In accordance with a UN General Assembly resolution adopted in 1972, June 5th was designated as World Environment Day and has been marked internationally ever since. Upon the decision of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the theme for the 2016 World Environment Day is "Zero tolerance for the illegal trade in wildlife".
On 02 June 2016, IDEA, as an organization accredited to UNEP, organized a round-table titled “Wildlife Trafficking” on the occasion of World Environment Day at the Heydar Aliyev Center. The event was attended by representatives of relevant state structures, including law enforcement bodies, as well as scientists and researchers, and members of civil society organizations and international organizations.
In the course of the event, a video address by the UNEP Executive Director on the occasion of World Environment Day was demonstrated. The participants discussed the situation with the global trade in precious fauna species as well as the impacts of killing and trafficking of endangered wild animals in Azerbaijan.
At the initiative of the IDEA founder Leyla Aliyeva, the “Caucasus Big Five” was determined to include the bear, wolf, gazelle, eagle and leopard, as the five main endangered animals of the region. Over the past years, a number of successful projects have been carried out by the joint efforts of IDEA, Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan and international partners to save these valued species. As a result, protection of these animals was strengthened, areas of their natural habitat were restored and favorable conditions were created to ensure their natural reproduction. Nevertheless, as in the rest of the world, one of the worst obstructions to efforts aimed at conserving wildlife in Azerbaijan is the killing of animals for profit, their trafficking and illegal trade.
The speakers of the round-table have emphasized the importance of further continuing to enhance the legislation and take institutional measures to effectively protect our rare flora and fauna species. Also, some participants put forward proposals regarding the application of leading international practices in Azerbaijan. The proposals made during the event were forwarded to relevant government bodies for consideration.