iMMAP Supports the Iraqi Authorities Meet their International Mine Ban Convention Obligations

With iMMAP’s contribution, the Iraqi government’s extended work plan for the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention’s Article 5 deadline received a favorable review at the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention’s Fourth Review Conference in Oslo, Norway.

The widespread of landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO), makes the republic of Iraq the most contaminated country in the world. Currently, 8.5 million people in Iraq are vulnerable to the risk of landmines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), and 1,390 Km2 of land is rendered useless solely due to landmine contamination, including agricultural land and urban areas.

In view of the severity of the contamination, in 2008, the republic of Iraq acceded to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC) to stop the use, stockpile, and transfer of Anti-Personnel (AP) Mines and to destroy the remaining AP Mines by 2018. However, this goal could not be reached because of the war against ISIS, which not only impeded the clearance activities but caused further destruction and contamination.

In this context, the Iraqi government’s commitment to the treaty entails several obligations. That includes submitting scheduled reports of their updated work plan to the Article 5 committee of the APMBC.

iMMAP Personnel presenting their findings to the National Authorities representatives

As part of the ongoing technical support project iMMAP, between June and October 2019, organized several workshops to assist the Directorate of Mine Action (DMA), the Iraqi Kurdistan Mine Action Agency (IKMAA), Ministry of Defense (MoD), and the Ministry of Finance in preparing a robust work plan for the next eight years.

iMMAP’s management team urged the stakeholders to work as one team for a better outcome and a larger impact on people’s lives.

Through the workshops, iMMAP’s technical team with the information management officers (IMOs) provided support to produce detailed statistical analyses on the survey and clearance work done in Iraq and to identify and prioritize which areas are in greatest need of assistance. They also produced reports on the Humanitarian Mine Action capacity and the funding needed to remove all known landmines in Iraq.

Moreover, iMMAP’s technical experts advised the authorities and made critical suggestions that helped to produce the work plan according to APMBC’s article 5 requirements.

Mr. Ahmed Al-Jasim, DMA plan manager, Mr. Nibras Al-Tamimi, Head of Regional Mine Action Center – North, and Mr. Khatab Omer, IKMAA plan manager, all commended iMMAP’s work on the data analysis, map production, and the overall contribution to the work plan.

iMMAP worked as one team to prepare the reports according to APMBC requirements and made major efforts in extracting and analyzing data, producing the work plan, identifying the strong and weak points of the program, and making the correct suggestions that helped to produce a successful plan.Mr. Ahmed Al-Jasim, DMA Plan Manager

iMMAP GIS team presenting the priority maps

Furthermore, iMMAP’s GIS and information management officers produced 25 maps and 34 statistical charts that reflected Iraq’s achievements in eliminating AP mines, including the land released back to the community through survey and clearance activities, and the Mine Risk Education activities carried out by other implementing partners in the past two years.

iMMAP also produced maps that showed landmine and IED contamination levels, including the newly discovered contaminated areas, and the current and projected levels of contamination based on the Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) capacity.

iMMAP provided outstanding insight for data management and acquisition, to generate professional reports and maps in the limited time we hadMr. Khatab Omer, Plan Manager at IKMAA.

Landmine Contamination in Iraq - 2019

By producing these updated maps and statistics, iMMAP enables the authorities to prioritize and plan the elimination of landmines optimally.

The maps and the information provided by iMMAP was on a high level of accuracy and well-deserving of the approval it got from the members of the article 5 committee of the convention for the prohibition of Anti-Personnel Landmines.Mr. Nibras Al-Tamimi, Head of the Regional Mine Action Center–North (RMAC-N)

According to Iraq’s APMBC work plan for the next eight years, $816 million will be required from national and international funding to free Iraq from landmines, which calls for significant humanitarian assistance. The current extent of contamination causes suffering and devastation in the lives of the Iraqi people.

Supported by the PM/WRA, iMMAP Iraq will continue to provide technical support to the Iraqi government and its partners to establish a common operating picture to task and manage landmine and explosive remnants of war (ERW) mitigation activities effectively.