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UNEP to assess ecological restoration of Azerbaijan's liberated territories

18 March 2022 [13:14] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Sabina Mammadli

A group from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has visited Azerbaijan to conduct an assessment mission to aid in the process of ecological restoration of liberated territories.

This was discussed at a regular meeting of Azerbaijan's working group on environmental issues of the Interdepartmental Center under the Coordination Headquarters, which was established to centrally resolve issues in Azerbaijani territories liberated from Armenian occupation during the 2020 Second Karabakh War.

Along with UNEP members, representatives of the relevant state structures represented in the working group attended the meeting.

UNEP’s other objectives are to study the Azerbaijani government’s plans for the restoration of ecosystems in the territories affected by the Karabakh conflict, to identify areas for UNEP support, and to collect information directly from sources related to the ecological restoration needs.

At the meeting, the working group members conducted a comparative assessment of the current situation regarding forest resources, fauna, and flora, specially protected natural areas, water resources, mineral deposits, soils in the liberated territories with the pre-occupation period.

Later, presentations were made on the "smart village" project and the "Green Energy Zone Concept", as well as monitoring of the liberated territories based on satellite images, and the films were shown.

The working group was also informed about the agricultural work, including the work on degraded lands, implemented in the liberated territories.

The Azerbaijani Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry also organized a visit of the expert group to the Karabakh and East Zangazur economic regions, including Aghdam, Jabrayil, Zangilan, Shusha cities, Aghali, Vanadli, Sarigishlag, and Shafibayli villages (Zangilan region), the villages of Ishigli, Dovlatyarli and Gajar (Fuzuli region), as well as Hadrut and Sugovushan settlements.

During the visit, the mission participants observed the consequences of environmental crimes committed by Armenia in the previously occupied territories.

Meanwhile, presidential aide Hikmat Hajiyev discussed with Bruno Pozzi, director of Europe Office of UNEP, the latter's field mission to the liberated lands.

"With Bruno Pozzi, we discussed UNEP field mission to liberated lands, including Jabrayil, Fuzuli, Zangilan, Hadrut, and Shusha to assess the environmental situation. 30 years long military occupation of Armenia accompanied with vast ecological damage", Hajiyev tweeted.

Armenia’s three-decade occupation of Azerbaijani territories extensively damaged the ecosystem, wildlife, and natural resources in and around the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region. Armenians also resorted to large-scale acts of ecological terror in regions they had to leave under the trilateral November peace deal that stipulated the return of Azerbaijan’s occupied territories.

Armenian-Azerbaijani clashes erupted for the second time in 2020, when Armenian forces stationed in occupied Azerbaijani territory targeted Azerbaijani civilian settlements and military positions, resulting in civilian and military casualties. Azerbaijan launched a six-week counter-offensive operation in the early hours of September 27. The operation resulted in the liberation of occupied Azerbaijani territory.

Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement brokered by Russia on November 10, 2020, bringing the two countries' war to an end. The Azerbaijani army declared victory over the Armenian forces. The signed agreement required Armenia to withdraw its troops from the occupied Azerbaijani territory.


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