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Evaluation Meeting for Support for Environmental Management of the Iraqi Marshlands Project (Phase III) - Summary Report (page2)


3 September 2008
Kyoto International Community House, Kyoto, Japan

Session Summary

Session 1: Opening Remarks

Mr. Per Bakken, Acting Deputy Director of UNEP Division of technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE), which implements the Marshlands Project, welcomed all delegates and chaired the evaluation meeting.

Opening remarks were delivered by the following persons:

  • Her Excellency Mrs. Narmin Othman, Minister of Environment, Iraq
  • Mr. Masayoshi Mizuno, Director of Global Environment Division, International Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan
  • Mr. Atsuhiro Yoshinaka, Senior Policy Coordinator, Global Environment Bureau, Ministry of Environment, Japan
  • Mr. Matteo Bellinello, Senior Environmental Expert, Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, Italy
  • His Excellency Dr. Ghanim Al-Jumaily, Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq in Japan
  • Mr. Per Bakken, Acting Deputy Director, UNEP DTIE

Her Excellency Mrs. Narmin Othman, Minister of Environment, Iraq thanked the people and the Government of Japan on behalf of the Prime Minister, as well as the people and Government of Iraq for the constant support extended in response to environmental mitigation, especially to the marshlands region. Her Excellency also thanked the Government of Italy for funding some of the activities of second phase of the Iraqi Marshlands Project. Her Excellency indicated that the Ministry of Environment is pleased with the outcome and the benefits generated from the project, especially concerning the development of environmentally sound technologies in the marshland ecosystem and capacity building for the ministry staff, which has been beneficial in raising the efficiency of the staff. Her Excellency congratulated the UNEP Iraqi Marshland Project team on receiving the UN21 Award Commendation, and indicated that the Ministry of Environment along with other line ministries involved in the project feel that implementation of the project of this magnitude has been conducted in a manner that reflected the commitment of all stakeholders. Her Excellency indicated Iraq’s aim to take part in the international cause to protect the planet’s environment, and solicited UNEP support to Iraq’s accession to multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and to the implementation of two priority projects identified by the Ministry of Environment (MOE). These priority projects are environmental management of the Kurdistan Region and the World Heritage management in the Iraqi Marshlands.

Mr. Masayoshi Mizuno, Director of Global Environment Division, International Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, indicated that he is very much interested to learn through this meeting about the reasons that have contributed to the success of the project and what measures were introduced in the project implementation to ensure that continuous operation and management by the Iraqi people.

Mr. Atsuhiro Yoshinaka, Senior Policy Coordinator, Global Environment Bureau, Ministry of Environment Japan welcomed the Iraqi ministerial delegation and congratulated the UNEP Project Team on receiving the UN21 Award commendation and Dr. Chizuru Aoki on receiving the inaugural UNEP Baobab Award. He indicated that his specific interest in learning the project outcomes is partly due to his involvement during the inception of the project during his tenure as the Representative of Japan in the Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR) to UNEP in Nairobi.

Mr. Matteo Bellinello, Senior Environmental Expert, Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea of Italy, welcomed the delegates and commended UNEP for implementing project activities in close cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Water Resources and the Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works. Mr. Bellinello also affirmed the Italian interest to continue its support to UNEP and Iraq in this project.

His Excellency Dr. Ghanim Al-Jumaily, Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq in Japan, said the environment was the ‘silent victim’ during the previous regime. His Excellency emphasized that Iraq still desperately needs interventions with the help of international organizations to increase the capacity of the country to manage the environment through technology transfer and awareness raising. His Excellency indicated that there is good synergy between Iraq’s needs for support for environment management and Japan’s strength in advanced knowledge and practice in this field.

Mr. Per Bakken welcomed the participants, and provided a brief overview of the UNEP project, presented the objectives of the meeting, and encouraged the participants to engage in active dialogue.