Nature Iraq’s celebration of WMBD included lectures and workshops on the relationship between migratory birds and tourism, birds’ migration, Iraq’s first national park, use of equipment in fieldwork studying wildlife, a bird field guides, bird count methodologies, and data analysis.
One overarching theme of the event, was introducing participants on how to develop sustainable tourism through bird watching, photography of wildlife, and marketing innovative products and handicrafts to improve livelihoods in the area, with benefits for both people and wildlife. These links can be used to build a sustainable long-term plans for economic growth and to preserve wildlife for a better future for both communities and wildlife.
More than 30 people participated, including students from the Teacher’s Institute, delegates from the Ministry of Water resources, and volunteer birdwatchers.
Nature Iraq’s WMBD celebration was an activity of the Marshlands Empowerment Project a two-year program that will foster and improve the socio-economic circumstances and culture of Marsh Arab women and men while protecting the biological diversity and natural resources of the Mesopotamian marshlands within the framework of Iraq’s first National Park through an integrated program of research, development activities, training, advocacy, and information sharing.