Azerbaijan ranks second in environmental protection

Azerbaijan ranks second in environmental protection

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 10 / Trend M.Aliyev /

Azerbaijan ranks second in the world for work in the field of environmental protection over the last ten years.

In the "Environmental Performance Index", prepared by Yale and Columbia universities, Azerbaijan ranks second in the world for the activities over the past ten years in the field of environmental protection, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources told Trend on Friday.

The document assessed 132 countries on two directions: the ecological situation in the country and the results of activities of the last ten years relating to the environmental protection.

According to the document, Azerbaijan ranks first in the area to reduce diseases associated with the environment.

"The ground for this was set by work held to remove the environmental problems negatively affecting human health. Thus, such results were achieved due to changes in the management of hazardous wastes, including the complete neutralization at the modern ground of dangerous toxic waste, around 300,000 tons of waste containing mercury, provision of population with clean drinking water, including the provision of approximately 340,000 people in the regions with drinking water meeting the requirements of the World Health Organization, the advance in the management of solid waste and wastewater, rehabilitation of oil-contaminated sites and other activities," the ministry said.

Azerbaijan also in the evaluation related to forests, on all three components - the situation of forest resources, changes in forest cover and forest loss, according to the index of the situation of the environment and ecological development indicators showed the highest score and ranked first among 132 countries.

This assessment took into account an increase from 11.4 to 11.8 per cent of forest in the total area, a ban on industrial waste, strengthening measures for the protection of forests, including the suppression of illegal logging, gasification of regions, a decrease from year to year of cases of felling through advocacy carried out by mass media and NGOs in conjunction with the public.

According to the assessment Azerbaijan also ranked first in terms of the activity in recent years under "climate change" paragraph and 67th on the current situation. Despite the fact that Azerbaijan is a party not accepting the quantitative commitments to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases effect, which is provided by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, through concrete measures to reduce emissions they fell from 70 million in 1990 to 48 million tons, despite the rapid development of economy in recent years, the report said.

Since the beginning of the Kyoto process, Azerbaijan has managed to reduce to about 500 million tons of emissions of greenhouse gases effect.

Also in the "Environmental Performance Index " Azerbaijan ranked 45th for the protection of basic human settlements, development in the last decade of biodiversity, which is estimated on the basis of indicators of protected marine areas and protection of biomes and 100th on the actual situation. This development was due to the actions carried out to establish a network of especially protected areas (total area of especially protected areas increased from 478,000 hectares in 2003 to 882,000 hectares, which is 10.2 percent of the total country's area, and for the first time since 2003 the creation of the existing today eight national parks, the total area of which is 3.6 per cent of the country was launched), breeding of rare species, reintroduction of them into the places in which they have historically lived (only in 2011 about 100 gazelles were relocated in their habitats), the achievement of the natural growth of rare endangered species (as a result it is planned to will exclude a number of species from Red Data Book) due to tighter security measures.

In the "Index of environmental performance," the situation in the environment and ecological environment has been evaluated on the basis of 22 indicators in ten areas.

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