On 29 September 2016, Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Goodwill Ambassador of UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), founder and head of IDEA Leyla Aliyeva provided an insight into the agenda of "Sustainable Development and Ecological Civilization" round table, as part of the 5th Baku International Humanitarian Forum.
During her speech, Leyla Aliyeva spoke about the history of Azerbaijan, and the country’s unique geographic location as the major center of the historic silk route, and its impact on the formation of its rich culture were also brought to the attention of the forum participants.
She mentioned that, although governments bore the primary responsibility for protecting the environment, active engagement of NGOs and especially young people is crucial in order to achieve sustainable development. As a representative of the civil society, on behalf of youth and passionate environmental activists, Leyla Aliyeva spoke about IDEA Campaign, launched in 2011, and gave information on its acitivies and achievements, awareness raising efforts among youth, and projects carried out to protect the biodiversity. It was mentioned that IDEA’s slogan “One Earth - One Future” has united youth in the protection of the environment not only from Azerbaijan but also from around the world.
Touching upon the theme of the round table - "Sustainable Development and Ecological Civilization", Leyla Aliyeva noticed that civilizations have been undermining the global ecology for thousands of years. As a result, today the world is in a situation when the survival of the whole planet is under the threat. “Regardless of our race, religion, traditions and beliefs, we all live on the same planet and have common future – environmental problems have no borders.” – she said. She also stressed that habitat loss caused by human acitivities is no longer measured by years, but by minutes.
While environmental threats continue, international community has been recording massive tangible achievements in conservation and sustainable development, including the historic global agreement on climate change achieved last year - Paris Agreement, and the removal of Giant panda from the endangered species list, was also mentioned at the event.
Later, she highlighted a similar achievement done in Azerbaijan. Goitered gazelle suffered drastic reductions in population in the Caucasus but sinse 2011 IDEA, along with its partners, has widely reintroduced and monitored the species in the protective areas of Azerbaijan, giving it a great chance to recover and triple its population size (from 2,000 to 6,000). Among current projects undertaken by IDEA are the works related to the protection of the highly endangered Caucasian leopard and Caspian sturgeon.
As the goodwill ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Natons, Leyla Aliyeva also made few remarks about the organization, which is striving to make our generation, the Zero Hunger Generation. She said, that all countries should act in the efforts to eliminate the global problem of poverty and malnutrition, specifically the food insecurity and water shortage.
Leyla Aliyeva called upon eveyrone to care about the environment and use the natural resources in a more responsible and efficient way to ensure that future generations enjoy a healthy and safe planet.