Ecology Minister: More than 460 plant species grow on Azerbaijan's occupied lands
By Laman Ismayilova
A video conference timed to the International Year of Plant Health has been held in Baku.
The United Nations General Assembly declared 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). The year is a once in a lifetime opportunity to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and boost economic development.
Azerbaijani Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Mukhtar Babayev addressed the video conference, organized by Azerbaijan Food Security Agency, Azertag reported.
The Minister of Ecology provided insight into Azerbaijan's rich biodiversity and natural resources. He stressed that the climatic changes taking place in the world also affect Azerbaijan.
In his speech, Mukhtar Babayev stressed the decrease in the number of snow and rainy days, unequal rainfall distribution and warm winters.
The Minister noted that the study of this impact can be carried out in cooperation with both international organizations and with neighboring countries.
He pointed out that Azerbaijan has joined most of the conventions in the region. The country has joined 20 conventions in the environmental sphere.
Unfortunately, regional cooperation in the Caucasus may not be complete.
"For almost thirty years, Armenian aggression towards Azerbaijan and the occupation of Azerbaijani territories prevented a detailed study of plants and their habitat in the country. More than 460 plant species are growing in the occupied territories alone. Nearly 70 of them are endemic plants that do not grow anywhere in the world under natural conditions. Over the years, we have lost the opportunity to conduct very valuable research. We are confident that in the near future we will be able to conduct research on the liberated lands," the Minister said.
Mukhtar Babayev noted that the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources in partnership with the National Academy of Sciences and other institutions, has begun work on the third edition of the Red Book.
"Both field work and research will be carried out on plants on the liberated lands in cooperation with the relevant departments. In addition, one of the areas of research is minerals and natural resources. They have also not been studied for a long time, and therefore it is important to study our natural resources, water resources and their impact on plants," Babayev said.
"There were 24 species of fauna and 69 species of flora included in the IUCN Red List in specially protected natural areas stretching 43,000 hectares under the occupation of Armenian troops - Besitchay and Garagol state natural reserves, Arazboyu, Lachin, Gubadli and Dashalti state natural preserves, most of which have been destroyed," he added.
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