By Laman Ismayilova
Leyla Aliyeva, Vice President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, founder and head of the IDEA Public Union, has visited the Gizilaghaj National Park in south of Azerbaijan.
After getting acquainted with the park's rich fauna and flora, Leyla Aliyeva and the Ecology Minister Mukhtar Babayev discussed prospects for future development of specially protected natural areas, including coastal and marine reserves.
During the visit, Leyla Aliyeva attended a ceremony to plant Eldar pines in the national park to demonstrate support for the release of baby fish into the Small Gizilaghaj Bay of the Caspian Sea, as well as to increase the country's green and forest areas.
Founded in 2018, Gizilaghaj National Park includes the Gizilaghaj State Nature Reserve and the entire Gizilaghaj Bay. It is the first protected maritime area in the Caspian Sea. The protection of the water area of the Gizilaghaj National Park is necessary for the survival of endangered fish species around the world.
In 2019, the national park was selected as a place of hope for saving the world's waters (Hope Spot) by IDEA Public Union and the Blue Marine Foundation.
These places are ecologically unique offshore areas declared as part of Mission Blue's international conservation campaign. The "Hope Spot" campaign supports the global movement to protect the oceans and to achieve the protection of wider waters.
As it is known, in recent decades, the natural populations of fish species in the water basins of Azerbaijan have reached the point of extinction as a result of the negative effects of human activities.
In this regard, on the initiative of Leyla Aliyeva, a number of important initiatives are being implemented to protect the fauna of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus region as well as to restore the biological resources of the country's inland water basins.
One of such initiatives is the "Rich Basins" project, implemented by the IDEA Public Union and the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources since May last year.
The project aims to increase the natural population of fish species belonging to lakes and rivers in different parts of the country, reduce pollution in inland waters, and organize sustainable and consistent measures to promote legal and responsible fishing.
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