2013 Goldman Prize winner Azzam Alwash and his team at Nature Iraq celebrated a victory as the government of Iraq and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) signed a historic agreement last month that seeks to bolster environmental recovery and peace-building in the beleaguered country.
According to a press release from UNEP, the agreement will focus on drafting “new environmental legislation and regulations; biodiversity conservation; green economy; cleaner production; resource efficiency; combating dust storms; and climate change reporting, mitigation and adaption.”
The agreement was lauded by Alwash and his team at Nature Iraq, whose research and data on Iraq’s critical environmental issues helped prepare Iraqi government officials for the UNEP meeting. Alwash was awarded the Prize in 2013 for his work to restore Iraq’s Mesopotamian Marshland’s, which were recently recognized as Iraq’s first National Park.
Like 2002 Goldman Prize winner Fatima Jibrell, who is working to raise awareness about the role environmental health plays in building peace and stability in a conflict zone, Alwash understands that people’s livelihoods, wellbeing and security are inextricably linked to natural resources and a healthy environment.