Under instructions of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the construction of a residential building in “Ovchular Evi” area on Metbuat Avenue, Yasamal District, has been halted because the building company illegally cut down 54 trees and completely destroyed a green space at the site. According to a placard installed in the construction site, “Boyuk Plaza” residential and shopping center was being constructed there. But the building company violated the existing laws and illegally cut down trees in the area using machinery. This caused serious concern of the people living in adjacent buildings. These violations of law and the cutting down of trees in the construction site provoked a sharp reaction from President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, who ordered to immediately halt the construction work and investigate the issue.
The Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources inspected the area on the Metbuat Avenue, Yasamal District, and drew up a report on the cutting down of trees. A 130,000 manat fine was levied against the company, and an investigation was launched into the case.
Destruction of the existing green spaces and the illegal cutting down of trees despite the measures being taken to create green areas and improve the ecological situation and ongoing tree-planting campaigns is absolutely unacceptable.
President Ilham Aliyev stressed unacceptability of the illegal cutting down of trees, and emphasized the importance of taking serious measures against these violations and holding those who do this accountable. President Ilham Aliyev said:
“We pay constant attention to the issues relating to ecological situation. But what concerns the public and myself is the cutting down of trees. This should be stopped. I think that we should apply a more serious accountability here. The cutting down of trees should be completely stopped. Only in exceptional cases and only on the basis of a conclusion of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources can a tree be cut down or transplanted somewhere. This is why I have repeatedly expressed my opinion on these issues. I can say that the situation is relatively more positive in comparison with the previous years. But we have not fully achieved what we want. People come at night, illegally cut down trees and level a place in order to build a house. This is dishonesty, this is a disgrace, this is a crime. Therefore, appropriate authorities should make proposals, we should take more serious action against those who cut down trees. They should be held accountable. Once again I reiterate that not a single tree in the city can be cut down without permission, conclusion of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources. This is my final warning.” (Excerpt from the closing speech of President of Ilham Aliyev made on 13 April 2014 at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers dedicated to the results of the first quarter of the year and future tasks.)