Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Iraq marshes(Biblical Eden) can be partially restored
Financial Times(subscription) ^

Posted on 02/21/2005 7:04:50 AM PST by Alex Marko

The fabled marshes of Mesopotamia, largely destroyed by Saddam Hussein in one of the worst pieces of ecological vandalism in recent history, can be partially restored, scientists said on Sunday.

The first scientific assessment of the marshes in southern Iraq, al considered by some to have been the Biblical location of the Garden of Eden, was presented to the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Washington.

Saddam's drainage programme - accompanied by the persecution and forced relocation of the Marsh Arabs who had lived there for 5,000 years - reduced the wetlands to 7 per cent of their original 20,000 sq km area. But some of the former marshland is already recovering, following the actions of local people who broke down Saddam's dikes and dams after his regime fell in 2003.

The study by US, Canadian and Iraqi scientists showed a surprising rapid return of plants and wildlife to the areas that have been reflooded by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. "The quality of the river water turns out to be much higher than many people had expected," said Curtis Richardson of Duke University in North Carolina, the study leader.

"Immediately after [the overthrow of Saddam] we saw just a dozen birds in the marshes," Prof Richardson said. "A year later, there were hundreds and now they are talking about many thousands."

The marshes were once an important resting point for waterfowl migrating between Siberia and Africa. The local otter species, which survived in the small area of the marshes along the Iranian border that were not drained, is also making a come-back.

Barry Warner, a botanist at the University of Waterloo in Canada, said: "There are encouraging signs that a vibrant and healthy plant community will re-establish itself in the newly wetted areas."

Because the marshes were drained only recently - mainly during the 1990s as Saddam took revenge on the Shia Marsh Arabs for their failed insurrection after the first Gulf War - many desiccated areas retain a large and viable seedbed.

But the scientists said a sustained international effort would be needed to support Iraqis' efforts to turn the current ad-hoc flooding into a sustainable long-term revival. Peter Reiss, director of the US Agency for International Development's marshland restoration project, said: "Within Iraq the destruction of the marshes has become a symbol of the oppression by Saddam's regime."

Most Iraqis support restoration, but there is no consensus about how much of the marshes to restore permanently given the competing demands for scarce water. Prof Richardson said 30 per cent would be a reasonable target.

Plans by Turkey and Iran to take more water from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers also pose a long-term threat to marshland restoration.

Even the Marsh Arabs have somewhat ambivalent attitudes about restoration of the wetlands. Their population, estimated at 350,000 in 1950, is now little more than 100,000, none of whom are living in their original homes, Mr Reiss said. Their traditional way of life, documented by Wilfred Thesiger, Gavin Maxwell and other authors, was based on fishing, water buffalo herding and reed cutting. This is virtually extinct today and most of the remaining Marsh Arabs are impoverished sedentary farmers. But according to Mr Reiss, many of them feel it will be impossible to recreate their way of life and would prefer outside investment in conventional agriculture.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: eden; environment; gardenofeden; iraq; marsh; marsharabs; mesopotamia; saddam
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200201-219 next last

1 posted on 02/21/2005 7:04:51 AM PST by Alex Marko
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Alex Marko

If Iraq was once a part of the Garden of Eden, then the place has sure gone to hell in a handbasket....


2 posted on 02/21/2005 7:06:55 AM PST by Lurking2Long
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alex Marko
You would think this action alone would make Saddam a villain and Bush a hero to the environmental nuts...
3 posted on 02/21/2005 7:14:45 AM PST by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - They want to die for Islam, and we want to kill them.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alex Marko

I hope this is possible.


4 posted on 02/21/2005 7:14:46 AM PST by JesseJane (Don't Fear the FReeper!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alex Marko

Where are the "Greenies"? How did they allow this to happen? They need to get in there and fix the problem!! I am sure the "insurgents" will quake in their boots when the "Greenies" appear.


5 posted on 02/21/2005 7:16:30 AM PST by Virginia Queen (Virginia Queen)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2banana

environmental nuts = lefty democrats or greens, thus oppose Bush for the sake of it and support all that are opposed by Bush.


6 posted on 02/21/2005 7:17:23 AM PST by William of Orange (Jerome Corsi: "Mullah Ali'Gore-ah is very proud of his new Bin Laden beard.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Alex Marko
Closed for repairs.

7 posted on 02/21/2005 7:20:28 AM PST by evets (God bless president George W. Bush)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alex Marko

Bush, evil anti-environment CONSERVATIVE, saves the marshes. I wonder if you'll find this article on DU?


