Welcome to the page of the Save the Tigris and Iraqi Marshes Campaign!

This page provides the latest campaign updates in short, an outline of the campaign, and more information. For full news and articles, please click on “Save the Tigris and Marshes” in the Quick Overview Menu on the right.

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Latest Campaign Updates

* A new video has been launched by our campaign; “The Iraqi Marshes: Beauty and Civilization in Danger”.

* 2 April: The campaign issued a Legal Policy Paper, which was presented to the Iraqi Government during the March 22 seminar in Baghdad. The paper discusses the legal possibilities available to Iraq to respond to the threat posed by the Ilisu Dam. It is available for download on our website.

* 22 March: In Baghdad, the Iraqi Social Forum – a gathering of several Iraqi civil society organizations – and the Save the Tigris and Iraqi Marshes Campaign, in cooperation with the Baghdad Provincial Council, held a seminar  “Saving the Tigris is Your Duty and Mine” to discuss Iraq’s national water policy, with a focus on the issue of Ilisu Dam. Representatives of various Iraqi ministries attended the seminar.

Baghdad event 22-03-2014

Baghdad seminar on 22 March 2014

* 22 March: Basra activists World Water Day at the corniche of the Shatt al-Arab in Basra. They demanded the government and civil society to take action against the Ilisu Dam.

* 14 March: On the occassion of the International Day of Action for Rivers, the  Save the Tigris Campaign organizedtwo events, in Baghdad and in Sulaymaniya, to spread awareness on the issue of the Ilisu Dam.

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International Day of Action for Rivers 2014 in Baghdad

* 4-5 March: At the annual Sulaimani Forum in Sulaymaniyah on March 4 and 5, a panel of experts the future of Iraq’s water provision, and ways to reach an agreement with Turkey over equal shares of the Tigris river.

* 15-16 February: The Save the Tigris Campaign participated in an international workshop in Basra, entitled “Basra Water Crisis, Shatt al-Arab Increasing Salinity and Measures to Control”, organized by the University of Basra in collaboration with the Province of Basra, under the patronage of the Basra Governor Dr. Al-Nasrawi. National and international experts, such as academics, consultants and governmental advisors, discussed their experiences and possible solutions to the city’s persisting salinity crisis. Four key topics were addressed during the workshop, among which “Tigris-Euphrates Rivers Basin dialogue”.

Basra workshop on 15 February 2014

Basra workshop on 15 February 2014

* 3 February: In statement the Save the Tigris and Iraqi Marshes Campaign welcomes the achievement accomplished by the national Iraqi team for the  nomination of the Iraqi marshes to the World Heritage Committee, according to the 1972 World Heritage Convention. The Iraqi Ministry of Environment confirmed that it had submitted the nomination file to the specialized bureau of UNESCO.

* Climate Change in Iraq: A Map of Climate Change in Iraq, look to the different climate change challenges that Iraq faces.The following map is part of an effort to map climate change impacts in Iraq. It shows different Iraqi cities and the corresponding climate change challenges. It contains pictures as well as other links to reports and additional information from different sources. (Note: To see the map in full screen, please click on the upper right square)

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Outline of the Save the Tigris and Iraqi Marshes Campaign

Who we are: Save the Tigris and the Iraqi Marshes is an advocacy campaign that was started in March 2012 by a coalition of civil society organizations from Iraq, Turkey and Iran. The campaign is part of an international effort to Save the World Heritage on the Tigris River from the impacts of the Ilisu Dam, a hydroelectric project being constructed on the Tigris River by the Turkish government.

Our Challenge: The campaign seeks to link groups and movements concerned with the adverse impacts of dams and other development projects on the Tigris and Euphrates. We advocate for policies that secure the sustainable and equitable use of water for all who live in the region and we oppose the privatization and commodification of water supplies and natural resources.

Objectives of the Campaign: The campaign works to draw attention to the negative impact of the Ilisu Dam on the Mesopotamian heritage both in Turkey as well as in Iraq and to develop advocacy and awareness activities that involve all relevant actors: local communities; civil society organisations; media; national and local institutions; societies of experts and intellectuals; research centres; universities and others.

Read/download our Terms of Reference (updated: October 2013)

 

The current members of the Save the Tigris and Iraqi Marshes Campaign:

Iraq: Civil Development Organization (CDO)Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI)Iraqi People’s Campaign to Save the Tigris, Tammuz Organization for Social Development, Ma’aluma (Information Center)

Turkey: Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Alive 

Iran: CENESTA

International: Un Ponte Per… (Italy), Corner House (UK), Gegenstroemung/Countercurrent (Germany), Environmental Defenders Law Center (US)

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Ahmed Soltan and Nadia from the Iraqi People’s Campaign to Save the Tigris, Johanna Rivera from ICSSI, Raid from UPP, Atta Mohamed from CDO, Serhat from the Initiative to Keep Hasankeyf Aive and Jantine from Nature Iraq at the Press Conference to release the campaign demands to the Iraqi Government. Suleimaniya, Iraq, June 12th, 2012

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Ways you can get involed

  • You can join the campaign as an organization or individual
  • Read about the impact of the Ilisu Dam and the threats it poses to Iraq. Our aim is to make this information easily available. Go to our Resources and Documents page.
  • Stay up to date with Latest News about our actions and about the  Tigris River
  • You can like and share our Campaign Page on Facebook and share it with friends
  • Join our Facebook Group
  • Sign the Petition to UNESCO to support the Iraqi Governnemt submission of the Central Marshes as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Watch and share our Youtube video to promote the preservation of the Marshes. Also available in Arabic.
  • Follow our Twitter hash-tag: #Save_the_Tigris_Campaign

