We've done a lot to destroy much of Iraq. YOU CAN HELP PREVENT FURTHER DESTRUCTION OF THE SOUTHERN MARSHES. A proposed dam on the Tigris River in Mesopotamia will have a devastating effect on parts of Turkey and Iraq. Particularly, the unique antique town Hasankeyf, with a past of at least 10,000 year of continuous settlement, in the mainly Kurdish populated Southeast of Turkey and Marshlands in South of Iraq, the largest wetlands of the Middle East cultivated by Millions of “Marsh Arabs“, are threatened by the Ilisu Dam. It is one of the most controversial dams in the world.
[IRAQ CIVIL SOCIETY] HAS THE FULL STORY.
Sign the petition at: UNESCO
The marshes, ordered destroyed by Sadaam, [in an attempt to drive out Shi'a opposition groups in southern Iraq] were a part of a traditional culture that depended upon them for their livelihood. Rich in fish and fowl, they were referred to as the original Garden of Eden.
For some time, there have been efforts to develop plans to restore the Mesopotamian marshes and return the Ma'dan people to their ancestral homes. There are now two major projects to restore the Marshes. The first to start working was AMAR (Assisting Marsh Arabs and Refugees), which is helping the Ma'dan people to survive in the refugee camps in Iran, and has also done a considerable amount of research on the ecology and hydrology of the Marshes from the scientific literature. The second project, Eden Again, is a more recently initiated program sponsored by the Iraq Foundation and the U.S. Department of State to develop a viable plan to restore the Marshes. The Eden Again Project, led by project directors Dr. Azzam and Dr. Suzanne Alwash, and project manager Michelle Stevens, is developing a hydrological model to determine how much water will be needed to restore the marshlands, how to reintroduce the ecologically important springtime flood pulse, and how best to wash out accumulated salts and pollutants. Project members are also examining remote sensing data from satellite photos to define habitat types within the marshlands, and are compiling a list of focal plant and animal species that can serve as biological indicators of successful habitat restoration. Eden Again is also working with representatives of the Ma'dan people to find out what they need in order for them to eventually return to their homes in the Marshes. According to Dr. Stevens, the two projects, AMAR and Eden Again, have been working together to come up with a comprehensive plan to restore the Marshes. Whereas AMAR tends to emphasize human needs more strongly, Eden Again is more focused on restoring the environment of the Marshes. There is, however, considerable overlap between the efforts of the two projects, which gives both the potential to devise a truly comprehensive program to restore the Mesopotamian marshlands to their former splendor. [Iowa State University] http://www.public.iastate.edu/~mariposa/marshes.htm