The Cabinet of Ministers has given authority to sign an agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on supporting the project for national planning of biodiversity in Azerbaijan in the framework of the strategic plan for 2011-2020 of the UN Convention 'On Biological Diversity'.
As stated in the text of the order, the authority to sign the agreement on behalf of the Government of Azerbaijan was given to the Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Huseyngulu Baghirov.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is instructed to inform the UNDP of given authorities.
As of August 2012, the total amount of grants disbursed by Azerbaijan from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for implementation of four projects in the field of biodiversity since 2010 was $1.5 million.
The UN General Assembly declared the period 2011-2020 as the Decade on Biodiversity, in connection with the tenth Conference of States Parties of the UN Convention on Biodiversity in Nagoya, whereby Japan adopted a new strategic plan for the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems. Earlier the UN declared 2010 as the year of biodiversity.
As part of the new strategic plan and in particular the governments of the parties to the Convention have agreed to increase the territory of national parks on land from the current 12.5 per cent to 17 per cent, as well as to expand the area of marine reserves to 10 per cent (currently it is less than one per cent).
The UN Convention on Biological Diversity came into force in late 1993. In 2002, the Conference of the Parties adopted the Strategic Plan including the 2010 target to significantly reduce the rate of species extinction to be achieved by that year.
However, as recognised by the UN in its Global Biodiversity Outlook report, mankind could not achieve the goal. As stated in the report, none of the 21 more specific tasks within the overall goal set in 2002, has been resolved, and about 20 per cent of the states which have committed themselves to achieving it, have openly declared their failure.
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established in 1991 as a financial mechanism of the major multilateral agreements on environmental protection. The GEF is the world's largest sponsor of projects aimed at providing global environmental benefits by supporting national initiatives in the field of sustainable development.
GEF partners in Azerbaijan are the World Bank, UNDP, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)./Trend/