The Department of Foreign Relations today hosted a special session for the KRG Board of Environmental Protection and Improvement and the Iraqi Kurdistan Mine Action Agency (IKMAA) to brief diplomats on their activities, challenges, and needs.
Minister Falah Mustafa, Head of the KRG Foreign Relations, opened the session by welcoming the diplomats and representatives of the UN agencies and international organizations. The Minister stressed that environmental protection and land mine clearance have always been on the agenda of the KRG and hoped that the session would open lasting channels of communication and cooperation between the two KRG institutions and the foreign representation offices in Kurdistan.
Head of the KRG Board of Environmental Protection and Improvement, Mr. Abdurrahman Hama Raza, gave an overview of the state of the environment in the Kurdistan Region and KRG’s efforts to implement environmental protection measures and improve environment. Mr. Hama Raza highlighted the needs and challenges of the Board and called for technical assistance in order to implement the necessary measure required for securing a clean and safe environment. Mr. Hama Raza’s remarks were followed by a presentation in which the activities of the Board were presented.
Head of the Iraqi Kurdistan Mine Action Agency (IKMAA), Mr. Mohammed Ismael, briefed diplomats on the formation, structure and the mission of IKMAA. He spoke of the challenges facing the IKMAA, the difficulties facing the Agency to defuse improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the areas liberated by Peshmerga forces, and the need for international support. Mr. Ismael called upon the international community to help IKMAA clear the remaining minefields in the Kurdistan Region and to demine the areas liberated from ISIS so that the displaced people would return to their hometowns.
On behalf of the diplomatic corps, the Consul General of Jordan, Haitham Abu Alfoul, who serves as the acting dean of the diplomats, commended KRG’s efforts in protecting the environment and clearing land mines in the Kurdistan Region, stressing that environmental protection and landmine clearance is a shared responsibility.
During the meeting, several diplomats and representatives exchanged their views on the activities of both institutions and expressed readiness to look into the means and ways of supporting the KRG Board of Environment and IKMAA.