The Iraqi Kurdistan Region enjoys a natural environment that differs from the rest of Iraq, characterized by mountains, valleys, rivers and forests. As a result, Iraqis flock to the Kurdistan region during the summer to escape the heat and during the winter to enjoy the snow. Yet the environment is threatened by several factors, namely neglect, sandstorms and long years of drought.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has started to recognize the importance of protecting the environment. For this purpose, it set up a ministry charged with environmental protection in 2005. Due to a reduction in the number of ministries, the ministry was made into an independent agency charged with protecting and conserving the environment, in addition to a council that consists of representatives of 14 KRG ministries.