Some 15,000 trees to be planted in Baku

By: Nigar Orujova

About 15,000 trees will be planted in Baku’s Alat settlement this autumn.

The trees will be planted along Salyan highway of Alat settlement on 16 hectares of barren land within the second phase of the project “Plant a tree, Give a gift to life” being implemented by Coca-Cola and the ADA University.

Coca-cola reported that the preparation works are underway to start the second phase of the project. The necessary measures for autumn planting will be taken on the area in July and August.

The multi-annual project, launched in February, aims to benefit the ecosystem and promote a massive afforestation and reforestation in the designated areas of the country to preserve and replenish fresh water resources in Azerbaijan.

The project partners are expected to plant 100,000 trees by 2020. The initiative is supported by Azerbaijan’s Ecology and Environment Ministry.

Azerbaijan is a country with low forest coverage where forests account for 11.4 percent of the country’s territory, two times less than the accepted global average.

The project – which envisions planting thousands of trees – was initially designed to start in Baku. It was fully funded by Coca-Cola and implemented by the Caspian Center for Energy and Environment of ADA University.

By planting trees within the framework of the “Plant a tree, Give a gift to life” project, the company hopes to help resolving different ecological issues, such as water replenishment, soil erosion, and air pollution.

Beyond practical actions, the project aims to raise public awareness in the country through different outreach activities, research works, and scientific publications. Volunteers are also involved in the project.

Despite significant progress in an adequate supply of safe drinking water in Azerbaijan, there are still unresolved issues connected with available water resources which are mainly affecting the rural population. Environmental strategy of the country is aimed at preserving natural resources at the national, regional and international levels.

The project envisages the use of drip irrigation, which will save huge amounts of scarce and precious fresh water in the country. Saving water by planting trees is a highly efficient and popular mechanism which is widely used in at least 1/3 of the world’s biggest cities such as New York, Singapore, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, and Cape Town.

The forests will have a positive effect on water management by increasing rainfall and runoff, regulating flows, reducing erosion and floods, sterilizing water supplies, and improving overall water quality. The trees also provide shade for shorter bushes and lawns, helping to reduce short plants’ demand for water.

Besides preserving and replenishing water resources, the trees prevent air pollution, contribute to chemical cycles and water storage in the planet and provide energy flow through the ecosystem.