8 posted on 02/21/2005 7:24:09 AM PST by marsh_of_mists
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alex Marko

Maybe we could plant a new tree of knowledge of good and evil.


9 posted on 02/21/2005 7:24:22 AM PST by shekkian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: shekkian

> Maybe we could plant a new tree of knowledge of good and evil.


Oooh! Ooooh!! Can we then berate anyone who learns from it?


10 posted on 02/21/2005 7:27:19 AM PST by orionblamblam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Alex Marko

>considered by some to have been the Biblical location of the Garden of Eden

I have a question about this that has always bugged me. For the sake of arguement, assume that the whole Eden/Noah/Moses/etc. storyline is Absolute Fact. Well... if Noah floated around for, what, a year or more on a flooded Earth, what are the chances that he would land anywhere near where he started off? Could not Eden just as easily have been Newark?


11 posted on 02/21/2005 7:29:36 AM PST by orionblamblam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Alex Marko

A restored marshland would be one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Ecotourists would love it, and it could be a model for similar projects the world over.

I wonder how the world's various Green Parties would feel about the liberation of Iraq if this happened?


12 posted on 02/21/2005 7:32:08 AM PST by Piranha
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: orionblamblam
Newark? You mean right off the Garden State Parkway? I see where you're going with this.
13 posted on 02/21/2005 7:33:38 AM PST by Piranha
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: 2banana
You would think this action alone would make Saddam a villain and Bush a hero to the environmental nuts...

That would presume that the environmental nuts actually CARED about the environment.

They don't let facts don't get in their way. It would be too confusing for their drug addled, extreme leftist brains.

14 posted on 02/21/2005 7:34:12 AM PST by ohioWfan (W.........STILL the President!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Piranha; orionblamblam
And that would explain to those of us outside of New Jersey, why in the world it is called the GARDEN State.

You guys are ON to something here..........

15 posted on 02/21/2005 7:36:14 AM PST by ohioWfan (W.........STILL the President!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Darkchylde

ping


16 posted on 02/21/2005 7:36:35 AM PST by DJ MacWoW ("Are you cops? FBI" bad guy, "I'm currently unemployed" Tony Almeida of 24)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lurking2Long
If Iraq was once a part of the Garden of Eden, then the place has sure gone to hell in a handbasket....

In the summer here, we say that it's sort of like Hell must be...barren, dusty and hot as....well, Hell.

17 posted on 02/21/2005 7:37:03 AM PST by Allegra ("They Just Love to Walk in the Middle of the Road!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Lurking2Long

The area from The mouth of the Euphrates to Damascus to the Jordan River valley used to be called the fertile crescent until the poor farming practices of the natives combined with the resurgence of Arab pastoral practices after the Islamic conquests deforested the land, drying it up and making it into a desert. If you have ever seen photos of Israel when it was part of the Ottoman Empire before extensive Jewish immigration you will see how much of a craphole the place was. Now after years of reforestation and modern farming practices, that area is in much better shape.


18 posted on 02/21/2005 7:39:03 AM PST by nuke rocketeer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: ohioWfan
That would presume that the environmental nuts actually CARED about the environment.

They don't care about the environment; they care about leftism.

20 posted on 02/21/2005 7:46:48 AM PST by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Lurking2Long

It's biblical!


21 posted on 02/21/2005 7:47:40 AM PST by dcnd9
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Mathemagician

> The question is impossible to answer, because no information is available about prevailing ocean currents during the flood.

Ah, but there's a problem. If the account is literal fact, then the Creationists would be right and the topography of the world was altered drastically... the Grand Canyon was carved, the continents and mountains raised, the seabeds sunk, etc. There's nothing sedate about this. The Ark woulda got blowed all over hell and gone.


22 posted on 02/21/2005 7:49:30 AM PST by orionblamblam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Mathemagician

If you change "Moses" to "Noah" I agree with your post. :o)


23 posted on 02/21/2005 7:51:18 AM PST by ohioWfan (W.........STILL the President!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Alex Marko
But the scientists said a sustained international effort would be needed to support Iraqis' efforts to turn the current ad-hoc flooding into a sustainable long-term revival.

Scientist-speak for "we need grant money".

As big of an environment wrecker as Saddam was you'd think the Greenies would have marched on Baghdad themselves but I guess hating America comes first. Should I wait for them to thank President Bush for saving the marshes?

24 posted on 02/21/2005 7:51:30 AM PST by Reagan is King (The modern definition of 'racist' is someone who is winning an argument with a liberal.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #25 Removed by Moderator

To: orionblamblam
But as a typical anti-Creationist, you ignore the power of the Creator to do as He wills.

