Azerbaijan becomes most environmentally friendly country in Caucasus
Yale and Columbia Universities have released the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranking, according to which Azerbaijan has become the most successful state in the Caucasus (31st place).
Armenia occupied 37th position, Georgia – 111st. Russia improved its performance by 24%, and ranked in 32nd position, the report says. As for the other post-Soviet countries, the most successful is Estonia (8th place), Latvia – 22nd, Lithuania – 23rd, Belarus – 35th, Moldova – 55th, Kazakhstan – 69th, Kyrgyzstan – 71st, Tajikistan – 72nd, Turkmenistan – 84th and Uzbekistan – 118th.
The list is headed by Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark and Slovenia. The United States is 26th, Turkey – 99th and Iran – 105th. Somalia, Eritrea, Madagascar and Niger are at the bottom of the ranking.
The EPI rating is compiled every two years.
The head of the National Center for Ecological Forecasting, chairman of the Public Council under the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, ecologist Telman Zeynalov, in an interview with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza noted that the active work in agricultural solid waste management, which is currently under way in Azerbaijan. "Active planting work and works on landscape gardening are also under way," he added.
In addition, the expert drew attention to the fact that Azerbaijan is preparing new professionals in the field of ecology. "All universities have their own environmental departments. As the representatives of non-governmental organizations and scholars, we show them technologies to eliminate certain consequences of climate change. We do it in order to bring Azerbaijan to first place not only in the Caucasus, but also throughout the world. The inhabitants of the Caucasus live a long time, they know how to fight climate change, how to improve agricultural production and prevent its decrease," the ecologist said.
"All the work that is done in the development of regional infrastructures will benefit the country and help to eliminate further pollution in the future. Thus, about 2-5 hectares of new forest plantations are planted in each village, fruit trees are also planted in some areas," Telman Zeynalov concluded.
The chairman of the 'Green Movement of Azerbaijan', a senior researcher at the Institute of Catalysis and Inorganic Chemistry of the Azerbaijani National Academy of Sciences, Farida Huseynova, also noted the successful work of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Ecology. "Azerbaijan has increased the number of special protected areas and national parks. This activity made it possible to preserve Azerbaijani wild nature," she said.
The country pays particular attention to forests. "Azerbaijan is a sparsely wooded country, so it is actively working to restore the green belt. Everyone can join the Ministry of Environment and the International Dialogue for Environmental Action (IDEA) in their work. They plant green strips along the roads in order to provide the metropolis with oxygen. It allows Azerbaijan to become a leader," Farida Huseynova stressed.
"In addition, the State Oil Company SOCAR and other companies which operate in Azerbaijan pay great attention to the protection of nature and environmental issues. It also helps Azerbaijan to get out for some advanced positions in the environmental sphere," the chairman of the 'Green Movement of Azerbaijan' concluded.