Baku, March 12, 2014 – the Minister of Culture and Tourism (MCT) of Azerbaijan held a round table, “Green World”, in the V. Korolyenko City Central Library, to discuss youth participation in forestry activities. Topics covered included the protection of the forests and sustainable forest management in Azerbaijan. Alongside representatives from the Ministry of Education (MoE), Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources (MENR), Binagadi District Library and the European Union funded FLEG II (ENPI East) Program, schoolchildren from Baku City Secondary School #3 and members of the “Eco-club” participated in the meeting.
Several speakers introduced topics to the meeting. The senior consultant of MoE’s Education and Extra-Curricular institutions’ department, Elmir Ali-zade, focused on working within the framework of Azerbaijani Law with “Ecological education and awareness of the population”. The Director of the MoE’s Ecological Education and Practice Center, Ali Shukurov, gave an overview of schoolchildren’s greenery activities, the basics of the young foresters’ movement and the history of the establishment of “Eco-club” in the City Central Youth Library. Participants also discussed the role of libraries in the promotion of ecological knowledge among the population.
Docent on Environmental department in the Baku State University, Mr. Allahverdi Dolkhanov extensively explored the current status of the Azerbaijani forestland, ecological problems and activities carried out in the expansion of forest-covered territories. The Program’s Country Coordinator in Azerbaijan, Mr. Azer Garayev, and Program’s Forest Education Consultant informed on public awareness activities and new publications developed within the framework of the Program. They noted an increased interest among the youth in the forest-related issues. A special presentation was then given, particularly popular with the audience, featuring activities implemented by the young foresters’ groups, the joint initiative of the FLEG II, Forest Development Department of MENR and MoE’s Ecological Education and Practice Center. These groups currently operate in areas close to the forests in Azerbaijan.
Discussions continued with a presentation from the members of the “Eco-club”, regarding specially protected areas, and rare forest flora and fauna. School students demonstrated their passion and love for forest biodiversity in the poems “Karabakh”, “Khari-Bulbul” and a number of others, a non-conventional protest against forest-related threats. During the discussions, greenery activities were proposed as a part of the newly launched “Green Azerbaijan” month.
In closing, the tutorials “Establishment of the school-based forestry” and “Basics of the sustainable forest management in Azerbaijan”, and the poster “Life of the Forest”, developed by the FLEG II Program’s Team in Azerbaijan, were circulated among the participants.
“Eco-club” is a joint initiative of the MoE’s Ecological Education and Practice Center and MCT’s City Central Youth Library. Members of the club regularly organize meetings with the scholars, poets and writers covering ecological topics.