Despite these setbacks, there is growing awareness among civil society organisations of the need to address Iraq’s environmental issues. Groups like Nature Iraq and Waterkeepers Iraq as well as Save the Tigris and Save the Euphrates campaigns are working tirelessly and often under pressure to raise environmental issues both on a national and international level.
Results for Category: Pollution
Despite the numerous environment-related laws and national plans that have been passed to preserve and protect the environment, especially in major cities, pollution remains a major concern (50 per cent of the cases of bronchitis, asthma, lung cancer and others are caused by environmental pollution). This situation is burdening the public treasury, which allocates hundreds of billions of dinars annually to treat these diseases and their economic and social side-effects.
The negative consequences of Middle Eastern regional conflicts for Jordan find an echo in climate change, which also aggravates the country’s water problems: it causes less rain to fall and feed the Jordan River and the Yarmouk River (the two rivers are shared with Israel and Syria). This situation forces people to rely on groundwater reserves, and they are increasingly depleting.
Air pollution issues are not new to the Emirates. The country was named “country with the world’s worst air” by the World Bank’s annual 2015 report on global environmental indicators, known as the “Little Green Data Book”. The UAE ranked even worse than China or India, two countries famous for their bad air pollution and that usually lead this negative “competition”. According to the World Bank’s report, the UAE’s air contained 80 micrograms of pollutants per cubic meter at the time, which was slightly higher than China’s at 73 micrograms and almost three times India’s result, with 32 micrograms.
Iran’s Ministry of Energy has recently announced a new policy of ‘Water consumption management’ to replace its previous policies of ‘water supply management.’ In other words, it will be insisting on decreasing consumption rather than increasing production. In addition, two policies have been pursued to decrease water consumption in agriculture: first to change the pattern of planting in order to reduce water consumption and increase productivity; second, to encourage greenhouse cultivation that could reduce water consumption while multiplying production.
It will be difficult to tackle air pollution without a united political front. As well as a comprehensive approach, there is also a desperate need for closer regional cooperation, which in the current political climate is unlikely. If the situation continues to deteriorate, air pollution will become one of the most pressing political and security issues facing the Islamic Republic.