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Stages of development In the solution of the ecological problems

  


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Azerbaijan meets face to face with problems of environment of different character like all countries of world. Preserving of ecological balance in the planet, efficient usage from resources protecting water, air and soil from pollution are universal problems. No doubt, solution of these problems is one of strategic tasks in front of Azerbaijan. Planned and long term activity programs, large-scale state investments are required to cope with this task.  It is necessary to note that preserving of ecological balance in Azerbaijan during Soviet era was not a priority. Also during post-independence years heavy problems met by the country did not allow to give separate attention on ecology and investments. At result heavy ecological problems spread in capital Baku, coastal stripe of the Caspian, Sumgait and other places. But beginning of speedy economical development in Azerbaijan within last years allowed making the solution of the ecological problems during decades, protecting of ecological problems, and environment as one of basic priorities of the state policy. Large-scale state programs directed to the sanitation of the ecological situation during the past 7-8 years in Azerbaijan, investment projects requiring billion manats have been implemented. Such large scale measures are implemented in Azerbaijan within its few decades of history for the first time and it is already giving its yield.

THE FIRST STATE PROGRAMS 

Base of the ecological programs implemented in Azerbaijan during the recent 10 years has been put in 2003. That year President of  Azerbaijan had approved  2 national programs “”On ecologically sustainable social-economic development  and “On restoration and increasing of forests” , further during 2003-2004  the following 3 state programs “ Efficient usage and development of natural stone stock in Apsheron peninsula”,  On efficient usage of summer-winter pasture and greeneries and prevention of desertification” and  “On development of hydrometeorology  in Azerbaijan Republic” and all these programs are implemented.

TURNING POINT OF 5 YEAR-PLAN IN THE SOLUTION OF THE ECOLOGICAL PROBLEMS
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But the most important step done in this direction is considered «Complex Action Plan for 2006-2010 on improvement of ecological conditions in Azerbaijan Republic. The same plan assumes strategic importance for prevention of pollution that grew heavier in Baku and surrounding, the Absheron peninsula day by day, even getting the form of ecological crisis. So, oil lakes existing around Baku for long years, the dense smoke fog covering capital Baku and the Absheron peninsula at result of primitive  burning of domestic wastes, absence of underground infrastructure for cleaning of waste waters and its flowing lead to  ecological crisis. All activity directions aimed for restoration of current situation on the base of analysis of existing situation    were reflected in the plan affirmed by Azerbaijani’s President.     
 So, improvement of ecological conditions of lakes, oil polluted soils, area under ground waters and areas polluted with other industrial wastes in Baku Bay, the Bibiheybat zone, surrounding of  H.Aliyev International Airport, improvement of wastes formed in Baku and Sumgayit cities according to scheme of managing of solid wastes and etc matters were reflected in this Plan of Actions. 

ECOLOGIC FACTOR IN THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS 

Sanitation of ecological condition is reflected in socio-economic development of Baku and surrounding settlements as priority directions in all programs concerned it. Systematical projects are implemented in the direction of the securing residential areas in Baku city and Absheron peninsula in the frame of the same programs with sewer nets, reconstructing of the existing cleaner devices and building the new cleaner devices. Projects directed on improvement of ecological conditions, including cleaning of polluted lakes from oil spills and sewerage waters around Baku city, its drying are reflected in “New State Program on socio-economic development of Baku city and its settlements”, approved in 2011.  

PROTECTING OF THE CASPIAN FROM POLLUTION
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In provision of ecological balance for Azerbaijan capital the Caspian Sea has a separate role. But unsettling of legal status of the Caspian Sea limits the multilateral actions for prevention it from pollution, protection of rare fauna. Despite of it Azerbaijan is a country that spent large investments, creates necessary infrastructure  on unilateral form for protecting the Caspian Sea from pollution, especially takes the measures in direction of saving sturgeon, one of the rare fish species of the world from  perishing. These activities have become wider in recent few years.

Concrete measures are implemented in direction of realization of tasks provided in Decree of the President of Azerbaijan signed in June 20, 2007 On some measures for protecting of  the Caspian Sea from pollution” for improvement of ecological situation in the Caspian. It has been marked in the Decree that flowing of waste waters from coastal areas led to pollution of the sea with harmful chemical substances and degradation of its unique biodiversity.  Implementing of relevant actions allows reducing man made impacts on eco system of the Caspian and restoration of rest-recreation stripe and it already gives its positive results. Basing on this decree modulus type local waste water purification devices were installed at coasts of the Caspian Sea, meeting the international standards. The same devices consist of equipments of Italy, USA, Germany, Taiwan, Turkey, and France and were completed in modulus in Turkey. These devices if we take into account oil removing equipment, in general has a capacity of cleaning of 4070 m3 of waste waters.  

