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From Ecological Disaster To Conservation Success in Iraq

Instead of a major ecological disaster, the Mesopotamian Marshes are now becoming one of the sanctuaries for wildlife in Iraq.

Once standing on the brink of destruction, Iraq’s Mesopotamian Marshes are now flooding back to life.

As reported by Positive News, “The reflooding of the marshes is a great example of Iraq rising from the ashes of destruction. If you see pictures of the marshlands after they had been drained and compare it to how they look now – this strange, verdant water world in the middle of the desert – you can’t help but be amazed how wonderful and robust nature is.”

Embraced by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, these marches were destined for a large-scale draining project in the early 1990s, which would have irreparable consequences.

After the 2003 US Invasion of Iraq, the embankments and drainage works created by Saddam were removed by the new administration, and the marches began to refill.

Increased rainfall went hand-in-hand with the increased water flow from two mighty rivers that once cradled an entire civilization.

Instead of a major ecological disaster, the region is now becoming one of the sanctuaries for wildlife in Iraq, with water buffalo, flocks of white birds, and binni, a brownish-gold fish that the local Ma’dan people depend on.

Along with wildlife, the Ma’dan people began moving back to the region, many of them resuming traditional occupations like fishing, breeding water buffalo, and harvesting reeds. 



Nikola uses his background in electrical engineering to break down complex sustainability topics for GreenCitizen's readers. He is a firm believer in environmental conservation, which he practices daily through recycling and home-grown food. He enjoys hiking, engaging in white-water sports, and collecting pocket knives.

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