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Evaluation Meeting for Support for Environmental Management of the Iraqi Marshlands Project (Phase III) - Summary Report (page5)

3 September 2008
Kyoto International Community House, Kyoto, Japan

Session Summary

Session 4: Discussion - Feedback on project impacts and lessons learned

In this session, feedback was obtained from the donors on their assessments on the impacts and lessons learned from the UNEP project. UNEP and the Iraqi ministry representatives provided responses.

Speakers to this session were Mr. Masayoshi Mizuno, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan, and Mr. Matteo Bellinello, Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, Italy.

Mr. Mizuno described the Japanese Government’s assistance framework as a special package for reconstruction of Iraq since 2003. The package consisted of grant assistance, donations and technical assistance. Mr. Mizuno indicated that through listening to the reporting on the project by UNEP and Iraqi ministries, there are many lessons that he could draw. The importance of coordination is one key lesson among many. He stated that he intends to apply these lessons to improve the quality of Japanese assistance to Iraq. Mr. Mizuno further said that among the several Japanese assistance projects to Iraq, UNEP Project may be the most well-known and the effort to draw press coverage was key to this.

Mr. Mizuno also indicated that the Government of Japan will consider additional support for this initiative if the Government receives a strong request from the Government of Iraq. He further stated that the results from this project could also be used for direct bilateral contributions. Her Excellency Othman inquired about the process to request additional support, and Mr. Mizuno indicated that there are multiple channels to do so. The meeting chair suggested the two parties to discuss this in further detail.

Mr. Bellinello made a presentation on the bilateral assistance provided for the marshland restoration through the ‘Eden Again Project’ by the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea (IMELS) since 2003. One of the main focus of the Eden Again Project was on developing a hydrological model for helping future decision making on the best strategy for re-flooding marshlands with the water available. Designs for the water flow control structures have also been developed, and some of them are being in the implementation stage. IMELS will continue to support the planning for the national park in the Iraqi Marshlands. Mr. Bellinello also confirmed that IMELS would like to financially support the UNEP-UNESCO initiative for world heritage inscription process.

Mr. Bellinello also highly appreciated the UNEP’s liaison role for Iraqi Marshlands donor coordination at the working level, and requested UNEP to continue this function.

Mr. Bakken thanked Mr. Bellinello for the Italian pledge for further support, and stated that UNEP would continue dialogue with the Italian Government to determine the specifics of the new initiative as well as follow-up coordination activities. He also thanked the Japanese Government for its contributions thus far, and requested positive consideration for further assistance.