The Caucasian Cat Summit kicked off at the Heydar Aliyev Center on May 7.
The summit was co-organized by IDEA (International Dialogue for Environmental Action) in partnership with Heydar Aliyev Foundation and Heydar Aliyev Center.
The summit was attended by Azerbaijan's First Lady, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNESCO and ISESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva, head of IDEA, Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mrs. Leyla Aliyeva, and Mrs. Arzu Aliyeva.
The event brought together acclaimed international experts, representatives of international organizations, including the International Union for Conservation of Nature, World Wildlife Fund, Smithsonian Institution, Zoological Society of London and the University of Harvard.
Arlo Brady, coordinator of the summit, said the event would provide opportunities for exchanging knowledge and experience in the protection of leopards and other felines.
During the summit, a film was broadcasted about Azerbaijan's flora and fauna, as well as the activities of IDEA.
In her remarks, Leyla Aliyeva said that Azerbaijan is a country of ancient traditions, rich history and culture. She noted Azerbaijan is located between Europe and Asia and is the embodiment of wisdom of East and the progress of West.
"Azerbaijan was located in the center of the historic Silk Road in the past. The geographical position of the country has made an impact not only on our culture, but also the nature. So nine out of 11 climate zones in the world are located in Azerbaijan, and it provides our biodiversity," she said.
Leyla Aliyeva also provided an insight into the activities of IDEA, saying the organization has accomplished a number of important projects aimed at protecting environment, flora and fauna in Azerbaijan and the entire region. She stressed the importance to protect the nature from young ages, and said through IDEA efforts, the young people are paying more attention to nature.
Later, the summit featured presentation of a project on the protection of the Caucasian cat and the establishment of a favorable habitat for the animal.
On the same day, a photo exhibition of renowned photographer Adrian Stern called "Africa's Wildlife" opened at the Heydar Aliyev Center. The exhibition was organized as part of the Caucasian Biodiversity Summit.
Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva, Mrs. Leyla Aliyeva and Mrs. Arzu Aliyeva also visited the exhibition.
The exhibition presents 35 works by the photographer with the main objective to draw the public's attention to the richness of the wildlife and the significance of its protection.
Stern's photos reflect the lives of Africa's flora and fauna during his trips to the South African Republic, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, and Uganda in the past 10 years. Fascinated by animal world, he is a photographer and director, who has travelled to many countries around the world. He has visited rainforests in Brazil and Uganda, mountains of Nepal, and other remote places. Being a photographer at the World Wildlife Fund's South African office, Stern is actively promoting discussions on poaching, other relevant issues, and protection of the wildlife using visual means.
Adrian Stern is currently working on a documentary about the Caucasian cat and its existence in Azerbaijan.