Contact the Steering Committee for any further inquiries. Send an email to the Campaign Coordinator: johanna.rivera56@gmail.com

If you would like to have the information on this page in Arabic, you can also use the following link: عربي 

Marsh Arabs protest against Ilisu Dam in Hasankeyf, Turkey, May 2012

Marsh Arabs protest against Ilisu Dam in Hasankeyf, Turkey, May 2012

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Previous events in 2013 of the Save the Tigris and Iraqi Marshes Campaign

 

27 September 2013: The Save the Tigris Campaign organized the session: “Water Crisis between Iraq and Neighboring Countries: The Ilisu Dam, Exploring Legal Strategies in Iraq” at the Iraq Social Forum in Baghdad. The aim of this session was to discuss legal instruments available inside Iraq and elsewhere to protect Iraq’ s right to water and the equitable shares of the Tigris River with Turkey. International activists and Iraqi lawyers attended the session, analyzed legal instruments and proposed ways to advocate the Iraqi government to increase their efforts to demand Iraq’s right to water.

Find the full program of the Iraq Social Forum (ISF) here.

Activists of the Save the Tigris Campaign meet with the Baghdad Provincial Council at the Iraq Social Forum, 27 September 2013.

Activists of the Save the Tigris Campaign meet with the Baghdad Provincial Council at the Iraq Social Forum, 27 September 2013.

27-30 June 2013: The Save the Tigris Campaign held seminars in four provinces in South Iraq: Basra, Misan, Dhi Qar and Qadissiya, with the support of local civil society and activists. The seminars were held in Basra (June 27), Amara (June 28), Nasirya (June 29) and Diwaniya (June 30).
Seminar in Basra, 27 June 2013.

Seminar in Basra, 27 June 2013.

In Missan with the local volunteer group, Ana Missan Team, 28 June 2013.

In Missan with the local volunteer group, Ana Missan Team, 28 June 2013.

Seminar in Nasriya, 29 June 2013.

Seminar in Nasriya, 29 June 2013.

Seminar in Diwaniya, 30 June 2013.

Seminar in Diwaniya, 30 June 2013.

21 May 2013: In Hasankeyf, Turkey, representatives of dam-affected communities and international organizations from South America, the Middle East, Europe, the US, and Africa blocked the entrance to the construction site of the Ilisu dam in southeast Turkey demanding an end to the controversial development of the project.
See also the articles from Damocracy and International Rivers. All participated in the action.
International activists in Hasankeyf, Turkey

International activists in Hasankeyf, Turkey

19 May 2013: The Save the Tigris Campaign held a seminar in Amman, Jordan, on ‘The Water Crisis in Iraq, the Model of Ilisu Dam and the Role of Social Movements’.
Session in Amman, 19 May 2013.

Session in Amman, 19 May 2013.

Watch the report on Jordan television: “Water Crisis in Iraq” (in Arabic)

12 April 2013: The Campaign held a presentation in Baghdad, coinciding with a press release. The event was organized in cooperation with the People of Iraq’s Campaign to Save the Tigris and Koun Association for Human Development.

Find the press release in Arabic here.

Event on April 12th The Tigris for us, organized by the People of Iraq Campaign to Save the Tigris and Koun Association for Human Development on the banks of the Tigris river, with artists, musicians, journalists and representatives of the Ministry of Water Resources in Baghdad.

Event on April 12th The Tigris for us, organized by the People of Iraq Campaign to Save the Tigris and Koun Association for Human Development on the banks of the Tigris river, with artists, musicians, journalists and representatives of the Ministry of Water Resources in Baghdad.

5-8 April 2013: The campaign joined the 3rd Hasankeyf Ingathering, hosted jointly by by Doga Dernegi, Hasankeyf Matters and Nature Iraq. The ingathering is meant to promote Hasankeyf’s potential as a world class tourism site, but most importantly, to link locals and internationals together to share ideas on how to make the issue of Hasankeyf, under threat by the Ilisu Dam, known to the rest of the world and to present Hasankeyf as a source for scholarship, cross-cultural understanding and sustainable economic development.

Breakfast at Hasbace in Hasankeyf. People from Turkey, Iraq and other visitors gathered to share and support Hasankeyf.

Breakfast at Hasbace in Hasankeyf. People from Turkey, Iraq and other visitors gathered to share and support Hasankeyf.

1 April 2013: The Save the Tigris Campaign participates in the Mesopotamian Marshes Green Festival in Chibayish, Nasriyah. Organized by Nature Iraq.

Women boat races at the Chibayish Green Festival.

Women boat races at the Chibayish Green Festival.

29 March 2013: At the World Social Forum in Tunis, the Save the Tigris Campaign held a session together Blue Planet Project, Kurdish Network, Plataforma Institucional de Celendín. The topic of the session was “Global Solidarity Against Water Grabs by Dams and Mining Projects: Case Studies from India, Iraq, Kurdistan, Peru and Mexico“.

Global solidarity against Ilisu and other dams at the World Social Forum 2013 in Tunis.

Global solidarity against Ilisu and other dams at the World Social Forum 2013 in Tunis.

22 March 2013: An Open Letter to Andritz, the Austrian company responsible for the construction of the Ilisu Dam, is released by the Save the Tigris Campaign, on the disastrous impacts of Ilisu Dam for Iraq.

14 March 2013: On the occasion of the International Day of Action for Rivers, the Save the Tigris Campaign in cooperation with the People’s of Iraq Campaign to Save the Tigris raised awareness on the issue of Ilisu in al Mutannabi Street in Baghdad.

News Article on International Rivers

Baghdad's Al-Mutannabi Street on the International Day of Action for Rivers, 14 March 2013.

Baghdad’s Al-Mutannabi Street on the International Day of Action for Rivers, 14 March 2013.