Iraq suffers from extremism in its environmental conditions that lead to floods in winter and droughts in summer, and climate change is one of the important causes of this extremism, which needs an urgent response that reduces the negative impacts that may affect local communities and prevent internal displacement and external migrations.Drought episodes are common throughout Iraq and have produced enormous economic, environmental and social impacts, Climate-induced droughts have increasingly affected the marshlands in the South of Iraq and poor water quality is prevalent and is another cause for displacement and migration.
Climate change may well pose an existential threat to returning internal displaced people, men will continue to be forced to leave the marsh homelands and their traditional occupations to seek employment in urban centers, leading to further fracturing of family and social networks, with rising temperatures and reduced upstream headwater flows, climate change will lead to numerous adverse impacts on returning communities including exacerbation of water pollution/scarcity, intensification of disaster shocks, and threats to public health.
UNDP Regional bureau for Arab states (RBAS)have initiated a new regional project (the SDG-Climate Facility Project) that aims to enhance the capacity of regional and national institutions to address climate change in a way that brings benefits across multiple development goals, while also reducing the impacts of conflict and crises, Iraq is one of eight Arab countries to implement a project that develop initiatives to demonstrate innovation and scalability in achieving a nexus between climate action, SDGs and crisis prevention/recovery.
UNDP Iraq seeks to implement a 2-year Project in Iraqi Al Hwaizeh Marshlands, in cooperation with the Iraqi Ministry of Health and Environment (MoHEnv) and the local government in Missan and other key stakeholders.
Specifically, the project takes a nexus approach to addressing climate change, deep poverty, water insecurity, and human displacement pressures by focusing on two complementary components:
Component 1. Introduce an Innovative solutions for clean water, wastewater treatment and climate security in AlHawizeh marsh communities through:
procurement and installation of off-grid solar PV system for purified drinking water, that will offer a simple and cost-effective safe drinking water to households,
TOT training the local institutions on Operation and maintenance
Awareness activities targeted the local communities.
Wastewater management through constructed wetland Pilot in a sustainable water treatment. The main advantages of such systems are their efficiency (combines biological, chemical and physical processes)
Component 2: Support on Livelihood diversification and ecotourism to raise household income and protect ecosystem services, thereby enhancing resilience against future climate-related displacement among marsh communities, through:
Development of regulatory, environmental and investment guidance materials, sustainable tourism minimum standards, and enforcement protocols for compliance with ecotourism guidelines.
Implementing Ecotourism Facilities consists of welcome center and guest house (in an architectural style compatible with traditional structures),market area, Dock for canoes. Wildlife observation towers.
Capacity building and awareness activities targeted communities (especially women)
In addition to numbers of assessments and analysis studies that will be conducted like (multi criteria assessment for villages selection, gender assessment, Technical feasibility studies and Environmental impact assessment for the project facilities, Market assessment.
Under the Project on Climate Action for Human Security in Al Hwaizeh Marshlands, UNDP’s Iraq is planning to hire national Consultant (based in Missan)