UNESCO Recognized Iraqi Marshlands as a World Heritage Site
Iraq is starting to rebuild its life and is being recognized in terms of its natural beauty and resources. UNESCO recently named the Ahwar, an Iraqi marshland, a World Heritage Site.
The former seat of power of the dictator Saddam Hussein is slowly recovering from the ravage, and despite jihadists' presence, the country is on its road to recovery building museums and infrastructures. To add to the feat, UNESCO's World Heritage Site title was recently awarded to a famous Iraqi marshland.
"The archaeological cities of Uruk and Ur and the Tell Eridu archaeological site form part of the remains of the Sumerian cities and settlements that developed in southern Mesopotamia between the 4th and the 3rd millennium BCE," a UNESCO official said in a statement published by the Guardian. The following sites are also Biblical in nature as regarded by some to be the site of the garden of Eden, according to BBC.
It is a proof that despite the devastation experienced by Iraq, there's beauty found in the country and it is worth the worldwide recognition. According to UNESCO, the Ahwar of southern Iraq is a unique marshland and is one of the world's largest inland delta systems. It is also found in a very hot environment. Aside from that, the marshlands are home to a wide variety of birds and fishes.
The announcement was received with great anticipation since the Iraqi government has been lobbying for the title since 2003. What's interesting about it is that Hussein ordered to drain the marshlands in the 1990s to stop rebels from using them as a cover.
The areas were revived in 2003 and restoration followed right after. Locals worked for years to flood the drained marshlands to revive its former glory and according to environmental agencies, they were able to restore almost half of the wetlands.
Today, with UNESCO's world heritage site title, the marshlands are secured from further damage, as UNESCO's goal is to protect natural and cultural heritage sites. It will help the local government in establishing plans to further protect and enhance the site.
Iraqi Primi Minister Haider al-Abadi welcomed the announcement, saying it coincides with victories against the ISIS. It is a breath of fresh air to hear news recognizing Iraq's natural beauty and resources instead of war-related issues clouding the image of the country.