Undoing Decades of Environmental Harm in Azerbaijan

Baku – A part of the Soviet Union until 1991, Azerbaijan has since independence experienced rapid economic growth. The new wealth has come with an environmental cost, adding to decades of pollution from petrochemical industries and poor agricultural practices of Soviet times.

Now the government has made environmental protection an issue, and has begun incorporatingsustainable development principles into state policies.

“Azerbaijan is already experiencing the negative impacts of climate change as witnessed by the increased number of natural phenomena which, as IOM has seen around the world, can trigger the displacementpeople,” noted IOM Chief of Mission Vladimir Gjorgjiev.

In a major environmental campaign, the Organization is renovating rural water supply systems known askahrizes, benefitting internally displaced communities, supported by the Korea International Cooperation Agency.

To call attention to deforestation and environmental degradation, a tree-planting campaign was held in the capital Baku last week.

Several hundred olive trees were planted, preempting the new National Forestry Programme 2020-2030.

“It is time to offer trees to Mother Nature, to contribute positively to the problems of the environment and climate change, and to be aware of the consequences that these changes can bring,” Gjorgjiev told attendees.

The trees were planted by representatives and staff of IOM Azerbaijan, the State Migration Service and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan. Its aim was to raise awareness of and enhance public attention to migration, environment and climate change issues as well to contribution tocontribute to the government’s green and environmental efforts in initiatives that are actively supported by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva.

For more information, please contact Ilqar Khudiyev at IOM Azerbaijan, Tel: +994 50 319 66 80,