This article originally appeared in Kurdistan 24.
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Deep in the mountainous area of the Qaradagh subdistrict, residents of a village have been following strict rules for 22 years which has played a vital role in the preservation of the nature and livelihood of the surrounding environment.
Qaradagh lies in the Kurdistan Region’s Sulaimani governorate just south of the provincial capital. The area is a popular picnic spot for people in the city during the spring and summer seasons.
The village of Sheikh Mustafa was rebuilt in 1941, and its people are busy with farming and livestock ranching.
The acts which the village prohibits include cutting down trees, smoking, and hunting—all of which are common hazards to nature’s livelihood. Drivers also have to abide by 100 percent of traffic laws.
“In 1995, I thought of prohibiting hunting, cutting down trees, and smoking,” the village’s chieftain told Kurdistan 24.
“We made it so that when people needed wood, they could take the twigs from trees instead and in return till its soil to invigorate it,” he added.
“This was strictly imposed and did not let anyone cut down trees from its trunk.”
The locals forbade hunting in the same year, and even picnickers prohibited from using rods to catch fish in the brook near the village.
This article was originally published in Kurdistan 24.