Azzam Alwash: Iraqi Environmentalist Pt. I

AzzamAlwash7436695074_f6ab725ac0_qWe are not very used to hearing good news about Iraq these days. Nor is there an abundance of feel good stories about the earth’s dwindling wetlands. So, when this week’s guest successfully launched an effort to restore the Mesopotamian marshlands in southern Iraq which had been drained, poisoned and burned under Saddam Hussein in the mid-nineties, it got a fair amount of attention.

Azzam Alwash went about refilling these wetlands, once an abundant area for diverse wildlife, by gathering support in Iraq’s prickly political landscape and applying his own complex understanding of hydraulic engineering. The struggle is far from over, but given the heroic actions he has taken, it’s no surprise Dr. Alwash is the most recent winner of the Goldman Prize, the environmental equivalent of the Oscars – and this week’s guest on Sea Change Radio.