May 7, 2014

The Caucasian Biodiversity Summit took place at the Heydar Aliyev Center

On May 7, the Caucasian Biodiversity Summit was held at the Heydar Aliyev Center, following the initiative of IDEA (International Dialogue for Environmental Action) Public Association, and with the organizational support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the Heydar Aliyev Center.


Azerbaijan’s First Lady, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva, Foundation’s Vice-president, founder and head of IDEA Public Association Leyla Aliyeva, and Arzu Aliyeva attended the event.


The event was also joined by well-known international experts, representatives of a number of influential organizations, including the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Smithson Institute, London Zoology Association and Harvard University, as well as scholars from Azerbaijan.


Coordinator of the Summit Arlo Bradley informed that the Caucasian Biodiversity Summit aimed at sharing the knowledge and experience in protection of leopards and other cats, and discussion of applying the best and most efficient means in this sphere.


Arlo Bradley highly appreciated Leyla Aliyeva’s activity towards protection of the environment.


Then a documentary on protection of biodiversity in Azerbaijan was demonstrated.


Addressing the Summit, Leyla Aliyeva noted that Azerbaijan was a country of ancient traditions, rich history and culture: “Our country is situated between Europe and Asia, and embodies the Eastern wisdom and Western progress. The unique feature of our city is that the architectures of ancient Icherisheher and Maiden Tower harmonize with samples of newly constructed modern buildings. In the past, Azerbaijan was the hub of the historic Silk Way. Our geographical position has not only influenced our culture, but also our nature. 9 out of the 11 climate zones exist in Azerbaijan, and this ensures our biodiversity”.


Underscoring the significance of starting to protect the environment since the early ages, Leyla Aliyeva said she young people got together around IDEA. “Aiming to protect the environment not only in our Homeland, but also all over the world, the IDEA has implemented a number of projects during the period of its activity towards protecting the environment, including flora and fauna both in Azerbaijan and also in the region as a whole. The project “The Big Five of the Caucasus” providing for protection of 5 endangered animal species – brown bear, emperor eagle,  wolf, gazelle and the Caucasian leopard is of special significance”, - said Leyla Aliyeva.


Noting that over 3 million trees were planted within the framework of the projects implemented, Leyla Aliyeva said, apart from this, classes have been created at education establishments   on protection of the environment.


“Our primary objective is to secure rehabilitation of endangered species in the world, and their protection. Joint works are being carried out with a number of international organizations in this direction. Azerbaijan is a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature”, - said Leyla Aliyeva.


Addressing the event, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan Huseyngulu Baghyrov talked about the works done towards protecting the biodiversity in the country. The minister emphasized that President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva and Foundation’s Vice-president Leyla Aliyeva too have done a great deal of work to protect the environment, including the endangered species.


Huseyngulu Baghyrov underscored that IDEA Public Association has accomplished significant projects towards securing biodiversity, and that multilateral support is being provided in this sphere to the government’s policy.


The minister specifically emphasized the vast damage caused to the environment in the Azerbaijani lands occupied by Armenia.


Then a presentation of IDEA Public Association’s activity took place.


After the first part of the Summit, the participants of the event were informed of the joint program “STOP Cutting Down Trees!” being jointly implemented by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and IDEA Public Association aiming to solve pressing environmental issues and strengthening environmental control among the population.


The exhibition “Africa’s Wildlife” was organized within the framework of the Summit.




In the second part of the Summit, specialists, experts and scholars dealing with the study of the environment and wildlife from various countries thanked, in their speeches, Leyla Aliyeva for providing support to accomplishment of such significant projects, and noted that actions taken by the Azerbaijani government towards protection of forests are worth praising. 


Attendees of the Summit will travel to Gabala and get acquainted with Azerbaijan’s flora and fauna.