2013 Goldman Prize winner Azzam Alwash and his team at the Nature Iraq recently marked the conclusion of the Tigris River Flotilla, a month long event to celebrate the river, raise environmental awareness among riverside communities, and study the river’s current hydrological condition.
The flotilla, comprised of traditional Mesopotamian boats and modern rafts and kayaks, launched in mid-September from Hasankeyf, Turkey. The month-long journey traversed two nations, six cities, and over 1,200 kilometeres of river. It concluded on October 15 at the intersection of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, in the Mesopotamian Marshlands of Iraq.
Alwash was awarded the Goldman Prize in 2013 for his unwavering dedication to restoring and preserving the Mesopotamian Marshes, which were nearly destroyed under Saddam Hussein’s rule.
Today, thanks in large part to Alwash’s dedication, the marshes are flourishing again- and were recently recognized as Iraq’s first national park.
At the many stops along the flotilla’s journey, the team from Nature Iraq hosted presentations, photo exhibits, clean-up events and community-based art projects to raise awareness about the growing threats to the Tigris River and the marshland ecosystems it supports.
For more information on the flotilla see the video below, and be sure to LIKE Nature Iraq on Facebook to see amazing photos from the tour.
Congratulations to Azzam and everyone who helped bring this historic journey to life!