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WFP land mapping study reveals Iraq's diverse ecological zones in need of protection against climate change

BAGHDAD – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Government of Iraq yesterday launched the Land Use Land Cover (LULC) project in Baghdad, a vital step in fighting climate change. LULC generates high-resolution satellite imagery crucial for understanding environmental challenges and guiding sustainable development.

This joint project supports evidence-based land management and environmental preservation. It is implemented in partnership with the Central Statistics Organization (CSO) of the Ministry of Planning. It is generously funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). This is the first time the Land Use Land Cover project has been implemented in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

The detailed maps illustrate Iraq's changing landscapes, helping decision-makers identify critical drivers. This information provides a foundation for informed decisions, supporting evidence-based policies and resource allocation to tackle climate-related challenges.

By mapping urban areas, water bodies, and various ecosystems, the project supports sustainable urban planning, efficient water resource management, and the conservation of ecosystems. The LULC Classification suggests promoting sustainable agricultural practices, conserving wetlands and marshland vegetation, encouraging afforestation and reforestation, and improving land use.

With Iraq being one of the countries most affected by the impacts of climate change, this project represents a significant step forward in ensuring the management of the country’s natural resources.

“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,” said 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. 

WFP’s lead team in Iraq is at COP28 this year, highlighting the work that has been done in the country to strengthen early warning systems and anticipatory climate action that shows how climate action can transform food systems. 

 

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

 

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Topics

Climate

Contact

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):

Ruben Pulido Rodriguez, WFP/Iraq.
Mobile: + 9647809299918