Baku, Azerbaijan, May 9
IDEA (International Dialogue for Environmental Protection) public association, established upon the initiative of Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva, and the world's leading cat conservation organization Panthera signed a memorandum of understanding on future cooperation.
It is planned to develop a plan for assessing the living conditions of leopards in Azerbaijan and protection of these species on the verge of extinction, under the memorandum signed by Leyla Aliyeva and Panthera chairman Thomas Kaplan.
Panthera organization will also assist the Azerbaijani scholars in developing the Caucasian leopard research and protection methodology.
"We are very pleased that we have signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Panthera," Leyla Aliyeva said.
She added that Panthera has experience in programs similar to the Caucasian leopard protection program, which is one of the symbols of the natural heritage of Azerbaijan and their ecosystem
Thomas Kaplan expressed support for Azerbaijan's initiative for the protection of leopard species and increasing their number.
"Pardus project, which is the first program for the leopard protection worldwide, has started this week," he said. "The beginning of the joint activity with IDEA in this direction is appreciated."
Providing IDEA with 20 surveillance cameras to determine the places of living and the number of leopards in Azerbaijan was the first step as part of the international cooperation with the Panthera organization.
The number of Caucasian leopards referred by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to the animal species on the verge of extinction, the Middle East and Asia is less than 1,000, while their number is around 25 in the south-western part of the Caucasus region, on the border between Azerbaijan and Iran.
Translated by NH
Edited by S.I.