


Iraq, in an area once home to some of the earliest...13314
iraqi-dentist-suhair-al-qaisi-the-most-beloved-media-face-in-the-arabic-speaking-world-screen

Iraqi Dentist Suhair al-Qaisi, The Most Beloved Media Face in the Arabic Speaking World Screen!


Introduction: Suhair al-Qaisi was born in 1985 in Baghdad, Iraq...12198
review-of-amer-hanna-fatuhi-the-untold-story-of-native-iraqis

Review of Amer Hanna-Fatuhi: THE UNTOLD STORY OF NATIVE IRAQIS


Review of Amer Hanna-Fatuhi:THE UNTOLD STORY OF NATIVE IRAQIS:...11226
unesco-iraq-best-practices-in-education-reform

Unesco & Iraq - Best Practices In Education Reform


UNESCO Office for Iraq In the framework of the Iraqi Public...10975
oil-exports-decline-to-cause-deficit-in-2014-budget-says-sa-ad

Oil exports decline to cause deficit in 2014 budget, says Sa’ad


Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Member of the parliament Oil &...10448
muhammad-ali-funeral-thousands-line-route-for-farewell

Muhammad Ali funeral: Thousands line route for farewell


Thousands have attended a farewell procession for boxing legend...10049
why-worry-about-your-vitamin-d-level

Why Worry about Your Vitamin D Level?


For decades, vitamin D has been known to help our bones absorb...9520
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 5.00 (1 Vote)

THE "Garden of Eden" has been saved, even as chaos grows all around. Last week, amid a wave of bombings on the streets of Baghdad, Iraq's Council of Ministers found time to approve the creation of the country's first national park – the centerpiece of a remarkable restoration of the Mesopotamian marshes in the south of the country.


This vast wetland of reed beds and waterways, home of the Ma'dan Marsh Arabs, is widely held to be the home of the Biblical story of the Garden of Eden, the paradise where Adam and Eve were created and from which they were subsequently expelled.


After the Gulf war in 1991, Iraq's president, Saddam Hussain, used dykes, sluices and diversions to cut off the country's two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates. This drained 93% of marshes, largely obliterating the largest wetland ecosystem in the Middle East.


The purpose was to expel the rebellious Ma'dan, but in the end, it sped Saddam's downfall in 2003. Invading US tanks were able to drive north over the desert he had created and enter Baghdad far more easily. The Ma'dan later returned and broke the dykes. Water returned to some areas, as did the reed beds that sustained the bird life and water buffalo.
Conservationists have been amazed that, despite the disappearance for many years of most of the marsh, every species survived. All 278 recorded bird species remain, including the endemic Basra reed warbler and Iraq babbler. "They had hung on in small spots. When the water spread again, so did the birds," says Richard Porter of Bird life International. "It shows how resilient nature can be, and gives hope that other lost wetlands can be restored."
But it's not quite paradise regained. "While some patches returned, others did not," says Mudhafar Salim, chief ornithologist for Nature Iraq, the NGO that led the campaign for the park’s establishment.


The main issue now is the hydro-politics of the region. Syria, Turkey and Iran, Iraq's upstream neighbors, are increasingly restricting the flows of the Tigris and Euphrates. In response, Nature Iraq has persuaded the Iraqi government to construct an embankment to enable water flow in the Euphrates to be diverted onto the marshes in spring, recreating the strong "pulse" of water that is essential to its ecological cycles. Last year, 76 per cent of the potentially restorable marshland flooded.


"Declaring a park isn't just a bit of paper," says Nature Iraq's founder, engineer Azzam Alwash. "It will mean we can reserve a percentage of the water from the rivers for the marshes."
Salim adds: "Having a stable share of the water should allow the number of birds and other creatures to reach levels even greater than in the 1970s."


But in the long run, the marshes can only be protected if there is an international agreement on water-sharing, Alwash says. And managing the park itself will require money. He hopes tourists will pay, though they are unlikely to be flooding in just yet.


Fred Pearce

Add comment



Anti-spam: complete the task
An exclusive interview with the Prominent Scholar Dr. Amer Hanna Fatuhi By Uruk Shendaj  
Lessons from Iraq’s War 2003 - 2011 Despite the fact that there are almost 2000 spoken Arabic dialects in the Arabic [...]
Sun, Rain, & Loving Heartbeats The Art of Annie Salatyan
When it comes to life, Iraq is the first and the final frontier for all humanity. This is a fact no maters how many [...]
  A New Achievement by the Historian & Visual Artist Amer Hanna Fatuhi   The Eastern Aramaic Font | The [...]
The Art of AMER HANNA FATUHI Artist, Poet, & Professional Writer - Short Bio
Amer Fatuhi - Interview June 2017 by Annie Salatyan
DoD Linguists' recruitment With Amer Fatuhi
اعتراف - Confession by Amer Fatuhi
شكرا - Thank You by Amer Fatuhi
دال - Dal by Amer Fatuhi
موهومه - Delusional by Amer Fatuhi
On President Donald Trump's order, two Navy destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean Sea fired salvos of Tomahawk [...]
The Yale University Art Gallery is celebrating the 175th anniversary of the field of Arabic studies at Yale [...]
دندنه - Dandana by Amer Fatuhi
More Articles
life-wins-amer-hanna-fatuhi

