Middle East

Iraq - Nature Iraq

BirdLife Affiliate

Founded in 2004
1100 members
Staff: 38
House 25, Street 27, Qtr 104 Ashti, Kurdistan, Sulaymaniyah, IQ, PO Box 249
Tel:+964 53 329 2007

Mission of the organisation

Our mission is to protect and restore the environment of Iraq and the rich human heritage that it has fostered.  We strive to achieve this mission through fulfillment of the following goals:

  • Improve the capacity of Iraq's institutions to protect its environment;
  • Develop a scientific database of environmental conditions and trends within Iraq;
  • Encourage environmental awareness and stewardship of Iraq's environment; and
  • Promote the sustainable use of Iraq's environment and resources.


Key Activities

Nature Iraq conducts scientific studies on biodiversity including birds, plants, mammals, and other taxa.  In addition, through the laboratories and field staff of Blue Horizons, a private lab that Nature Iraq helped to establish, Nature Iraq has conducted sampling of water quality physical and chemical parameters and conducted sediment and bacterial analysis.

Also Nature Iraq has helped to build civil society networks to activate grassroots support for the protection of the environment, particularly the marshlands of southern Iraq and the watersheds of Kurdistan, northern Iraq.  Further, Nature Iraq strives to build capacity within Iraq, both in government and in academia, to help restore and protect the environment.  Major activities and achievements since 2004:


Recent Achievements

Scientific Research & Conservation Work

1.      Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) winter and summer surveys throughout Iraq

2.      Darwin Conservation Project

3.      Development of habitat mapping and classification for Iraqi marshlands

4.      Tanjero River Field & Laboratory Cross-Trainings - a capacity building program for laboratory and field research in water quality using the Tanjero River as a base for study

5.      Species-specific surveys: Sociable Lapwing, Wild Goats


Water Resources Projects

1.      Iraq Upper Tigris Waterkeeper Project (part of the WATERKEEPER® Alliance) to advocate for healthy rivers and the communities that depend upon them.

2.      Pilot Constructed Wetland to treat sewage water in two marshland areas.

3.      Design of water control structures in the Southern Iraqi Marshlands

4.      Main Outfall Drain Project to evaluate waters from the MOD for use in wetland restoration


Advocacy, Education and Public awareness – Including Assistance to Iraqi Ministries & Academia

1.      Preparation of the Hawizeh Ramsar Marsh Management & Operational Plan

2.      Development of the New Eden Master Plan for Integrated Water Resource Management in the Marshland Areas

3.      Capacity Building Programmes on ornithology, botany, fisheries, water quality, mammals and GIS/Database applications for Iraqi Ministries, Universities and the public.

4.      Technical support for the Ministry of Environment on International Conventions, including Ramsar, CITES and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

5.      Darbandikhan State of the Basin Project - development of a river-basin wide management plan for resolving water quality issues on the Darbandikhan/Upper Diyala River Basin.


Sustainable Development and Socio-economic projects

1.      Buffalo Veterinary Project to provide treatment for water buffalo.

2.      Eco-tourism Projects – Development of Eco-Camp near Peramagroon Mountain (Sulaimani) and Guest house/visitor center for the proposed Mesopotamian Marshlands National Park in Chibaish (southern Iraq)


Books & Journal Articles

1.      Field guide to the birds of Iraq (in Arabic).

2.      Children's bird book (in Arabic & Kurdish)

3.      Numerous peer-reviewed papers on scientific findings in BioRisk, Sandgrouse, and other publications.

4.      Public awareness initiatives on species of conservation concern species (e.g. Marbled Duck, Egyptian Vulture, Lesser white-fronted Goose and Sociable Lapwing).

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