Azerbaijan, Baku, November 4 / Trend, E. Ismayilov /
It is impossible to eliminate pollution and the subsequent environmental impact of oil production in Azerbaijan in the short term, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Huseyngulu Bagirov said on Monday during an international environmental conference held in Baku.
According to him, 1.5 billion tons of oil was produced by late 2011 which is an indication of the scale of pollution of the country's ecology, particularly in the period of ecological ignorance. The elimination of these effects lie on SOCAR (the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan), which jointly with the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, is actively working to clean up polluted land and improve the environmental situation in the Absheron Peninsula.
The total land area contaminated by the oil industry development is 35,000 hectares of which 15,000 hectares were subjected to very heavy pollution, Bagirov said.
Referring to work conducted in the country in the field of ecology, Bagirov said that over the last 10 years, eight national parks were established in Azerbaijan and currently work is underway to establish one more.
In that period, the protected areas increased from 400,000 hectares to one million hectares. Also during this period, in order to improve the environmental situation, over a million trees have been planted.