Published: Monday, 28 March 2011 17:49  Written by Laurel Neme

Today, I’m honored to air an interview about wildlife and nature in Iraq with Nature Iraq’s Anna Bachmann, Director of Conservation, and Hana Ahmed Raza, their mammals specialist. In a country with 35 years of wars and sanctions, Iraq’s environment is in dire need of care and attention. But how do you rebuild an environment when you know little about what’s even there?  Nature Iraq explains how they’re trying to fill some of those gaps.

Nature Iraq is an Iraqi non-governmental organization to protect, restore, and preserve Iraq’s natural environment and the rich cultural heritage that it nourishes. It does this both by improving the capacity of Iraq’s institutions and developing scientific databases of environmental conditions and trends within the country. In this interview, you’ll hear how Iraq’s marshlands, which were destroyed by Saddam Hussein because they were the base of his opposition, have been partially restored and how Nature Iraq is working with the government to create a national park there. You’ll also hear how Nature Iraq is undertaking biological assessments to identify other key areas to protect and working to get Iraq to join the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

You’ll also hear how Nature Iraq is identifying areas within Iraq that are globally important for their biological diversity and also how they’re undertaking assessments, including a groundbreaking report on “Animal Trade and Hunting in Iraq” which assesses the situation. This interview aired on my radio show, “The WildLife,” which is broadcast on The Radiator, WOMM-LP, 105.9 FM in Burlington, Vermont on March 28, 2011 and available via iTunes.