- Posted September 25, 2011 by
Climate Action Day environmental march in Iraq
On September 24th in Sulaimani, Iraq, more than 200 hundred men, women and children rode bicycles, picked up trash from the street and informed Iraqi citizens about the importance of environmental protection during Iraq's first Climate Action Day.
Six months ago politically charged protests and riots resulted in dozens of people being killed and wounded in Sulaimani. The police escorts for September 24th's Climate Action Day event, however, gladly accepted plants and flowers from participants and it felt that huge strides were made at mending relations between police and community members.
Dozens of young Iraqi artists from Sulyon Group worked together to create thought-provoking visuals, such as a 4-foot cardboard tree being nursed back to health with an IV labeled "environmental awareness".
Climate Action Day was a joint project organized by a number of grassroots organizations in Iraq including Sulyon, Development Now and the Green Environment Group. The nongovernmental organization Nature Iraq also played a large part in the organization of the event and financial support came from Mercy Corps, Nature Iraq, Development Now, Hershow Bicycle Company and Zara Supermarket. The participants ended the march in Azadi (freedom in English) park where Amanj Saeed, leader of the Green Environment Group, gave a presentation on global warming and how Iraqis can reduce their impact on the environment.
Nabil Musa, Iraq Upper Tigris Waterkeeper, ended the event by showing a short film about work being done by community members to pick up trash to protect the Tanjaro and Qleyasan rivers, including help from dozens of members of Development Now and Sulyon.