By Nigar Orujova
Leyla Aliyeva, the founder and head of IDEA Public Association, highlighted the association’s activity, especially its initiatives in the protection and revival of species of endemic fauna in Azerbaijan.
The statement was made at the meeting in Baku between Leyla Aliyeva, Vice President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation with Professor David Macdonald, Director of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, and Dawn Burnham, a project manager with WildCRU.
IDEA is implementing large-scale local and international projects to protect the environment and to promote innovative approaches toward solving environmental problems.
Commenting on the news of the killing of a leopard in Astara region, in early October, Aliyeva stressed this accident once again confirmed the significance of strengthening the protection of this unique type of fauna.
IDEA, along with the international and local partners, is working on a project entitled ‘Protection of the number of leopards.’
Leopards are among the rarest and most endangered animals in the world and are included in the Red List of endangered species of the world. The number of Caucasian leopards is less than 1,000, and their numbers total around 25 in the southwestern part of the Caucasus region, on the border between Azerbaijan and Iran.
In Azerbaijan, they inhabit the Talysh Mountain, and the Zangazur, Karabakh and Nakhchivan mountain areas. The country has adopted different measures to save this unique animal in the past five years.
Professor David Macdonald, for this part, said he was aware and applauded the activity of the IDEA.
He said that the WildCRU carried out projects on exploring and protecting the animal species faced with the threat of extinction in the six continents of the world.
“The WildCRU over the 30 years turned the leading scientific-research Centre of the world in the wildlife field,” he noted.
The sides discussed prospects of cooperation between IDEA and Oxford University. The meeting has reached an agreement on giving Azerbaijani students the opportunity to study biodiversity at Oxford University.
Macdonald, a world-renowned expert on the protection of biodiversity, has held a number of meetings during his visit to Azerbaijan.
He also met with Azerbaijan's Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Huseyngulu Bagirov and familiarized himself with the state policy carried out in the field of environmental protection in the country.
Professor Macdonald also delivered a lecture at ADA University on the protection of biodiversity.
He touched upon the issues related to biodiversity, works done in this area, problems of biodiversity protection, briefed the participants on the activities of WildCRU, particularly the projects the organization implemented in various countries.
Founded by Professor David Macdonald in 1986 the WildCru is considered the world's largest institution specialized in nature conservation. WildCru aims to undertake original research on aspects of fundamental biology relevant to solving practical problems of wildlife conservation and environmental management, and thus to underpin policy formation and public debate of the many issues that surround the conservation of wildlife and its habitats.
Currently, the WildCRU includes over 50 researchers working on projects that range from the impact of trophy hunting on lions to that of rabies of Ethiopian wolves.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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