Mapping Iraq’s Ecological Diversity
In a pivotal move to combat climate change, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Government of Iraq launched the Land Use Land Cover (LULC) project in Baghdad. This initiative, implemented in partnership with the Central Statistics Organization (CSO) of the Ministry of Planning, marks a critical step in understanding and addressing environmental challenges in Iraq’s diverse ecological zones.
Crucial Satellite Imagery for Climate Action
The LULC project leverages high-resolution satellite imagery, providing detailed maps that play a vital role in the fight against climate change. Generously funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), this marks the first implementation of the Land Use Land Cover project in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.
Supporting Informed Decision-Making
The detailed maps generated by the project illustrate Iraq’s changing landscapes, enabling decision-makers to identify critical drivers of environmental change. This information forms the basis for informed decisions, supporting evidence-based land management, and environmental preservation.
Promoting Sustainable Development Practices
By mapping urban areas, water bodies, and various ecosystems, the project contributes to sustainable urban planning, efficient water resource management, and the conservation of ecosystems. The LULC Classification suggests specific actions such as promoting sustainable agricultural practices, conserving wetlands and marshland vegetation, encouraging afforestation and reforestation, and improving overall land use.
Addressing Climate Impact in Iraq
Given Iraq’s vulnerability to climate change, this project holds significant importance in managing the country’s natural resources effectively. The initiative aims to address critical development goals, including improved agriculture, food security, and enhanced water resource management.
“LULC classification has the potential to become a valuable tool in addressing some of Iraq’s most critical development aims, including improved agriculture, food security, and better water resource management,”
emphasized Ally-Raza Qureshi, Country Director and Representative for WFP Iraq.
“By harnessing the power of data and evidence, informed decisions can pave the way for a more prosperous and sustainable Iraq. This project reflects our dedication to leaving no one behind as we move towards a better future,” he added.
Showcasing Progress at COP28
WFP’s lead team in Iraq is currently at COP28, showcasing the country’s progress in strengthening early warning systems and anticipatory climate action. This presence at the global climate conference underscores how climate action can transform food systems, showcasing the practical impact of initiatives like the LULC project.