AZERBAIJAN IS THE ONLY LITTORAL COUNTRY THAT IMPLEMENTS COMPLEX ACTIONS AGAINST POLLUTION OF THE CASPIAN
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Part of the devices have been installed in the Absheron peninsula’s  settlements of Bilgah, Buzovna and Mardakan and already five stations of the system of protecting of the ecological environment of the Caspian Sea carry out activity. Thanks to it polluted waters are cleaned from ingredients having negative impact on environment and human health (including in some cases from bacteria of intestine at rate of 2,3 million pieces per litre and organic pollutants exceeding the norm for 100 times) and are flown to depth of water of 250-300 meters. Monitoring carried out showed the reduction of level of pollution of water of the Caspian Sea within a short time. It is necessary to note that about 1 billion manats were spent for creation of infrastructure for purification of polluted waters flown to the Caspian just in 2010. Water purification works at present are continued in the direction of Sumgait city.  Azerbaijan is only country among Caspian littoral states that implements complex measures on cleaning of pollution in sea and its water area. Continuing of these measures in the next years will result with more cleansing of the Caspian water area and Absheron peninsula will be removed from sources of polluting of the Caspian Sea.

CLEANING OF OIL POLLUTED SOILS, CATCHING OF HARMFUL MATTERS IN OIL REFINERIES 
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Oil production continuing for years and oil production has a big role in pollution of soils of Baku and the Absheron peninsula and in Caspian bay. It is to be noted that the prevention of the pollution of the environment was not priority problem in the past times during oil production. But policy of Azerbaijani president directed on elimination of ecological problems had changed the attitude to it. Now it was assigned to oil producing companies to avoid pollution of environment.  This problem for has been turned to one of basic priorities for Azerbaijan State Oil Company. The company had realized some projects for cleaning of oil polluted soils in Apsheron peninsula during last few years. 
Ekol Engineering Services CJSC created by State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic plays a significant role in considerably reducing of  harmful matters thrown to Caspian and as well as environments at result of cleaning and neutralization of wastes formed during the production processes in oil refineries.  Ekol Engineering Services CJSC had cleaned up to norm level the industrial polluted waters from Baku Oil Refinery Plant named after Heydar Aliyev for 12,5 million cub. meters and  “ Azerneftyagh oil refinery – 10.9 million cub.meter and 35.5 thousand  tons of oil slams gathered in territory of both refineries and 6,2 thousand tons of oils slams from “Bibiheybat” Oil Production Plant were processed and neutralized   and it led to significant reduction of harmful matters thrown to environment.
Land reclamation works of slams of drilling in the well area of Bibiheybetneft and Salyan OİL” LTD are one of the important events implemented by Ekol Engineering Services CJSC in direction of improvement of ecological situation. Improvement of ecological situation in Azerbaijan, particularly in the oil-industry area being the main direction of activity of Ekol Engineering Services» is continued in this area.

USING OF ALTERNATIVE AND RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES
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One of measures directed to improve the ecological situation in Azerbaijan and provide the long-term ecological safety in the country was adoption of State Programs on alternative and renewable energy sources for the first time. There is no problem of supply of the demand of the country in energy in view of rich oil and gas resources in Azerbaijan. But usage of traditional energy sources is accompanied with process of pollution of the environment and sources of traditional energy hydrocarbons reserves in the world are not inexhaustible and taking it into account the administration of country has defined usage of alternative energy sources as strategic duty aimed for future. Because Azerbaijan with its suitable natural condition has enough alternative and renewable energy potential. 
Order of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic has been signed about affirming in 2004 of the The State Program on using of alternative and renewable energy sources in Azerbaijan Republic. Scale of the same program has been expanded later on and State Agency on alternative and renewable energy sources under the Ministry of Industry and Energy was established in 2009. Programs on using of alternative and renewable energy sources already give its yield and first wind electric station was launched in the territory of the Gobustan region of the country in 2011.

