Climate Change Defenders Program 

This initiative aims to mobilize groups of activists and environmental rights defenders who would lead grassroots climate groups in their communities, spread the message about the urgency of climate change and its effects on life of vulnerable people in the Kurdistan Region and link them to other initiatives in the rest of Iraq. Human and environmental rights defenders are known to be on the front-line of global and local efforts to halt widespread and disastrous human rights abuses and environmental destruction, at the intersection of human, environmental, and climate justice.

Through environmental and climate justice efforts, people would be confronting local environmental and public health problems by working collaboratively with their local government agencies and the responsible institutions and agencies in order to find appropriate and tangible solutions in the lights of the existing laws and regulations or otherwise, to work for amendment of specific articles of the existing laws and regulations in favor of the vulnerable communities. This initiative would endeavor to mobilize efforts of the climate defenders through mapping the most hazardous risks facing the communities, analyzing and reporting them to the government agencies in charge and work through awareness raising and advocacy to find possible proper solutions for them.

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Program Activities 

IRO has established partnership within the relevant communities including the academics and high level institutions to coordinate human and knowledge resources. Community mobilization and knowledge management are the core contents of which the program seeks. 

Training and capacity building on relevant thematic areas include:  

-       The environment rights

-       Climate change and vulnerable communities

-       Climate justice

-       Advocacy

-       Role of climate defenders in fighting for a safe and healthy environment 


Environmental Rights and people knowledge  

As a part of Climate Change Defenders Program and to find out about several issues related to climate change and its impact on human life, IRO has conducted a survey in which 110 forms were returned in three days. 

Results finds out  that the majority of the surveyees pessimistic position toward the climate situation in Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the efforts to solve it. 

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impact of climate change

The vast majority feel that climate change has impacted their life in the areas they live.

solution efforts

63% see that there no efforts to solve the environmental issues in their areas

According to the recent survey conducted by IRO Organization on environmental rights and the level of knowledge citizens know about their rights, threat of climate change and several issues, the majority of the survey samples have shown a disappointing view over the environment where they live.

Climate change hazard

Up to %36, of the respondents believe that knowledge of people on the environmental hazards is very low while nearly half of them show that people knowledge is low.

Environment rights

The survey shows that nearly %51 of people have very low knowledge about their environmental rights and nearly %39 have low knowledge