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MAY 26, 2004
Contact: Joe Pally
Tel: 1-914-360-3777

Iraq’s Ministry of Environment Takes Final Step Toward Sovereignty

Baghdad -- Today Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Oster on behalf of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) congratulated the Iraqi Minister of Environment, Mr. Abdul Rahman Sideeq Kareem, for his Ministry’s important advance on the road to sovereignty. Today’s transfer is part of the full transfer of control over Iraq’s ministries to the Iraqi people.

“Mr. Minister, yours is the smallest of the ministries, but none is more important. Your fellow citizens look to you to protect them, protect the air they breathe, the water they drink. I know their confidence is not misplaced,” stated Lt. Gen. Oster. “The Ministry of the Environment staff is highly competent and will do well. But you should know that your friends in the Coalition stand ready to assist you as you step out to meet the challenge of keeping Iraq’s environment safe for generations yet unborn.”

This transition has extra significance since the Ministry of Environment was created by a resolution passed by the Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) and signed by CPA Administrator, Ambassador L. Paul Bremer on September 3, 2003. This special emphasis on Iraq’s environmental quality stands in stark contrast to the abuse and neglect of the former regime.

In his speech today the Minister said, “We look towards a bright future as we continue to train our staff inside and outside of Iraq, enforce monitoring and compliance, revise our environmental regulations and legislation, and support the role of media in environmental awareness. We relentlessly strive to make Iraqis aware of their environment and are determined and have full confidence that we will bring Iraqi citizens in harmony with a clean and sustainable environment.”

The Iraqi Ministry of Environment has been successfully transitioned to full sovereignty having developed short and long-term strategic plans, a budget and an administrative reorganization. Fundamental management systems have been put in place and a system of checks and balances has been implemented to deter and root out corruption.

Under the leadership of Mr. Abdul Rahman Sideeq Kareem along with his dedicated staff and CPA Advisors, Dr. Ed Theriot and Mr. Timothy Krawczel, the Ministry of Environment has taken essential first steps in repairing and improving Iraq’s environmental concerns with a number of notable results:

• A comprehensive survey of drinking water has been conducted in all 15 governates; results are now under examination in MoE laboratories and will be available soon.

• MoE legal staff has drafted the Environmental Protection Law which is now under review by the State Consultative Council.

• MoE has established Councils for Environmental Cooperation in each governate, organized in such a way as to involve governors in the process.

If you have any questions, please email Joe Pally at

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