“Construction Of The New Energy Block At Metsamor Is A Major Blow To Environmental Security”

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Member of UK House of Lords Mohamed Sheikh has hosted an official reception at the House of Lords on the occasion of the presentation of the IDEA (International Dialogue on Environmental Action) campaign of vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva.

The presentation ceremony was organized by the UK`s EcoMuslim Organization and Azerbaijani embassy to UK.

In his opening remarks Founder Director of EcoMuslim Organization Omar Faruk stressed main directions of Azerbaijan`s development and recent environmental initiatives in the country, and spoke of importance of IDEA`s activity for South Caucasus nations.

Speaking at the presentation Mohamed Sheikh highlighted the increasing role of Azerbaijan in regional and global policy, and briefed the attendees on bringing many geo-economic, transport and energy projects to fruition in the country. He also underscored importance of activities as part of the IDEA Environment Campaign.

IDEA initiator Leyla Aliyeva informed the participants on environmental projects which were implemented by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and cooperation with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to mobilize Azerbaijani youth for Rio+20 conference.

The Vice-president of Heydar Aliyev Foundation also touched on IDEA volunteers` activity in secondary schools. She added that kids should learn about environmental education from childhood. They should know about the protection of environment in elementary and secondary schools. The youth should understand the importance of environmental harmony. The main objective of my campaign is to highlight the role of primary education towards ensuring the right behavior of a person to live in harmony with the environment.

Leyla Aliyeva stated that South Caucasus is one of the regions with rich agro-biodiversity. According to her, the Caucasus region is very sensitive to the climate change and this should be taken into account in planning any economic projects.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union a number of environmental problems, which are likely to create environmental, health and economic threats, occurred in this region. The South Caucasus countries ratified Convention on Biological Diversity and other relevant international documents and undertook obligations to protect the environment.
But current frozen and active conflicts in the region had negative impacts on the ecosystem. Deliberately setting fire to forests in the occupied lands of Azerbaijan creates danger for flora and fauna.

Construction of the new energy block at the Armenian nuclear power plant (NPP) in Metsamor is a major blow to environmental security. Azerbaijan is the only country which ratified UNECE Water Convention.

Cooperation among young members of the society becomes a vital element for protection of environment in the light of the environmental threats the region faced. The mentioned threats prove that environmental challenges must be resolved through strengthening international environmental management.

Leyla Aliyeva also spoke of Azerbaijan`s history. She said: "I`m proud to be born in the first Muslim country which established the first parliamentary republic in the East, granted women equal political rights with men and accepted progressive Western values."

Following the official reception Leyla Aliyeva handed over keepsakes to Mohamed Sheikh on behalf of the Azerbaijani delegation.

The event was attended by the members of the British parliament, representatives of diplomatic corps accredited in this country, Azerbaijani Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Huseyngulu Bagirov, head of the political analysis and information provision department at the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Elnur Aslanov, SOCAR Vice-President for Environmental Issues Rafiga Huseynzade, Azerbaijan`s ambassador Fakhraddin Gurbanov and others.

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