A preparatory school in a district of Sulaymaniyah, few hundred kilometers northeast of Baghdad, held a conference about climate change to urge locals to boost greenery.
Kifri Preparatory School held third annual environmental conference from November 16th to 18th which included spreading environmental awareness and encouraging citizens and concerned authorities to protect the environment.
During these three years, 800 trees were planted in the school and other areas of the Kifri district. The activities cycling, publishing environmental instructions and information on the risks of climate change, as well as launching a campaign to increase the percentage of greenery.
The conference was held under the slogan "Move the pace to reduce the risks facing the environment."
Haider Ahmed, the supervisor of the environmental conference of Kifri High School, told KirkukNow, "Our goal is to be able to reduce the risks facing the environment and to spread environmental awareness and guidance among students and citizens."
Our goal is to be able to reduce the risks facing the environment
"What distinguished our conference this year is our success in establishing a bridge and involving universities and institutes within the boundaries of the Garmian administration in this event," he added.
The conference was held this year in cooperation with the Technical College in Kalar district. The conference was scheduled to last for two days, yet due to the large number of activities and events, it was extended for another day.
On the last day of the conference, 500 trees of the Albiza and Neem were planted inside the school and several other locations, which is a huge number compared to the previous two conferences.
Last year, 100 trees were planted, and in 2020, more than 200 trees were planted.
Last September, the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture revealed that almost three million hectars of land in Iraq are under the threat by desertification due to climate change, noting that the most affected is the province of Dhi Qar, where desertification hit half of agricultural farms and lands.
The conference supervisors monitor the growth and care of the trees themselves, and they consist of 10 teams of teachers, students and a number of cleaners.
Kifri district officials, including the District Commissioner and the Director of Education, were invited to attend the conference to encourage the government to pay more attention to the environment of the region.
Anwar Abdulaziz, an environmental activist in Kifri, says that what the Kifri Preparatory School has done is "unparalleled."
the Kurdistan region's environment, especially in the Garmian region, is hot and dry, and climate changes are about to leave its impact
"It is necessary to encourage holding such conferences in order to increase the percentage of green spaces because the Kurdistan region's environment, especially in the Garmian region, is hot and dry, and climate changes are about to leave its impact.”
Kifri is one of the districts located within the disputed territories under the Iraqi constitution and part of Diyala province run by the Iraqi government, while administratively is one of the districts of the Garmian administration.
Garmian local administration which includes several districts and sub-districts between Sulaymaniyah and Diyala province is part of Sulaymaniyah Northern Province, one of the provinces of Kurdistan Region of Iraq KRI under the Kurdistan Regional Government KRG.
According to environmental experts, the percentage of vegetation in the region has declined over the past years in conjunction with the lack of rainfall in Iraq in general.
"Kifri needs to reduce the risks arising from climate change. We hope that such conferences will continue in order to preserve the environment," Abdulaziz added.
"We decided not to confine the conference's activities to halls, but rather we took practical steps," supervisor of the conference said while planting a tree.