partnership for environmental information gathering and exchange the case for iraq n.
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  1. United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia UN-ESCWA Partnership for Environmental Information Gathering and Exchange(the case for Iraq) Abdulilah Dewachi Regional Advisor dewachi@un.org www.escwa.org.lb Views expressed are those of the regional advisor and do not necessarily represent those of UN-ESCWA

  2. Regional status

  3. Regional overview • Significant steady improvements over the past decades • Serious environmental challenges • Declining per capita water resources • Loss of arable land • Pollution-related health problems • Weak environmental institutions and legal frameworks

  4. Regional strategy • Environmental mainstreaming through cross sectoral coordination and communication • Strengthening mainstreaming efforts between: • Ministries of environment and sector ministries and other public sector institutions • Ministries of environment and the private sector

  5. Regional partnerships • Greater integration efforts and reduction of overlaps • Cooperation amongst countries of the region and regional organizations in projects of common interest • Technical assistance in project preparations, capacity building and pledging for funds to establish ICT infrastructures for environment management

  6. Iraq status

  7. Iraq - Overview • Population: 22.3 million (1997) • Population Density: 5-170 inhab./km2 • Urban population: 75% • Population growth: 3.6% (1980-1990) and reduced to 2.8% in 2002 • Infant mortality: 57.6 in 1000 (2002) • Life expectancy: 67.4 years • Women bear an average 4.6 children • Economy size: c.a.$25-30 Billion. • Per capita: $1,000 • Industries majority owned by the government and in very poor condition, operating at 0-40% capacity. • Service sectors: banking, insurance, media, tourism, entertainment. Either dominated by government or non-existent. Private sector involvement very weak • Unemployment at around 30%

  8. Iraq’s strengths Important resources converging in one country at one time: • Oil and Minerals • Water: two major rivers • Arable land: fertile and greater than Egypt • Educated/Professionalpopulation • Archaeological and Religious sites: • large visitor / tourism potential • International interest

  9. Diverse land resources • Iraq’s topography and a plentiful water supply. • The mountainous region of the north is characterized by deeply incised river valleys and narrow cultivated terraces or ledges. • The foothills are of generally poor fertility and rainfall is moderate. • The Jazira plateau, which occupies around one-fifth of the country, is a marshland bordering Syria and contains a great deal of arable land, but the area is susceptible to drought. • Iraq’s Western Desert accounts and geographical distribution of resources is enormously diverse. • The alluvial plains of the lower Tigris-Euphrates valley are the heart-land of the country, with good soils for more than 40% of the country’s land area and is inhabited by semi-nomadic agro-pastoralists. Courtesy of UNEP

  10. Geographical features Desert plateau: 40% Northeastern highlands: 20% Uplands region: 10% Alluvial plain: 30%

  11. Plentiful water • Endowed with two major rivers, as well as various lakes, reservoirs and marshes, Iraq has abundant water resources by comparison with its neighbours. • The government is trying to compensate for the construction of upstream dams in Turkey and Syria by increasing storage, but the overall management of water resources is hampered by the lack of a water-sharing agreement between Turkey, Iraq and Syria. • Syria and Iraq held discussions in 1996, aimed at forming a united front to protest against Turkish damming of rivers, but this has so far come to little. • An improvement in Turkish-Iraqi understanding over this issue may remain illusive under the new Iraqi government. Courtesy of UNEP

  12. Massive oil and gas reserves • BP (formerly BP Amoco) estimates that Iraq.s proven oil reserves amounted to 112.5bn barrels at the end of 2001, although the former government claimed that its probable reserves were as high as 214bn barrels. • At nearly 11% of the world total, BP puts Iraq second only to Saudi Arabia in the size of its proven reserves. • BP put gas reserves at end-2001 at 3.11trn cu metres, the Iraqi Ministry of Oil giving a similar figure. • Of this, 70% is associated gas, 20% non-associated gas and 10% dome gas. • Non-hydrocarbon resources include phosphate, estimated by the Iraqi government at 10bn tonnes, and rock sulphur, at Mishraq near Mosul. Courtesy of UNEP

