We are delighted to present you with the ninth issue of Business LANDSCAPE magazine, a quarterly publication that aims to shed light on the Iraqi private sector, its challenges, developments, investments, and entrepreneurial scene and serves as a platform for the Iraqi ecosystem.
The impact of climate change in Iraq is pushing the country toward a severe crisis. Desertification, water scarcity, declining precipitation, rising temperatures, and dust storms are some of the major climate hurdles faced by Iraq. This issue is mainly focusing on a grander challenge that faces everyone in Iraq and around the world. The world has recognized the urgent need to tackle this challenge, and Iraq, despite its own set of challenges, must prioritize this pressing issue. We address how these conditions directly affect the well-being and security of its people.
This edition delves into how climate change exacerbates existing issues in vital sectors like energy, agriculture, health, water, natural systems and forests, and biodiversity. We explore how Iraq must strengthen its national capacity to combat climate change effects across various sectors and levels, with a particular focus on vulnerable areas.
Our investigation uncovers the consequences of climate change, revealing how various population groups struggle to maintain basic living conditions. Thousands of farmers have been forced to abandon their rural areas in search of better economic opportunities in urban centers.
Additionally, we examine the rapid urbanization, particularly in Baghdad, and its inadequate planning, leading to an economic housing bubble that encroaches upon the capital's green spaces, magnifying the impact of climate change. This urban expansion disregards energy consumption and its detrimental effects, with residential buildings alone consuming over 60% of generated power in Iraq. Cooling loads contribute to approximately 42% of energy consumption, and heating adds another quarter. Thus, implementing efficient cooling systems and passive design strategies becomes crucial for reducing energy consumption.
The agricultural sector finds itself on the front lines of the battle against climate change, grappling with extreme weather events, water scarcity, and soil degradation. We take a look at how an innovation hub, QAF Lab, is introducing sustainable agricultural practices that can foster a resilient agriculture sector.
Furthermore, we shed light on the often overlooked tourism and ecotourism sectors, which are closely intertwined with climate-related challenges. Droughts have caused the disappearance of ecological landmarks, such as lakes and marshes in southern Iraq, hindering the potential of ecotourism as a source of employment, business opportunities, and recreation.
To bolster Iraq's preparedness in combating climate change, KAPITA hosted a conference focused on the findings of the Climate Change Stakeholders Mapping research. We provide an insightful overview of the conference, which featured panels discussing policy and decision-making, awareness and information dissemination, and technological transformations for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
In our series of interviews, we had the privilege of speaking with Mr. Majid Jafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum—a leader in the oil and gas sector. He shares Crescent Petroleum's unwavering commitment to sustainability and the steps they have taken to reduce their carbon footprint. As well as the developments, challenges, opportunities, and future potential of the oil and gas industry in Iraq.
We also had the honor of interviewing His Excellency Mr. Mark Bryson-Richardson, the British Ambassador to Iraq. He discusses the issues the British Embassy is addressing in Iraq, their efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change, and their support for renewable energy projects.
Lastly, we had an enlightening conversation with Mr. Maythem Saad, Founder and CEO of Berhyah, who shared the story behind Berhyah, the challenges of operating in an import-saturated market, and the impact of climate change on food manufacturing businesses.
We invite you to immerse yourself in this comprehensive edition of Business LANDSCAPE magazine as we aim to raise awareness, foster discussions, and inspire action in the face of the climate change challenges that Iraq and the world at large are confronting.