Life Wins - Amer Hanna Fatuhi


When it comes to life, Iraq is the first and the final...6699
the-art-of-amer-hanna-fatuhi

The Art of AMER HANNA FATUHI


The Art of AMER HANNA FATUHI Artist, Poet, & Professional...3976
a-new-achievement-by-the-historian-visual-artist-amer-hanna-fatuhi

A New Achievement by the Historian & Visual Artist Amer Hanna Fatuhi


  A New Achievement by the Historian & Visual Artist Amer...5407
carlos-santana-pokes-beyhive-says-beyonce-not-a-singer

Carlos Santana Pokes Beyhive, Says Beyoncé ‘Not a Singer’


UPDATE: On Tuesday night, Santana walked back his comments...4310
russia-s-putin-calls-leaked-trump-memos-utter-nonsense

Russia's Putin calls leaked Trump memos 'utter nonsense'


Russian President Vladimir Putin has described allegations his...4005
us-election-2016-results-meet-president-trump-s-possible-cabinet

US election 2016 results: Meet President Trump's possible cabinet


It's Washington DC's favourite new parlour game - guessing who...4051
us-election-trump-presidency-dangerous-says-un-rights-chief

US election: Trump presidency 'dangerous', says UN rights chief


Donald Trump's "deeply unsettling and disturbing" views make...4064
hurricane-matthew-strongest-storm-since-2004-nears-florida

Hurricane Matthew: Strongest storm since 2004 nears Florida


Hurricane Matthew has strengthened as it nears a "direct hit"...6531
new-jersey-train-crash-many-injured-at-hoboken-station

New Jersey train crash: Many injured at Hoboken station


A commuter train has crashed into a rail station in the city...8308
remembering-september-11th

Remembering September 11th


We Will Never Forget … We Will Never Forgive Please Tell...3538
trump-pledges-big-us-military-expansion

Trump pledges big US military expansion


Donald Trump has said he will expand all areas of the US...4255
happy-labor-day

HAPPY LABOR DAY


  THE WAR BETWEEN GOOD & EVIL IS NOT OVER YET! Do not...3632
islam-karimov-turkey-announces-uzbek-leader-s-death

Islam Karimov: Turkey announces Uzbek leader's death


Uzbek President Islam Karimov, one of Asia's most...7659
rio-olympics-2016-did-brazil-pass-or-fail-its-big-test

Rio Olympics 2016: Did Brazil pass or fail its big test?


Billed beforehand as the "Carnival Games" full of happy fans,...4317
oil-price-gushers-as-opec-brings-bulls-back-into-market

Oil price gushers as OPEC brings bulls back into market


Oil prices surged dramatically in the last two weeks thanks to...5532
trump-to-lay-out-plan-for-combating-radical-islamic-terrorism

Trump to lay out plan for combating radical Islamic terrorism


Donald Trump on Monday will lay out his strategy for defeating...5049
putin-offers-turkey-s-erdogan-closer-ties

Putin offers Turkey's Erdogan closer ties


Russia is ready to restore economic co-operation and other...5683
trump-is-chagrined-and-realizes-his-campaign-is-in-trouble-steve-forbes-says

Trump is ‘chagrined' and realizes his campaign is in trouble, Steve Forbes says


Donald Trump has an opportunity to get his campaign back on...6815
yusra-mardini-refugee-swimmer-off-to-flying-start-after-pope-francis-sends-letter

Yusra Mardini: Refugee swimmer off to flying start after Pope Francis sends letter


(CNN) Ahead of competing at the Olympic Games in Rio de...6863
here-s-what-the-real-unemployment-rate-looks-like

Here's what the real unemployment rate looks like


The U.S. unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent in July,...7498
emirates-plane-crash-lands-at-dubai-airport

Emirates plane crash-lands at Dubai airport


An Emirates plane has crash-landed at Dubai International...4901
a-clinton-bounce-a-trumpian-weekend-how-the-race-looks-now

A Clinton bounce, a Trumpian weekend: How the race looks now


Donald Trump just suffered through a brutal weekend. by Ben...5730
the-moment-american-muslims-have-been-waiting-for-khizr-khan

The moment American Muslims have been waiting for, Khizr Khan


Donald Trump, the GOP presidential nominee, has proposed...5511
obama-endorses-clinton-as-political-heir

Obama endorses Clinton as political heir


US President Barack Obama has delivered a stirring speech at...4168