In today’s world, when we think about preserving wildlife, it’s rare that you can mix it with the continuous use of oil and gas. The negative effects of fossil fuels on nature have long been publicized in the media. Amongst the most recent was the effects of unused oil and gas, its surrounding environment and most notably the region’s water supplies.
Texas Parks & Wildlife mentioned 4 steps to implement voluntary conservation practices:
1. Start with planning
There is more general guidance in minimizing impacts of fossil fuel to natural resources in a Texas Parks and Wildlife report.
Some of the highest profile fossil fuel extraction sites in the world are Iraq in the Middle East, where power plant and pipelines were installed deep in the ground. Currently, various companies (Shell, Mitsubishi) have invested millions of dollars to work with reputable oil and gas solutions to utilize local capabilities in the country.
Unbeknown to many, the wildlife in Iraq has suffered significantly due to the operations that are now present in the country. The Asiatic Lion, Cheetahs as well as Caspian Tiger are now extinct in Iraq and the depletion of a slew of species has meant a lot of animals in the region are now deemed to be endangered.
Fossil fuel companies are solely to blame for the degeneration of the surrounding wildlife in the country. Many feel it’s the lack of human understanding as well as poverty and loosely applied laws threatening the survival of rare wildlife in Iraq and Kurdistan, according to animal protection organizations.
“Several different ministries are involved with environmental matters…but there is no unification and people are not working together. We need one ministry to oversee all environmental matters,”
said Dr. Sulaiman Tameer of Kurdistan Organization for Animal Rights Protection (KOARP).
Sulaimani activist Saravan said humans lack a further understanding of the importance of their surrounding wildlife and its effect on them. Saravan continued;
“People here say they love nature, but many have a poor understanding of all that nature encompasses. Wildlife is a part of our heritage too, but people have the wrong mentality towards wildlife and want to control it.”
Preserving our surrounding environment should be a major focus for governments. Unfortunately, in war stricken countries like Iraq, making sure the economy regains a footing has taken precedence. Only now is the region feeling the impact of its deteriorating species of animals and the toll it’s taken on its wildlife. In 2016, many feel that the government will impose stricter laws the improve standards around extraction sites to help restore some of the areas greatly impacted by the large corporations currently operating in the country.
Author: Noah Chamberlain