April 5, 2013

Inauguration of the 7th “Protection of the Environment” International Project Olympiad

The 7th "Protection of Environment " International Project Olympiad  (Inepo-Eurasia) devoted to the 90th jubilee  of national leader Heydar Aliyev was inaugurated at the Heydar Aliyev Sports and Concert Complex, April 5.

Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva attended the inauguration.

Leyla Aliyeva addressed the ceremony.


Address by Leyla Aliyeva:

- Dear Friends.

Esteemed Guests.

Ladies and Gentlemen.

I’m pleased to welcome you to Azerbaijan!

I would like to thank the organizers of the 7th “Protection of the Environment” International Project Olympiad for their intensive work and  valuable contribution.

The fact that this event is being held in a strategic place, a crosspoint of Europe, Asia and Near East, a country with rich natural resources is worth of special esteem.

Azerbaijan is known not only for its contributions to Europe’s energy safety, but also rich history and culture combining the Eastern wisdom and Western progress.

Today, by implementing a series of initiatives, our country has improved its ecological condition and supported the neighbouring countries in this field.

We are the leading country of the region and our environmental policy is aimed at efficient use of natural resources, their production and consumption.

Dear Friends, we have recently entered a new century with serious challenges such as social incoherence, increase in violence and exploitation.

The truth that we do not want to accept shows that majority of us think of ourselves, rather than the generations following us. We sometimes demonstrate such an act as if we were not part of the nature. We think that we are sitting in the centre of the nature and controlling it, rather than thinking that we have settled in it and are part of it. By this approach, it is easy to predict occurrence of global tragedies in future.

Therefore, our struggle for the good of the future should rely on the basics of ecological education at secondary and higher schools. The youth, which our future is dependent on, is now more educated, civilized and professional.

Ladies and gentlemen, with 9 climate zones of 11, Azerbaijan  is a country enjoying magnificent nature and rich biodiversity. We believe that the time has come to preserve the nature for future generations.

It has been already two years since we started the IDEA (International Dialogue for Environmental Action)  international public enlightenment campaign. This campaign has carried out a series of works both in the field of protection of environment and youth policy. The slogan of our campaign “Mobilization of the youth force to seek global environmental balance” allows us to direct our endeavours to youth and see them as a primary means in changing the attitude to the environment.

Last year, within the framework of the IDEA Environmental  Campaign, the Resource Centre  at the State Management Academy under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan was opened. This centre has turned into a home for those wishing to create, preserve and enlighten. We have witnessed the difference the IDEA Recourse Centre  created trough innovation, management and active events. The IDEA campaign for the first time organized, in association with UN Environment Program, a “Green Week” in the city of Baku. 

Since the first day our campaign was formed, we have identified five animal species called “the Great Caucasian Five”- bear, eagle, wolf, gazelle and Caucasian leopard.

We have built partnership relations with young defenders of the environment not only in Azerbaijan, but also from around the world in order to expand  dialogue, enlightenment, leadership and partnership among the youth throughout the world. For example,  a partnership Memorandum has been signed between the IDEA campaign and WWF Russian Representative Office. And this allowed us to enter the Caucasian bison on the list of endangered animals. Currently we have en intention to sign such a document with Turkey’s similar organization.

I would like to note that during the last 10 years our country has done a great deal of work towards preservation of the Caucasian leopard. Being one of the unique species of the region, this animal has been seen in two  national parks of Azerbaijan. Nevertheless, for long years they had not been observed anywhere. After seeing such a rare and endangered animal in Azerbaijan, our primary task will be to ensure the protection and safe living of this and other rare living species.

We have made a series of achievements in enlightenment projects aimed at protection of the ecological environment of this region, in particular, of Azerbaijan. Our education and training project “IDEA for Green Azerbaijan” has improved enlightenment in environmental issues and strengthened theoretical and practical knowledge. Our trainers have held trainings for eight thousand schoolchildren in over 20 cities of Azerbaijan to teach a friendly approach to the environment. I take pride to say that following the initiative of our campaign, since the next education year, lessons associated with the environment have been included in the curriculum for secondary schools.

Our activity is not confined to only enlightenment programs. This spring our partners from Lithuania, Russia, the Great Britain, Italy and Kyrgyzstan  will build bird nests in parks in their capitals. This project will once more demonstrate the unity for protection of the environment.

Dear Friends we have to admit one fact being clear to everyone that we are living in a planet dominated by human. Increase in the number of population and use if natural resources is changing the Earth in an irrevocable fashion. Through agriculture, fishing, industry, tourism and international trade, people have changed our planet in an unbelievable manner.

While value of natural resources can be measured in money, value of clean air, natural landscape and the disturbed ecological system can not be measured in any currency. They are priceless.

I have positive confidence in future. Mastering knowledges about the nature and its protection, today’s generation is capable of preventign perils that may arise for the future generation.

We all have to do our utmost in this matter. Safety of our planet, its happiness and future are dependent on the execution of projects demonstrated at the Olympiad. We have to join efforts to protect all segments of our planet such as clean air, drinking water, safe food products etc., in one word,  the world we are going to hand over to our children.

I would like to wish all the participants every success and say that I support their endeavours.

Thank you very much.

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