By Congrong Zheng
Recent years especially after the war, there are lots of NGOs that work actively in Iraq. The NGO Coordination Committee for Iraq, or NCCI is created by NGOs in Iraq to promote information sharing and create networks. The NCCI presented in Baghdad in April 2003. NCCI has 68 NGO members, and 5 observer NGOs, who are international and national organizations operating in Iraq and involved in all sectors of humanitarian and development work.
One of the active members in NCCI is Nature Iraq which was created to protect, restore, and preserve Iraq’s natural environment and the rich cultural heritage that it nourishes.is an Iraqi non-governmental organization registered in Iraq, accredited to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and Iraq’s first and only Affiliate to Birdlife International, and the only Middle Eastern member of the Waterkeeper Alliance.
There are several aspects that Nature Iraq focusing on. THey have worked on biodiversity and environmental restoration by conducting seasonal survey since 2005. They also help protect water resources. Their project, Water keepers Iraq is focused on grassroots advocacy and outreach, with an element of quantitative water quality and threat assessments.The Mesopotamian Outreach Project addresses transboundary water issues through a mixture of advocacy and network buildings. On their front page there is a short video clip about Mesopotamia.
The other part that Nature in Iraq working on is sustainable development. They focused on developing ecotourism programs that develop and model strategies for environmental education, economic development, land and resource management, and scientific research. The last topic they focus on is capacity building. Right now they are working on a project called New Eden Project. Nature Iraq, the Italian Ministry of Environment, and the Iraqi Ministry of Environment signed a second five-year Memorandum of Understanding to provide technical support to the Iraqi Ministry of Environment, primarily in support of Iraq’s obligations to theConvention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.