Articulating this point to a group of Iraqi archaeologists was the main role of Nature Iraq staff who guest lectured in the World Monument Fund's ongoing Archaeological Site Management and Historic Preservation program, which was held at the American University Iraq, Sulaimani from the 18th to the 22nd of August.
The Nature Iraq team has explored the interrelationship between natural and cultural heritage in multiple projects, particularly the Management of the Central Marshes and the Nomination of the Iraqi Central Marshes as a World Heritage site. We were pleased to convey this experience in a novel way.
The trainees, who were from diverse backgrounds and regions, spent a full day at Nature Iraq's Eco Camp in Mergapan. NI staff discussed their execution of projects and activities which strengthen local communities and raise awareness regarding the importance of the environment and traditional values and practices. The staff also introduced and provided regional examples of responsible tourism and ecotourism activities and projects. The day was full of lively discussion.
Two members of the Friends of Dalmaj Marshes, a local conservation group from the south of Iraq, participated and explained their role as a local voice in the protection of their local marshes. Members took a guided walk around the area with some explanation of the fauna and flora and some cultural practices.
Finally, NI staff took the group on a guided hiking trip in Chami Razan valley as a demonstration of eco friendly and responsible tourism activities.