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Natural stands: 4 000 ha at of Populus euphratica that regenerates naturally, mainly in riparian forests; mixed with willows and other shrub and understorey plants. This is the remains of the more than 20 000 ha that existed prior to 1996, when riparian forest stands were cleared and used for agriculture.

Plantations: There are no inventories of poplar and willow plantations. However it is estimated that privately owned small-scale poplar plantations exceed 5 000 ha. There are approximately 146 ha of poplar demonstration plantations, composed of many clones of Populus nigra, P.x euroamericana, P. deltoides. Other small-scale plantations, mainly of P.nigra var. thevestina are situated in the northern mountain region.

Willows are only used for reinforcing irrigation canal banks; they do not have industrial use.

The use of poplar round wood is decreasing because land suitable for poplar planting is currently used for crop production because of the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq.

Policy and legislation

The forest laws dated 1953 and 1957 are still in effect. However, certain arrangements to rent government land, originally planned for poplar plantations, to farmers for food production have been made during 1999.

Technical data

Studies about bioremediation and carbon sequestration are being carried out.

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