Waterkeepers Iraq held a roundtable meeting on March 4, 2023, to discuss environmental issues in Iraq in general and Darbandikhan in particular and the importance of environmental journalism in raising public awareness. The meeting included lectures and presentations by various experts, including Abdulmutalib Rafaat, Mustafa Jumaa, Kazhan Mahmood, Sardasht Mohamed, Mohammed Qadir, Lyse Mauvais, and Winthrop Rodgers. The discussion highlighted the need for collaboration between environmental organizations and government entities to hold violators accountable, update outdated laws, and address environmental crises in Iraq. The outcomes of the discussion emphasized the need for action plans to encourage collaboration, updating laws, establishing treatment centers, encouraging fact-based journalism, monitoring and testing water resources, and providing education and training.
Waterkeepers Iraq hosted a roundtable meeting on March 4, 2023, to discuss the environmental issues in the Darbandikhan area. The meeting aimed to raise awareness about the importance of environmental protection, especially in the Darbandikhan Lake, and discuss ways to address environmental issues in the region. The meeting started with an introduction by Nabil Ibrahim Musa, President of Waterkeepers Iraq and Bawan Omer Salih and a presentation by Bnwar Rzgar Abdulrahman, who discussed the environmental significance of Darbandikhan Lake, the threats it faces, and the negative impact of pollution from Tanjero and Sirwan rivers.
After the presentation, there was a panel discussion and Q&A session with environmental organizations, journalists, activists, and government entities. Abdulmutalib Rafaat presented research on the adverse effects of heavy metals on the environment, Mustafa Jumaa discussed the challenges they face in obtaining and sharing data from water tests, and Sardasht Mohamed criticized the mayor of Darbandikhan for not being accountable for the environmental crisis. Kazhan Mahmood highlighted the importance of environmental journalism, and Mohamed Qadir discussed the challenges of waste management in universities.
The participants agreed on the need for collaboration between environmental organizations and government entities to hold violators accountable, update outdated laws, and address environmental crises in Iraq. Treatment centers are crucial to mitigate pollution, and journalists play a vital role in increasing public awareness and advocacy for environmental issues. The action plans agreed upon include collaboration between Environmental Organizations, Journalists, Activists, and Government Entities, updating and implementing new laws related to environmental protection, establishing treatment centers for polluted water, encouraging journalists to deliver environmental messages in a fact-based approach, monitoring and testing water resources, and providing education and training for communities, students, and researchers.
The outcomes of the roundtable meeting include strengthening collaboration and partnership between environmental organizations, journalists, and government entities, raising public awareness about environmental issues, and advocating for effective solutions to address the environmental crisis in Darbandikhan. The meeting is a step forward in addressing the environmental issues in the region and ensuring the sustainability of natural resources for future generations.