Family values are deep-rooted in Azerbaijan, and have been passed down from generation to generation since time immemorial. Care of youngsters, and respect for the elderly are cherished traditions in our country.
On January 13, Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, head of IDEA (International Dialogue for Environmental Action) Public Union Leyla Aliyeva visited the headquarters of the UN Environment Program (UNEP) in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.
Established in 1972 on the basis of UN General Assembly’s resolution, UNEP’s primary objective is to protect the environment and nature for both present and future generations, and coordinate efforts in this direction. With six regional offices operating in various countries, UNEP is one of the co-founders of the Global Ecological Foundation, and the International Day of Environment is marked each year in the world under its patronage.
Leyla Aliyeva met with Achim Steiner, a deputy UN Secretary General, the Executive Director of UNEP.
Noting that he was informed of the works IDEA did towards protection of the environment and highly appreciated this activity, a UN official said the organization headed by him was interested in close cooperation with the Government of Azerbaijan, non-government organizations and other parties showing interest to such activity. Achim Steiner said UNEP had implemented a number of large-scale environment projects, and emphasized the importance of extending the joint work with different groups of people and the youth in the future.
Leyla Aliyeva talked of the projects implemented by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation both in Azerbaijan and abroad. Talking of the environmental policy being pursued by the state in Azerbaijan, Leyla Aliyeva informed of the works carried out within the framework of the IDEA campaign, which started in 2011. “This campaign is based on the dialogue, activity, leadership and awareness principles that are essential to the young generation for securing positive and sustainable development of the environment”, - said Leyla Aliyeva. She emphasized the significance of the event “Green Week” held by the Government of Azerbaijan, IDEA and UNEP in November 2012 in Baku, and invited the deputy UN Secretary General to Baku.
After the meeting, Leyla Aliyeva talked of the actions taken within the framework of the IDEA campaign: “IDEA is an international initiative aimed to protect of the environment. We are the biggest organization of the Caucasus and are working with the youth. During two years, we have implemented a number of projects. One of them was the planting of three million trees, which personifies three million youth living in our country. Another international project we did was the project “The world through children’s eyes” organized jointly with photographer Reza Deghati. 1200 children from 98 countries participated in this project.
Education is of paramount significance to increase awareness. Our organization has been holding environmental trainings at universities. We have been working on developing teaching aids for secondary schools of our country. In my opinion, it is of significance to increase awareness globally. The most interesting aspect of working with the youth is that when encouraged a little, they become very active and try to encourage others. Now more and more young people are involved in environmental projects.”
Leyla Aliyeva said a number of projects have been implemented towards protecting endangered species in the world, including the Caucasus. According to her, holding of joint events is planned together with the International Unit for Protection of Nature and Natural Resources, the World Wildlife Foundation of Russia, and other organizations.