Calling environmental degradation a graver threat than terrorism

Talabani calls for unity and action on environmental issues

SULAYMANIYAH — Kurdistan Regional Government’s Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani addressed concerns regarding a real estate development on Sulaymaniyah’s Mount Goizha, emphasizing that experts and relevant authorities must evaluate the project’s impact and provide transparent information to the public.

Residents of Sulaymaniyah are divided over the new housing project on Mount Goizha. Environmental activists argue the project is harmful, while supporters believe it could transform Sulaymaniyah into one of the most beautiful cities in Iraq.

Writing on World Environment Day in the state-run Al-Sabah newspaper, Talabani highlighted the broader implications of this debate. Despite criticisms over the Mount Goizha project, he expressed pride in the public’s enthusiasm for environmental issues and the pressure applied on the authorities.

Talabani voiced grave concerns about environmental degradation, stating its threat far exceeds that of terrorism. He emphasized that while the impact of terrorism is temporary, environmental degradation poses an irreversible threat to future generations.

Talabani expressed hope that environmental awareness would spread throughout Iraq, urging increased public pressure to compel political and governmental authorities to take significant actions. He noted that environmental issues now extend to forced migration, desertification, and drops in water levels, with insufficient attention from authorities.

Further environmental degradation will cause instability, he warned, and will distribute suffering and harm equally across all regions. He highlighted the adverse effects of diminished livability in southern Iraq on central cities and the Kurdistan Region.

The Kurdish deputy premier also highlighted pollution in the Tanjaro area of Sulaymaniyah, noting that chemicals poured into the river would harm the environment as it flows into the Darbandikhan Dam, which supplies water to central and southern Iraq.

Talabani emphasized the importance of cooperation between officials in the federal government and the Kurdistan Region to solve the Tanjaro problem. He called for national unity on environmental issues, urging all officials, including those in Basra and Anbar, to contribute to the solution and be concerned about the future of the southern marshes.

Talabani pointed out that the grim environmental situation presents an opportunity for Iraqis to understand their shared destiny and recognize the risks they face. Talabani announced an initiative to hold a conference involving all political forces and relevant parties in the federal and regional governments to discuss environmental risks across Iraq and Kurdistan.

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