We blogged over a year ago about the re-flooding of the Iraqi marshes, but fairly briefly, and it’s great to see a long piece about this restoration process in Der Spiegel today. The slideshow which accompanies the article provides the best visual summary I’ve seen of what happened to the marshes — and their inhabitants, with their crops and livestock. I’ve put the “before” and “after” shots side-by-side below:
Apart from its inherent interest, the Der Spiegel article also gives me the excuse to mention that a detailed map of the world’s river systems has just been made available, by Bernhard Lehner at McGill University in Montréal, Canada. Is anyone keeping track of the proliferation of such global geographic dataset? Google? ESRI? The CGIAR’s Spatial Information Conundrum? Anyone?