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View Diary: Dawn Chorus: mmmm.... Oysters! (65 comments)

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  •  Thank Azzam al-Awad (13+ / 0-)

    and Anna Bachmann and the Italian government that funded Nature Iraq... They are now in the process of setting aside some heavily mined areas along the Iran-Iraq border as permanent nature reserves, arguing that their value as bio refugia outweigh the costs of demining. They are working with the Kurdish authorities on education campaigns to prevent people from shooting critically endangered leopards, which have somehow managed to survive.

    I saw that Ken Burns special on the National Parks, America's Best Idea. There is some truth to that... The idea of setting aside wilderness, the idea that we're incomplete without wilderness, resonates across cultures. There are some Iraqis who feel this way. The particular politics of the marshes make me hopeful - nobody in southern Iraq were as persecuted as the Marsh Arabs; they support the restoration of the marshes, and politicians across the spectrum (including some of the very religious ones) want to be seen to support them. So for reasons beyond the obvious good of creating a protected refuge, it's hard for politicians to oppose this. And the Kurds have their own political reasons for supporting protected areas in the high mountains.

    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

    by ivorybill on Sun Aug 04, 2013 at 09:05:10 AM PDT

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