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The Minister of Environment, Jassem Al-Falahi, stressed that the drought threatens the security of Iraq, as United Nations reports have placed it among the five countries most affected by climate changes, in terms of the dramatic rise in temperatures and the unprecedented decrease in water revenues from upstream countries .
Al-Falahi said in a press interview, "The decrease in rainfall rates, and other factors, led to an increase in desertification, loss of a lot of agricultural land, and an increase in dust and sand storms," noting that "drought is one of the most important threats to national security, especially that more Of the 33 percent of the Iraqi population lives in rural areas .
He added that "these people depend on agriculture and animal husbandry, and in the event of losing their agricultural habitat, due to the absence of sufficient quantities of water, they will lose their main source of livelihood, and in the end result, drought will be one of the causes of internal and even external displacement ."
According to Al-Falahi, "the Iraqi government is very aware of the problem of drought, as the Ministry of Environment has taken very bold steps, in cooperation with the countries of the world and the region, to confront the inevitable effects of climate change, and the most prominent of these steps is Iraq's accession to the Paris Agreement, and the issuance of the relevant law ."
The Minister of Environment revealed Iraq's plan to confront drought, saying: "Iraq's plan is based on two parts, after the Council of Ministers voted on it, and it was sent to the Global Climate Secretariat, before participating in the Glasgow Conference, at the end of last year, where the plan began in its first section, which starts from 2020. - 2025, and focused on reducing carbon emissions, especially in the oil and gas sector, with a focus on the need to raise national awareness towards climate change .
He added: "The other direction that begins, from 2025 to 2030, will focus mainly on two important sectors, which is the transfer of modern technology, in the field of irrigation and irrigation, and the rational management of water resources, as we suffer from serious problems in this aspect, due to the obsolescence or non-entry of modern methods in perfusion, which causes wastage of water .”
He pointed out that "one of the important initiatives, the "National Initiative for Energy Promotion and Rationalization of Consumption", has achieved good results, in terms of installing meters and obligating government institutions to rationalize .
He pointed out that "there are 540 teams working continuously to accomplish this initiative, which was approved by the Cabinet Secretariat, and the Iraqi government launched the afforestation initiative, with the participation of several specialized committees, to choose places, and others to determine the quality of materials and trees, which are suitable to face the effects of climate change, and suit Iraqi environment .
Al-Falahi continued, "Iraq is now moving towards the use of treated wastewater to create windbreaks, around and outside cities, and we focus mainly on the urban environment, because we are interested in the issue of sustainability ."
For years, Iraq has been suffering from major environmental challenges, such as drought, the decline in water flows from neighboring countries, the deterioration of agricultural land, the expansion of desertification areas, as well as dust storms and a high level of air pollution, as a result of gas emissions and oil refineries .
The challenges on the environment have also increased recently due to the remnants of war and mines in the land, as well as the amount of pollution in the water, waste issues, overcrowding, and environmental, mental, audio and visual pollution .
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