From Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme

His Excellency Mr Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan


On the occasion of the national day of the Republic of Azerbaijan, I have the honor to convey my warm congratulations to you and to the esteemed citizens of Azerbaijan.

It is my great pleasure to note that Azerbaijan has made remarkable achievements in recent years to protect its environment and build a sustainable legacy for future generations, with some of these highlights including:

- The campaign in November 2019, during which 650,000 trees were planted in one day, which was a remarkable contribution to climate change mitigation. During the same year, Azerbaijan also joined the Bonn Challenge in a bid to restore hundreds of millions of hectares of deforested and degraded land.

- The reclamation of oil-polluted territories around the city of Baku, a harsh environmental legacy inherited from the Soviet times, is a big step forward that is bound to bring new development opportunities to a large area of the Caspian coastal zone while promoting a healthier and safer environment for the millions of people inhabiting Baku and its suburbs.

- As a means of conserving biological diversity and promoting ecotourism, the first marine national park in the entire Caspian Sea region was established in Gizilagaj, Azerbaijan’s landmark wetland, in order to preserve the unique environment of the Caspian Sea coastal zone.

Furthermore, Azerbaijan plays a significant role in the protection of the marine environment of the Caspian Sea through its contribution to the work of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) administered Tehran Convention, by participating in activities for waste reduction, conservation of the unique marine ecosystem and

pollution mitigation.

Once again, I take this opportunity to congratulate Your Excellency on this important day and look forward to continued collaboration with the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Inger Andersen

Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme

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