  13. Chronic environmental issues • Water resources management, including groundwater • Waste management, including hazardous waste • The oil industry • Ecosystem degradation, including the desiccation of the Mesopotamian Marshes, desertification, and loss of biodiversity • Environmental consequences of three major armed conflicts (from1980 to 2003) Courtesy of UNEP

  14. Burnt date palms Courtesy of UNEP

  15. Distribution of food aid to Iraqis Courtesy of UNEP

  16. People collecting water in Basra Courtesy of UNEP

  17. The accumulation of waste in urban areas Courtesy of UNEP

  18. Oil Trench Fires around Baghdad (2003) Courtesy of UNEP

  19. Smoke from raging oil fires billow over Baghdad Courtesy of UNEP

  20. Bombing government institutions Courtesy of UNEP

  21. Low Medium Upper High ITU Digital Access Index (2002)Iraq 2002 added Iraq: 0.16

  22. Iraq 2003 and 2008 with respect to present day regional averages

  23. Steps already taken • Creation of the Ministry of Environment by a resolution passed by the Iraqi Governing Council on 3 September 2003 to address the abuse and neglect of the former regime and the damages caused by three wars and inhumane sanctions • Training MoE staff inside and outside Iraq • Enforce monitoring and compliance • Revise environmental regulations and legislations • Support the role of media in environmental awareness • Short and long-term strategic plans • Allocation of financial resources • Reorganization and restructuring with checks and balances to root out corruption • Drafting an Environmental Protection Law

  24. Steps to be taken • Assess the situation on the ground and identify technical priorities for mobilizing environmental assistance • Relieve environmental threats to human health and wellbeing • Integrate environmental protection into the wider post-conflict reconstruction process • Create the knowledge base for addressing the chronic environmental problems confronting Iraq • Action to build strong national institutions and capacities for long-term sustainable management of the environment Courtesy of UNEP

  25. Fostering linkages and networking Cost of Environmental degradation Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Finance Assessment of env. regulation on competitiveness Ministry of Trade Chambers of Commerce, Industry Energy env. review Ministry of Oil and Gas Ministry of Electricity Ministry of Environment Review of water quality management issues Ministry of Water Resources Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation Country performance analysis Sector ministries, Private sector, NGOs Safeguard policy Sector ministries, Private sector, NGOs Courtesy of World Bank

  26. UN efforts in the rebuilding process of Iraq

  27. UN contribution to the rebuilding of Iraq • UN DG Iraq Trust Fund • UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) – based presently in Amman, Jordan http://www.uniraq.org

  28. UNAMI 11 Clusters • Education and Culture • Health • Water and Sanitation • Infrastructure and Housing • Agriculture, Water Res. & Environment • Food Security • Mine Action • Refugees and IDPs • Governance and Civil Society • Poverty Reduction and Human right issues • Development Support to Electoral Process

  29. UNDG Iraq Trust Fund Status (June 2004)

  30. UNDP WHO UNICEF FAO UN-HABITAT UNEP UNFPA UNOPS UNESCO UNHCR UNIDO ESCWA Participating UN Agencies

  31. Examples of projects pursued by ESCWA’s for Iraq • The Iraqi Networking Academies project in partnership with Cisco Systems • Capacity building in management skills, WTO issues, regulatory issues, the environment etc. • Building up a suitable ICT infrastructure for ministries in preparation for networking the government and e-government applications • Iraq’s pages on the ESCWA website http://www.escwa.org.lb/information/iraq/main.html • The Iraqi Professionals Database http://www.escwa.org.lb/information/iraq/IPR/main.html

  32. Conclusion • UN agencies concerned with the environment and Iraq should prepare a project document for institution building of the Ministry of Environment of Iraq and to include a robust and modern ICT infrastructure to meet their information processing needs and to connect it to the relevant stakeholders within Iraq and outside to ensure effective and timely flow and exchange of information

  33. Thank you www.escwa.org.lb