Then, a film about the brutality of the infamous campaign of the drying of the marshes executed by Saddam’s regime and the uniqueness of the marshes and their global and local importance was presented. A photographic presentation depicting the beauty and the diversity of the marshes concluded the workshop.
The workshop was attended by Thi Qar Council member Mr. Shaheed Al-Ghalibi and a large number of locals, representatives of NOGs, government officials and the press. The participants contributed in the discussions, which enriched the event and facilitated for more future cooperation.
The workshop was also covered by Al Fayhaa Satellite Channel.
A press statement was delivered in the workshop that articulated an open message to Iraqi decision makers to propose the inclusion of the marshes in the UNESCO World Heritage List as they are part of the world human, cultural and natural heritage, and because they are of exceptional value as they are the largest wetlands in the Middle East and home of the Marsh Arabs who nourish a five-thousand-year culture. The statement also expressed disappointment at the absence of the Mesopotamian marshes from the meeting agenda of the World Heritage Committee in Cambodia in June.
A number of opinions also were been presented about the joint interests in water issues among Iraq's riparian neighbors, especially Turkey and Iran. There were discussions about the water policies of these countries, particularly the construction of dams, embankments and stream diversions which have had significant negative impact on water quality in Iraq, especially in the marshlands.
Recommendations also have been delivered in the event about the issue of the Turkish Ilisu dam, as follows:
- Obliging Turkey to sign a special protocol to operate the dam in a way that it does not affect the current water inflows in terms of quantity and quality,
- Obliging Turkey to establish an Iraqi-Turk academic scientific research center to conduct EIAs in Iraq and Turkey about the climate and hydrological changes in the region that result from the dam, and
- Obliging Turkey to inform Iraq on daily basis about the operational scheme of the dam and if Turkey is planning to conduct projects that may affect water shares.
Mr. Al Assadi also talked about the future steps to practice pressure on Turkey for a fair water share. Such steps include mutual interests negotiations, holding an international conference about Illiso dam and its negative effects on Iraq in cooperation with Thi Qar governorate and Diyarbakir governorate in Turkey as both governorate share the same interest in preventing the construction of the dam for being harmful to more than 27 Turk villages and towns like Hasankiyef.
Mr. Al Assadi also pointed out to the Tigris River Flotilla Project initiated by Nature Iraq as a peaceful way to articulate to Turkey the for a fair water share. The project is a river trip along Tigris using the traditional boats from Hasankiyef town to Chibayish.