The woods cut in the territory of Azerbaijani reserve in Zangelan District, which is under occupation of Armenia, is exported to Italy, France, Greece and Iran, Arif Isgandarov, the head of the Ecology and Nature Protection Policy Department of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, told Trend in an exclusive interview. The woods are used in different purposes, including manufacturing of furniture and ship-building.
At present the price of wood material is $1,000 per 1000 cu m.
Isgandarov also heads the Operative Center on Definition (observation) of Destructive Impact on the Environment and Natural Resources on the occupied territory of Azerbaijan.
Mahabbat Gurbanov, the head of the Zangilan Bureau of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, Mahabbat Gurbanov, at present the valuable species of trees are being cut in the territory of Basitchay state reserve. Armenian side terminates a platan forest an only Europe and the second in the world, he said.
According to the Director of the Reserve, Khudush Isgandarov, at present the Armenian side opened a wood processing workshop, which operates all day. The place of cut trees is fired and frequently blasted to conceal the traces. The new trees are planted in these areas. The Ministry obtained the information from Iran, which borders with Zangilan District and Azerbaijani citizens who were in Armenian captivity earlier. Moreover, the Ministry has photos and video materials on then occupied territory of Azerbaijan.
The Director of the Reserve noted that reserves and platans that are in this forest were included in the Red Book. They are also included in the Red Book of Armenia. Some platans existing in the territory of Armenia are preserved, whereas they are cut predatorily in the occupied territory of Azerbaijan.
The trees that grow in this territory age 1500 years. The area of the reserve was 117h when it was founded in 1974. However, further it was reduced to 107h.
According to officials of the Ministry, the statement on facts of termination of relict forest has been repeatedly made at international conferences. However, no step had been taken against such ecological terror. To solve the problem Azerbaijan suggest to establish an international expert group which will pay an expedition to the region, hold monitoring and assert the facts submitted by Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is a member of a Convention on bio-variety and maintenance of genetic fund of plantings, which it strictly observes in difference to Armenia, another member of the convention.
The Operative Center on Definition (observation) of Destructive Impact on the Environment and Natural Resources on the occupied territory of Azerbaijan was founded in 2001. Since that period the Center has developed two reports on environmental impact and an action plan. At present the Center possesses huge amount of materials confirming the destructive actions by Armenia on environment and natural resources of Azerbaijan in the occupied territory.