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World Migratory Bird Day Celebrated in Iraq

Bonn, 3 May 2016 – On Tuesday, 10 May, the Chibayish branch of Nature Iraq (BirdLife Partner in Iraq) is organizing a suite of activities to celebrate this year’s World Migratory Bird Day and raise awareness on the 2016 theme “Stop illegal killing, taking and trade of migratory birds”. This event is to take place both in schools and in the National Park of Central Marshes.

The National Park is located in southern Iraq and is one of the most important wetlands in the Middle East and globally, as it constitutes a stop-over ground for many migratory and threatened bird species.

Organizers from Nature Iraq are launching an awareness-raising campaign for school students on this year’s theme and distributing leaflets on the topic, as well as screening a film and arranging a journey in the depths of the local marshes, where there are large numbers of birds.

Moreover, celebrations are taking place in the National Park, where an educational lecture will be given on the theme.  This will include a section about the use of field equipment and awareness on the sensitive hotspots and species that require special conservation attention, along with debates about the importance of this area for the younger generation. 

This unique landscape was declared the First National Park and a protected area in 2013, through a joint effort (started in 2006) by Iraq's Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Environment, and Ministry of Municipalities with support from other national and international institutions. Financial support came from the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea.

The Mesopotamian Marshlands of southern Iraq were once the third largest wetlands in the world, originally extending between twelve and fifteen thousand square kilometres and partially covering the three southern governorates of Iraq; Missan, Thi Qar and Basra.









This article was written by Luigi Capano Raineri during his internship at the Common Information Management, Communication and Outreach Team of the UNEP/CMS and UNEP/AEWA Secretariats.