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.
Latest Campaign Updates
*1-3 October 2015: Baghdad, Iraq Save the Tigris and Iraqi Marshes Campaign participated at the Iraqi Social Forum holding a session on the issue of water and the Ilisu dam. The Iraqi Social Forum was a success and we have new and young activists that want to work to prioritize the issue of water in Iraq.
*27-30 September 2015: Review of Iraq on the Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights in Geneva, Switzerland. The Save the Tigris River and Iraqi Marshes Campaign sent a representative to Geneva, where the UN Expert’s Committee Members on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights will listen to the position of the campaign as they review the report of the State of Iraq. Members submitted observations and recommendations to the Iraqi government. Read the report here.
*28 June 2015: Bohn, Germany World Heritage Committee Meeting. In addition, an action was done in front of the annual conference opening of the World Heritage Committee (WHC) of UNESCO in Bonn/Germany. The participants demanded to list Hasankeyf (Turkish-Kurdistan) and the Iraqi Marshes on the World Heritage List and to stop the Ilisu Dam at the Tigris River.
* Watch the following video, published by our campaign; “The Iraqi Marshes: Beauty and Civilization in Danger”.
*9-12 May 2015: A strategy meeting is held in Erbil, Iraq, with Iraqi and international activists of the campaign. This was followed by advocacy meetings with Kurdish authorities and NGOs, and a press conference.
*March 2015: New activities are planned for 2015-16.
* 27-29 October 2014: The Save the Tigris Campaign conducts a strategy session with Iraqi, Turkish and international activists at the 2014 Conference of the Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI) in Oslo.
* 15 July 2014: In light of the current conflict in Iraq, a statement is issued in which the campaign calls upon all parties involved not to use water and related infrastructure as a weapon of war, and to protect civilians’ right to water.
* 10 May 2014: The legal strategy of the campaign is presented in Sulaymaniya at the fifth conference of the Ekopotamya Network, an international coalition of Kurdish environmental organizations who advocate against dams.
* 5 May 2014: In Duhok, located near the Tigris River, the campaign conducts several seminars for students of Duhok University to inform and mobilize them on the issue of Ilisu Dam.
* 2 April 2014: 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 2014: 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.
* 22 March 2014: 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 2014: 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.
* 4-5 March 2014: 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 2014: 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”.
* 3 February 2014: 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.
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: February 2015)
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)
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to have the information on this page in Arabic, you can also use the following link: عربي
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.
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.
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.
1 April 2013: The Save the Tigris Campaign participates in the Mesopotamian Marshes Green Festival in Chibayish, Nasriyah. Organized by Nature Iraq.
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“.
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.