Save the Tigris is a civil society advocacy campaign that was started in March 2012 by a coalition of Iraqi and international non-governmental organisations to save the World Heritage on the Tigris River from the impacts of dams and other destructive megaprojects. The name of our campaign in Arabic is: حملة انقاذ نهر دجلة و الاهوار العراقية
The Turkish government is constructing number of large dams on the Tigris River without any consultation with the Iraqi government and local communities and without any study on the impact of such projects. Iran has built a number of dams on rivers that are tributaries of the Tigris River. Such projects need to respect the well-established international norms on uses of international watercourses, specifically the principles of equitable and reasonable utilization; participation; and the obligation not to cause significant harm to those who depends upon the water.
Megaprojects continue to receive strong support in the region. The Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq continues to build dams with no effective study on their impacts downstream and on sustainable peace in Iraq and the region. In recent times, water resources in the region have been weaponised and the rivers of Mesopotamia have become strategic assets over which states and other actors wage conflict. Water infrastructure has been used for political and military purpose in conflicts. The conflict over Mosul Dam in Iraq has demonstrated the instability and unsustainability of large dams. It is time to think of new paradigm for water management.
Our campaign believes a paradigm shift is necessary: instead of being a source of rivalry, water should be force for peace and cooperation between all the countries and peoples of the Tigris-Euphrates basin. We advocate for safe access to water for all the people of Iraq, and policies that secure the sustainable and equitable use of water for all those who live in the Mesopotamian region and for the coming generations. Our advocacy and awareness activities involve all relevant actors: local communities, civil society organizations, media, authorities, academics, research centres and others.
To provide a network where civil society organizations from Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria and international civil society organizations can mobilize together, express their solidarity and exchange knowledge and experiences to work on our objectives together.