FORMOD@KR Project: a Model Forest for Iraqi Kurdistan

FORMOD@KR Project: a Model Forest for Iraqi Kurdistan

The MMFN secretariat, availing itself of the partner Union of Municipalities Valdarno and Valdisieve, yesterday (2020, 19th June) presented a project for the AICS call intended, if funded, to create a new Model Forest in Iraqi Kurdistan. The project involves a partnership with the Amici della Terra Association and with the Governorate of Sulimania (Iraqi Kurdistan) as well as the scientific support of the UNIFI’s DAGRI (University of Florence - Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Forestry Sciences and Technologies) and the University of Suilamani. The Kurdish Model Forest will be designed and developed with the technical support of the Secretariat of the Mediterranean Model Forest Network (leading partner) and that of the International Network.

The FORMOD@KR project therefore proposes the creation of a Model Forest as a governance tool for the environmental restoration of the Kurdish territory devastated by decades of conflict, and for the subsequent sustainable management participated by the communities. All the priority actions of the project would not only concern the three main environmental emergencies, namely the compromise of surface waters, the degradation of the river and urban forests, the very low forest cover index (only 4% at Iraqi national level) , but would create the basis for a structured system, supporting planning and participatory territorial planning, shared and sustainable on a socio-economic and environmental level.

The identification of needs has an articulated path over time:

  • in 2014 the environmental association Nature Iraq is the leader of a project funded on the EuropeAid program called the Iraq Waterkeeper Law and Advocacy Program (the Water Right Foundation of Florence also participates as a partner) which has laid the foundations for developing strategic actions related to the environment
  • in 2017 the Florentine section of Gli Amici della Terra ONLUS participated in the call "WATER and HEALTH Nexus 2017" launched by the Water Right Foundation (Florence) carrying out the "BLUE SHADOW" project which concerns the relationship between water and forest environment and has produced one feasibility study aimed at identifying three pilot areas in which to develop forestry interventions in close relationship with the water matrix, both from a landscape and functional point of view.

From both projects it emerged that the environmental theme is very felt, given the large presence of environmental associations, even very small ones, hence the desire to try to lay the foundations for establishing a new Model Forest as an innovative territorial governance system capable of resolve conflicts and critical issues for the sustainable management of territories.

Photo by Aram Sabah - Unsplash