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Minister: Restoration of biodiversity underway in Karabakh

29 July 2022 [14:29] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Sabina Mammadli

Azerbaijan continues taking measures in order to rehabilitate the biodiversity of Azerbaijan's Karabakh and East Zangezur economic regions, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Mukhtar Babayev said.

He made the remarks in an interview with the EUobserver, a Brussels-based online newspaper.

“First, the territory has to be cleared of land mines, which is painstaking and time-consuming work. But last month we were able to release tiny Brook Trout (Salmo trutta fario) into the Basitchay and Hakari rivers in Zangilan. We also planted chinar saplings in Basitchay State Nature Reserve in an attempt to replace the rare Oriental Plane trees that felled during the occupation. These are small steps but symbolize our resolve to restore the biodiversity of this stunning region,” the minister noted.

Further, Babayev stated that the country is rebuilding its settlements as "smart" cities and villages and creating a green energy zone within the framework of "Azerbaijan 2030: National Priorities for Socio-economic Development".

“Electricity will be generated by solar, wind, and small hydropower plants. Our target is to create a net zero emission zone in the liberated territories by 2050,” he shared.

Additionally, the minister brought attention to the water pollution in the liberated territories committed during the Armenian occupation.

Specifically, talking about the Okhchu River, Babayev emphasized that it is polluted with heavy metals and hazardous substances from copper and molybdenum mines in Armenia, operated by international companies.

“I've called on the international community to help stop this pollution, but with no result as yet. When our displaced people finally return to their homes, it's crucial that they live in a safe environment,” he stressed.

According to the minister, today Azerbaijan is facing water shortages and water pollution, due to the fact that almost 70 percent of freshwater resources are formed outside the country.

“A more effective exchange of information and coordinated actions with the neighbors would strengthen your resilience to some of the impacts of climate change. No country can cope with these challenges alone,” he added.


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