THE PLANT SAVING BAKU FROM WASTES’ SMOKE, THE BIGGEST ONE IN EASTERN EUROPE AND THE CIS
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One of the most important ecological projects implemented in Azerbaijan in recent years is building of the plant based on the newest technologies for burning household wastes in Baku. So, for years household wastes of Baku were used to be carried to area called Balakhany wastes in capital surrounding and the “mountain” consisting of garbages was arising there. At result of primitive burning of garbage accumulated there the fetid smoke covered Baku and Absheron peninsula periodically. The special tasks were given President of Azerbaijan in the direction of solution of this problem attaining serious ecological danger. The construction of the plant has begun by Constructions Industrielles de la Myditerranye S.A. (CNIM S.A.) Company of the France in the frame of Complex Plan of Actions for years 2006-2010 on improvement of ecological situation in Azerbaijan Republic. The total sum projecting and construction of the plant is 346 million euroes. The plant being built in area of 20 hectares allotted for this purpose in  Balakhany settlement and having capacity of burning of 500 thousand tons of garbage and receiving of annually 231.5 million kilowatts hours of energy at result. The full operation of the plant is intended by the end of 2012. This plant is considered to be the biggest plant of this type according to capacity of production in the Eastern European and CIS space. This plant being built with application of 4G technology will meet all severe requirements in the field of protection of environment in EU.   The smoke ash as product of burning will be caught by special filters and will not pollute the environment.  The bottom ash that is heavy and harmless may be used in construction materials used at road construction.  Besides, water used for cooling during the burning of wastes will be directed to sewerage only after cleaning. This plant is an important step made in direction of settlement of ecological problems by prevention of burning of garbage at open air and throwing to suburban empty territories. 


DECLARING OF THE YEAR OF SPECIAL CONFERENCE DEDICATED TO ECOLOGICAL PROBLEMS, DECLARING OF YEAR OF ECOLOGY
One of important steps in improvement of ecological situation in Azerbaijan can be considered a year of 2010. In the Feb 18 of the same year country president has called a special meeting dedicated to ecological problems. Current ecological problems and works implemented for their solution, as well as intended Activity Programs have been discussed widely. At the same meeting Year 2010 has been declared as Year of Ecology by President Ilham Aliyev. This campaign has allowed involving the wider community for environment problems, strengthening by all state and public institutes of ecological measures. Millions trees have been planted in the frame of Year of ecology in the capital and other big cities, regions, social discussions have been held on environment problems and other initiatives have been realized.

SUPPLY OF POPULATION WITH ECOLOGICALLY CLEAN WATER, GIANT OGUZ-GABALA-BAKU WATER-PIPING PROJECT
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One of the important projects made and being made in the direction of ecology in Azerbaijan is projects aimed at supply of capital and other residential areas with ecologically clean drinkable water.  At result of some action done by state in direction of improvement of water supply of population of Azerbaijan with ecologically clean water the installation of modulus type water purification devices begun in 2007-2008  Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, in 100 settlements of the regions of Yevlakh, Zardab, Aghjabadi, Kurdamir, Imishli, Sabirabad, Saatly, Salyan, Neftchala and Bilasuvar and in many of them these devices are already used by  population.  In view of positive results of supply of the population  with drinkable water thanks modulus type water purification devices according to Order of the President of Azerbaijan Republic signed in 2008 these works were continued and 2 million manats were allotted for installation of  modulus type water purification devices in Kur and Araz Rivers banks and in 200 residential areas.  
And  Oguz-Qabala-Baku water pipeline, the construction of which begun in 2005 and ended in December, 2010 is considered as a historical event in the direction of solution of the problem of drinkable water faced by capital Baku,  Absheron peninsula  during years.  About 1billion manats from the State Budget have been spent for carrying out of this project.  The ultimate goal of the water-piping project Oghuz-Qabala-Baku is supply of water to Baku from underground water sources of Oguz- Gabala  with  5 cubic metres per second and so to provide the population with high quality, clean water from ecological point of view. According to estimations after completion of works of reconstructing of the water distribution networks in Baku and surrounding settlements this pipeline will be able to provide 75% of the capital population with drinkable water.
Implementation of large sale works during last few decades in Azerbaijan on direction of solution of environmental problems, the public policy directed on improvement of the ecological situation are important composition part of the long-term development strategy.  Because without healthy environment there can not be a healthy man that organizes the base of the development but from other side pell-mell exhausting of the natural stocks, problems arisen at result of violation of balance in the nature  create a danger for future generations.



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