Azerbaijan prepares national forest program
By Ayya Lmahamad
Forests cover one-third of the planet’s land surface. Scientists consider forests one of the most important ecosystems on the planet. It is trees that make the earth habitable.
Forest watersheds contain up to 70 percent of the freshwater supply and at the same time, forests are home to 75 percent of terrestrial animal and bird species.
Forests and trees provide people with clean air. It is not a coincidence that forests are called the “lungs of the planet”. At the same time, they protect the earth from global warming.
Forests, which are located on the territory of nearly any state, are almost always complicated complex ecosystems, and it is impossible not to assess the importance of these systems in terms of their impact on the surrounding space, its restoration, and preservation.
Forests in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan has become popular all over the world for its captivating beauty, abundant natural resources, and diverse flora and fauna.
Forests occupy 11.8 percent of the entire territory of Azerbaijan and are unevenly distributed. Nearly 85 percent of the forests are in mountainous areas and only 15 percent are in the lowlands. The total forest fund of the country is 1.2m hectares.
Process of forests restoration
Each resident of Azerbaijan accounts for 0.2 hectares of green space although this figure is 0.48 hectares for other countries.
The country’s Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry has set a goal of achieving world standards for the area of forest per capita. In this regard, during the current year, the ministry intends to reforest an area of 1,050 hectares.
In Azerbaijan, during reforestation, attention is paid to mixed-type forest plantations. Terraced planting is also carried out to maximize water retention in the soil.
Moreover, tree-planting measures are taking place on a regular basis in different parts of the country.
The forests in Azerbaijan are managed on the basis of the Forest Code and the law “On Environmental Protection”.
National forest program
Azerbaijan’s Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry has prepared a national forest program, with the technical support of the representation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
The program, covering the years 2022-2030, has been already submitted for consideration to the relevant bodies.
The program also provides for large-scale reforestation in Azerbaijan’s liberated territories.
The forest belts, especially the mountain forests in the liberated territories, have been severely destroyed. Armenians damaged Azerbaijan’s nature, biodiversity, and the whole ecosystem, deliberately setting fire to hundreds of hectares of land. Azerbaijan’s natural monuments, destroyed by Armenia in the previously occupied territories, cannot be restored. Out of 230,000 hectares of forest that existed in Eastern Zangazur and Karabakh before the occupation, 54,000 hectares, that is 25 percent, had been destroyed. Mass deforestation has led to desertification and the destruction of forest ecosystems, flora, and fauna species. Due to the removal of felled valuable tree species growing in these territories, the protection of biodiversity has reached its critical limit.
The forest must be protected not only by the state but also by every inhabitant of the earth. People are part of nature and cannot exist separately. Mankind is not fully aware of the severity of the problem of coexistence in harmony with the surrounding world. Without making an effort, the ecological problems of forest areas will occupy one of the main niches in the world order.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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