Baku, March 18, 2014 - The 1st Azerbaijan Environmental Forum took place in Baku. The event was organized by IDEA (International Dialogue for Environmental Action) Public Union, led by Vice President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Mrs. Leyla Aliyeva. The main aim of the Forum was to foster open discussions on the status of the environment in Azerbaijan. The Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources (MENR), Huseyngulu Baghirov, gave a broad overview outlining governmental efforts in the area of protection of the environment in Azerbaijan. Antonius Broek, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Azerbaijan, said UNDP maintained close cooperation with the country in preserving the environment. He highlighted the work of Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources and IDEA in this area.
The Forum featured several panel meetings focusing on environmental problems, waste management, biodiversity and forestry development. FLEG II (ENPI East) Program’s Country Coordinator in Azerbaijan, Azer Garayev, was among the speakers and has been invited to proceed immediately after the official opening of the Forum. In his presentation Mr. Garayev elaborated on international cooperation in the area of forest protection and development. In this context, he particularly highlighted the aims and objectives of the European Union funded FLEG II Program in Azerbaijan, underlying major achievements made during the implementation of the first phase of the Program. The presentation also illustrated the past and current status of the Azerbaijani forest sector, as well as the current projects of the EU, WB, IUCN, WWF, GIZ and FAO that are being carried out in the Azerbaijani forest sector. Activities of FLEG II approved for the 2013-2014 in Azerbaijan were described in detail. The presentation was met with the utmost interest, and upon completion of the first panel Mr. Garayev, along with the employees of the Forest Department of MENR, responded to numerous questions regarding the Program’s plans and perspectives of the forest sector development in Azerbaijan.
The Forum was concluded with the adoption of declaration.
The Forum has been attended by numerous distinguished guests representing leading environmental NGOs, international organizations, governmental officials and scholars.