Press Releases

Lecturer and Activist Anna Sophia Bachmann to Speak

Release Date: 10/11/2005

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Sylvia Blair

Community Relations Coordinator/Web Editor
410-386-8153

Lecturer and Activist Anna Sophia Bachmann to Discuss Environmental Restoration of Iraq at Carroll Community College

While most people think of war between soldiers when they think of Iraq, a different kind of battle is brewing in that country. It is the fight for the environmental restoration of the land, specifically the marshlands drained under the regime of Saddam Hussein. Native peoples who settle nearby and wildlife that depend on this vast ecosystem are being rapidly displaced. Yet, thanks to the efforts of a former Carroll County resident who is a part of an Iraqi environmental organization, the tide is turning on this dire situation and there is hope for nature, which was once under siege.

Anna Sophia Bachmann is a project coordinator and technical editor with Nature-Iraq and the only westerner working for this Iraqi organization.  She is based in Jordan, but has worked and traveled in Iraq since her first visit in early 2003.  With a background in environmental education and activism, Bachmann will discuss the pressing issue of environmental restoration in Iraq at Carroll Community College.

The free lecture will be held Thursday, November 3 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in room L287 on the second floor of the college library.

"Iraq's social and political problems often appear to hold the limelight for the world
Media, but what is underlying these problems is the extensive damage that has been done to Iraq's environment.  Land, air & water pollution is pervasive and causing more deaths in Iraq than the political unrest.   Toxic materials have been strewn upon the land.  Biodiversity and ecosystem degradation is rampant.  Fortunately,  there are efforts to reverse these trends and many small grassroots groups have formed to focus on these problems," said Bachmann. 

Nature-Iraq is a newly-formed Iraqi environmental group that is conducting research and restoration work throughout the country.  One focus of their work is southern Iraq, the home of the Mesopotamian Marshlands, once the most extensive marshlands in the Middle East. Almost completely drained by the Saddam Regime in the early 90's, the marshes are now making a slow comeback. Nature-Iraq has been studying this process and advocating for the protection and restoration of the marshlands.

"Many people in the U.S. hear about the latest bomb explosion in Iraq or the build up to the elections, but they don't really know what Iraq is like beyond these few brief news reports," said Bachmann. "My lecture will give them a better understanding of what the environment is Iraq is like, of what people are living with, how it came to be this way, and how it could be improved."

For more information, call 410-386-8100.

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