(That explains the sarcasm/cynicism of your first post).

26 posted on 02/21/2005 7:52:39 AM PST by ohioWfan (W.........STILL the President!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: nw_arizona_granny; Quix
Plans by Turkey and Iran to take more water from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers also pose a long-term threat to marshland restoration.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This could get real interesting not just to the marshland but the whole area.
27 posted on 02/21/2005 7:55:21 AM PST by DAVEY CROCKETT (Character exalts Liberty and Freedom, Righteous exalts a Nation.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mr Ramsbotham
Exactly my point.

Just like leftists don't really care about human rights. Otherwise they would have been on the bandwagon to liberate the brutally oppressed Iraqis, and not be living in a land of make believe where they say the Iraqis were peacefully flying kites until the bad old American soldiers came and killed them.........

They don't care a thing about anything but power and leftist extremist ideology.

28 posted on 02/21/2005 7:55:53 AM PST by ohioWfan (W.........STILL the President!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: orionblamblam

Well, a lot of archaeological evidence shows that the Bible was reasonably accurate. We know that modern western civilization got its start in that region (I regard Genesis as describing the beginnings of modern man, the end of a very long process) and many cultures from the region describe a cataclysmic flood that covered the entire world known to the people there.


29 posted on 02/21/2005 8:04:47 AM PST by Squawk 8888 (End dependence on foreign oil- put a Slowpoke in your basement)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: orionblamblam
Genesis 2:10-14

10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold...13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

Can't say as I can tell whether the garden was at the top or bottom of the Tigris/Euphrates system but, according to scripture, this is why Eden was not in Jersey.

30 posted on 02/21/2005 8:09:44 AM PST by AnOldCowhand (The west is dead. You may lose a sweetheart, but you will never forget her - Charles Russell)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Alex Marko

I doubt the Garden was that confined. There were rivers running through it and all sorts of animals for Adam to name. It's a tribute to Man's basic flaws that Adam hung around the one tree, in the one area where he could get into trouble...


31 posted on 02/21/2005 8:59:21 AM PST by trebb ("I am the way... no one comes to the Father, but by me..." - Jesus in John 14:6 (RSV))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ohioWfan

> as a typical anti-Creationist, you ignore the power of the Creator to do as He wills.

Hardly. I do not ignore the power of the Cretor to create the world over a dozen billion years of stellar evolution and to create the diversity of life on Earth via evolution.

It just seems odd that God seems to favor one small, geologically and ecologically unimpressive region of the world over all others...


32 posted on 02/21/2005 8:59:53 AM PST by orionblamblam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: DAVEY CROCKETT

YUP.

Especially given that THE BIBLE speaks of such rivers being dried up in the end times. . . . that the KING OF THE EAST have an easier time invading toward Israel.

stay tuned . . .


33 posted on 02/21/2005 9:06:39 AM PST by Quix (HAVING A FORM of GODLINESS but DENYING IT'S POWER. 2 TIM 3:5)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: AnOldCowhand

> The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.


OK, fair enough. However, two things:

1: How certain are you that these are the *same* rivers, and not just re-named new ones? (Note that there is a Cairo in Illinois, a Memphis in Tennessee, a Moscow in Idaho, and several Paris' across the States.)

2: And if they *are* the same rivers, that pretty much blows the whole "the Earth was remade by the flood" arguement.


34 posted on 02/21/2005 9:12:03 AM PST by orionblamblam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Quix

> rivers being dried up ... easier time invading toward Israel.

Rivers do not present obstacles to invasions anymore. There are these things called "airplanes..."


35 posted on 02/21/2005 9:13:01 AM PST by orionblamblam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: orionblamblam

No.


36 posted on 02/21/2005 9:38:14 AM PST by Marysecretary (Thank you, Lord, for FOUR MORE YEARS!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: orionblamblam

But, the Bible suggests they'll be riding on horses.


37 posted on 02/21/2005 9:50:07 AM PST by monkeywrench
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: orionblamblam
Oooh! Ooooh!! Can we then berate anyone who learns from it?

cute.
38 posted on 02/21/2005 10:00:02 AM PST by reagan_fanatic ("Darwinism is a belief in the meaninglessness of existence" - R. Kirk)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: monkeywrench

> the Bible suggests they'll be riding on horses.

Well, good luck with that. I bet the IDF will have a fun time taking on horse-mounted cavalry with Apaches, F-16's and Merkavas.


39 posted on 02/21/2005 10:01:24 AM PST by orionblamblam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: orionblamblam
1: How certain are you that these are the *same* rivers, and not just re-named new ones? (Note that there is a Cairo in Illinois, a Memphis in Tennessee, a Moscow in Idaho, and several Paris' across the States.)

