Over the course of 3 years from 2014-2017, the city experienced war and displacement, but today it raises the slogan “We replace death with life” by afforestation of the city as an indication of overcoming the pain and the beginning of moving the stagnant water for reconstruction.
In conjunction with the fourth anniversary of the liberation of Iraq from ISIS, the “Eye of Mosul” Foundation inaugurated the afforestation project of the city located in the Nineveh Governorate in northern Iraq.
The campaign activities began on Thursday, with afforestation and planting of areas at the Northern Technical University, with the participation of citizens and security men.
A dream turned into a reality
“Our initiative is a message to everyone that Mosul is a city of peace and coexistence.” What havoc befell her.”
On the story of the initiative, Al Saleh explained that it goes back to the Mosul Eye Foundation publishing a leaflet on social media about afforestation of the city, and with time the words turned into an idea and were translated on the ground in the form of the Mosul Green Initiative.
The project aims to combat desertification and global warming, especially since Mosul lost many green spaces during the years of the war against ISIS.
The initiative official indicates that the project is implemented by the Mosul Eye Foundation, with funding from the French Crisis and Support Center. In the first phase, the team seeks to plant 5,000 trees of 12 species, including pine, lemon, acacia and rosary over a period of two months.
Trees in the crossfire
During its occupation of Mosul, ISIS took advantage of the forests on the left side of the city and the huge old trees to hide in them and protect its weapons and training camps, which were destroyed and the air bombardment carried out on its camps.
According to Al Saleh: “The trees of Mosul have been in the crossfire of war since 2014, and green spaces in Iraq in general and Mosul in particular have been neglected. With the lack of rainfall during two decades, the city has become vulnerable to desertification after it was called “Umm al-Rabeein” due to its mild climate in all seasons.”
With the increase in sandstorms, lack of rain, high temperature and water salinity, Iraq has become the fifth most vulnerable country to climate change, with the desertification of about 39 percent of the land and the loss of 54 percent of the green space, according to local and international reports.
Those working on the “Green Mosul” campaign hope that it will have a role in combating climate change by planting one million trees in the future, according to Al-Saleh, who stressed: “We will not stop until we make Mosul a beautiful forest called the lung of Iraq.”
It is planned that the afforestation campaign will reach Mosul Municipality, Mosul University, Mosul Museum, Al-Nuri Mosque, Al-Sa’a and Al-Tahira Churches, Sinjar District, and many other sites.
Al Saleh pointed to the problem of the lack of government support provided to the initiative, despite the enthusiasm of the people for it, but the initiative “finds in the spirit of volunteerism and cooperation among its members another positive aspect of the project.”