Iraq: Climate, Water & Conflict in 2020
08 Jul 2020 10:00 - 11:15
Bron: An Iraqi boy jumps into a small swimming hole near a Sons of Iraq (Abna al-Iraq) checkpoint outside of Awad, Iraq, July 12, 2008, while Coalition Forces, background, assess canals in a plan to bring potable water to nearby communities / Wikimedia Commons

This webinar is part of the Planetary Security Initiative (PSI). Watch the livestream below.

Iraq is among the most vulnerable countries in the region when it comes to climate change and water scarcity. Over the last two decades the situation deteriorated dramatically, affecting health, livelihoods and the broader socio-economic situation in the South. These conditions have been linked to the security situation in the country, particularly in Southern Iraq where they did play a role in the anti-government protests over the last years.

The COVID-19 health crisis in conjunction with a collapsed oil price further strains livelihoods and perspectives in the region. While climate and water conditions were rather moderate in 2019 and spring 2020, the general political and security situation continues to be fragile, against the background of violent and deadly clashes between protesters and security forces in autumn and winter. Extremist groups benefitted from COVID-19 and are regaining strength. A new government was just installed and is likely to be challenged by new heatwaves, droughts, water and electricity shortages that may present factors triggering turmoil.

In this webinar we will discuss climate and water security in Iraq in 2020 against the current political and security situation. Natural resource scarcity will also be discussed in the light of ‘lessons learned’ from the protests 2017-2019. The focus will be at what can be done to reverse the situation and finding sustainable solutions on the management of natural resources.

During the webinar, the following speakers will share their thoughts with us:

  • Tobias von Lossow, Research Fellow, Clingendael Institute and Project Manager of the Planetary Security Initiative (PSI) will present the latest on the climate-security situation in Iraq and plans to undertake activities in the South of the country
  • Khaled Sulaiman, Journalist writing for the Independent and other newspapers, will talk about his new book that was published in Iraq on water as vital element of life in Iraq
  • Maha Yassin, PSI outreach officer, will briefly discuss the role of the Youth in the Iraqi protests and how their grievances are linked to the water and electricity shortages
  • Azzam Alwash, Founder of Nature Iraq will highlight which priorities the new governments could address.

The webinar will be moderated by Louise van Schaik, Head of Unit EU & Global Affairs and Coordinator of Research on Climate Change and Sustainability at the Clingendael Institute.

This webinar is part of the Planetary Security Initiative (PSI) that aims to stimulate policy-relevant discussions on climate change and security among global experts from NGOs, the private sector, government agencies/ministries and academia.

Follow the livestream

This webinar will be streamed live on YouTube. Please register to receive an email alert 15 minutes in advance.