Admittedly, Scripture is silent so, no, I cannot be certain. You have me there.

2: And if they *are* the same rivers, that pretty much blows the whole "the Earth was remade by the flood" arguement.

What is remade? If the Colorado river in Arizona was once a babbling brook through verdant pastures and some 'event' turned it into what it is now, then I would say it has been remade, yet it is still the Colorado. (No that example isn't based on anyone's theories...it just works).

40 posted on 02/21/2005 10:01:47 AM PST by AnOldCowhand (The west is dead. You may lose a sweetheart, but you will never forget her - Charles Russell)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Lurking2Long

Well I don't know if the Garden of Eden was in Iraq, but if it was the place went into Babylon = confusion, since those days.


41 posted on 02/21/2005 10:04:27 AM PST by Just mythoughts
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Alex Marko

Restoring "Eden" is a noble and laudable goal, and a very intriguing one at that. Thanks for posting this!


42 posted on 02/21/2005 10:07:34 AM PST by alwaysconservative (There are choices by good people, and excuses from the rest.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: orionblamblam

I'm sure God knew about airplanes way back when he dictated those words.

I don't presume to understand their full meaning.

But, hey, !IF! you care to presume greater knowledge than God, He's likely to let you get away with such a presumption . . . for a while.


43 posted on 02/21/2005 10:07:42 AM PST by Quix (HAVING A FORM of GODLINESS but DENYING IT'S POWER. 2 TIM 3:5)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: AnOldCowhand

> If the Colorado river in Arizona was once a babbling brook through verdant pastures and some 'event' turned it into what it is now, then I would say it has been remade, yet it is still the Colorado.

Well, according to the "all the water was suspended in the sky"-type Creationists, the Earth was remarkably flat prior to the flood. Also, the Grand Canyon was carved out by the flood. As a consequence, there would have been no particluar reason or even *ability* for there to be a Colorado river of any description prior to the flood. It would have been a flat, verdant plain; any creek or stream in the area would have been wholly unrelated to the Colorado that results from the Flood tearing the Earth up and forming the mountains.

Similarly, had there been Tigris/Euphrates rivers prior to the FLood, they, too would have been unrelated to rivers post-flood, since the source and sink for the rivers woudl have been entirely different.

This is, of course, idle fantastical specualtion.


44 posted on 02/21/2005 10:09:47 AM PST by orionblamblam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: orionblamblam
It just seems odd that God seems to favor one small, geologically and ecologically unimpressive region of the world over all others...

There are certainly plenty of references indicating God does precisely that.

But, what I'm curious about and find much more odd . . . just when did you become big enough to tell God HE can't or oughten to do that? He'd likely be up for a good chuckle to but He already knows.

45 posted on 02/21/2005 10:12:00 AM PST by Quix (HAVING A FORM of GODLINESS but DENYING IT'S POWER. 2 TIM 3:5)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Just mythoughts
The Garden of Eden is believed by many to have been in the Tigris - Euphrates river valley.

Genesis 2:8-15
8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. 11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. 13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. 14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates. 15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

You will note that one of these is said to encompass Ethiopia, which led many cartographers in the middle ages to place Ethiopia in Asia.
46 posted on 02/21/2005 10:12:31 AM PST by WindOracle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: Reagan is King

LOVE your tag!


47 posted on 02/21/2005 10:13:34 AM PST by alwaysconservative (There are choices by good people, and excuses from the rest.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Quix

> just when did you become big enough to tell God HE can't or oughten to do that?

Just when did you become big enough to tell other people not to question things?


48 posted on 02/21/2005 10:13:37 AM PST by orionblamblam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: AnOldCowhand

What that location has going for it is that its near the city of Ur(religious importance need not even be explained)


49 posted on 02/21/2005 10:17:13 AM PST by Alex Marko
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: orionblamblam

That's a pretty big leap of illogic!

I think the attitude of the heart is rather important when it comes to questioning things God has said.

And, I haven't found the attitude of the heart to be that great amongst those who seem most at odds with; most cheeky in wording about; most skeptical about the things God has said. But then, they don't seem that intimate with God's heart, either, so I guess it figures.

As to what the attitude of your heart is--God knows. But from the available evidence, I wouldn't want to bet the farm on it.


50 posted on 02/21/2005 10:18:18 AM PST by Quix (HAVING A FORM of GODLINESS but DENYING IT'S POWER. 2 TIM 3:5)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-150151-200201-219 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson