Every precious drop: Traditional management of wetlands, wadis, and water
In Iraq, the marsh ecosystem is adapted to human management for five thousand years; maintaining the cultural resiliency and traditional knowledge of the Marsh Arab society must be prominent in restoration, social justice and equitable water management. Marsh Arab women have lost traditional knowledge of cultural and socioeconomic activities with the desertification of the marsh environment. These women have lost their way of life, the benefits derived from the goods and services provided by the marshes, and the freedom and privileges derived from living in the marsh environment. The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature woks with local communities to create a source of employment and livelihood using the Reserves’ natural beauty and wildlife. Unfortunately, availability of access to traditional plant materials and traditional management practices by Native Californians is often missing from contemporary land management and conservation practices. Retaining cultural knowledge is an important legacy for sustainable ecological restoration and conservation of biodiversity. Indigenous management models contribute to water conservation, building resiliency into both ecological and cultural health. Stakeholder groups from the basin to family and community scale need to implement programs to preserve indigenous knowledge, ancient skills and cultural heritage.