The International Legal Status of Marshes of Iraq as Protected Natural Areas
The wetlands of the Republic of Iraq, being a natural area of protection, have unique environmental, historical and cultural characteristics and are significantly different from the existing wetlands of the world. However, despite this status, they are exposed to numerous negative influences. The authors point to the most important international legal instruments aimed at preserving this unique territory of the Republic of Iraq, namely, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. The Government of Iraq is committed to fulfilling international obligations related to this convention and to overcoming the obstacles encountered in their implementation. The authors have examined the main international commitments, obstacles and the main priority lines developed by the Government of Iraq in order to overcome these obstacles. In particular, the problem of Water constraints has been considered in connection with the embankments built by the Islamic Republic of Iran, doing natural environment damage to the wetlands of Iraq and the attempts of the Government of Iraq to resolve the current situation, including the involvement of the Ramsar advisory mission. The mission was organized in mid-2017. The authors also provide relevant recommendations aimed at enhancing cooperation between Iraq and neighboring (coastal) states, and contributing to the reasonable and equitable use of a shared watercourse using the 1997 UN Convention on International Watercourses. The authors put high hopes on attracting international attention to the problems of relations between the Republic of Iraq and the Islamic Republic of Iran in the use of the Hawizeh marshes site.
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