Covid-19 and Climate Change in Iraq – An Online Seminar by Humat Dijlah

The global impact of the Covid-19 lockdowns is prompting those concerned with environmentalism to discuss the post-pandemic world. Climate change is one of the most pressing global issues. Many experts have stated that climate change must be mitigated through global solidarity, similar to the solidarity the world experienced during the pandemic.

In this regard, Humat Dijlah within the space of the Iraqi Social Forum organized an online seminar “Climate Change in light of the Corona pandemic”, in which a large number of Iraqis participated via Zoom. The session discussed the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the environment, the linkages with climate change, from an Iraqi and global perspective. Environmental expert, Dr. Ibrahim Al-Sudani (Head of the Department of Environment and Energy at the University of Karkh) expressed that the pandemic demonstrated the interconnectedness of all living beings on earth. Sustainable biodiversity management manner is required in order to alleviate climate turmoil and ensure water and food security, but also to prevent further outbreaks of pandemics. Dr. Al-Sudani emphasized the role of the international community and the need for interantional efforts to reduce human impacts on climate. He urged all countries to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change. Samim Salam, an activist of Humat Dijlah, presented his research on the recovery of the atmosphere (from carbon emissions) during the Covid-19 global lockdown. Mohamed Al-Bahid, boardmember of Humat Diljah, discussed the role of civil society in climate change activism and the need for the international community to support initiatives for climate change adaptation.

The second part of the session was devoted to a discussion of the green economy and the future of agriculture, in light of the pandemic. Dr. Uday al-Shammari (Assistant Professor at the College of Agriculture University of Anbar) and Professor Abdul Karim Bilal (expert from the Directorate of Agriculture in Najaf) focused on the extent of the economic and environmental damage caused by the rentier economy in Iraq, which relies entirely on oil and is in need of transformation to a green economy. The experts discussed the diversification of the Iraqi economy through the development of agriculture in Iraq as a means to achieve food security, as well as reforestation, to combat the phenomenon of desertification which is one of the causes of climate change in the region.

This online seminar was part of a series organized by Humat Dijlah within the ‘Water and Environment’ path of the Iraqi Social Forum, which aims to highlight environmental issues during the Covid-19 panademic.

Humat Dijlah – May 2020

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