Policies, measures and actions on climate change and
environmental protection in the context of COVID-19 recovery.
- Emergency measures in the short term (a few months to one year) to address concerns that have directly emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic and may include forced action.
- Socioeconomic measures in the medium term (one to a few years) with an environmental and climate focus to “build back better” from COVID-19, and usually involves planned, intentional action.
- Paradigm shifts and measures in the long term (more than a few years to a few decades) toward redesigning current socioeconomic and sociocultural systems to be sustainable and resilient.
1.Climate mitigation measures
Response Recovery RedesignThe COVID-19 pandemic has huge impacts on most aspects of human activities, as well as on environment. Isolation and quarantine measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus has resulted in numerous impacts on the environment and the climate. The self-isolation regime, the reduction of transport and industrial waste has led to a significant cleanup of air and water resources in large cities.
Even before the pandemic, we have always called for a reduction in emissions. Very active awareness measures are being implemented in this sphere by the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources. For instance, campaign under the slogan “Sunday without cars” was held in Baku.
Today the air quality in Baku has significantly improved as a result of the reduction of transport. This once again confirms the simple idea that reducing emissions results in air purification.Contact National Hydrometeorology Service Mr. Fuad Humbatov ; Mr. Jeyhun Hasanov
RedesignTaking into account the problems associated with climate, the Baku Transport Agency is also implementing an interesting project to measure the damage caused by vehicles to the air. The main goal of the project, called the Air Quality Index, is to conduct a comparative analysis of environmental indicators. The main objective of the project is to obtain information on traffic density using sensitive sensors and reduce the impact of density on the environment. Thus, these sensors, installed in three locations in the capital, analyze the amount of nitrogen, sulfur, carbon monoxide and other harmful gases in the air. This indicates the level of air pollution from harmful gases emitted from cars. The main goal of the agency is to draw attention to the urban environment, which is important for the health of each of us.Contact National Hydrometeorology Service Mr. Fuad Humbatov ; Mr. Jeyhun Hasanov
Approved by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan No. 1862 dated 29.11.2011, “Azerbaijan 2020: Outlook for the Future” Development Concept along with a number of promising social and economic development trends raised the issue of environmental protection including climate change combat in the country. Although the strategic documents adopted at the next stage discuss policies and measures to reduce the climate change impact, the quantitative criterion for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) was first introduced by the Republic of Azerbaijan in October 2015 in the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) document submitted to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC within the Paris Agreement. In this regard, as its contribution to global initiatives to prevent climate change, the Republic of Azerbaijan has set a target of a 35% decrease in the level of GHG emissions by 2030 compared to the base year of 1990 (netto, i.e. with removals). In this regard, the GEF-supported Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action on the low-carbon end-user sectors in Azerbaijan has three sub-components:
(a) Green Building Program;
(b) Sustainable Transport Program;
(c) Associated Gas Collection Program.
The development of this project was funded by the Global Environment Facility. However, SOCAR has spent about $ 35 million on the project. The project helps implement SOCAR’s Climate Change Reduction Strategy and expand GHG reduction measures in three areas.
In fact, as the result of joint activities, the administrative area of the project under the (a) Green Building Program component with a total area of 10,000 m2 was equipped with energy-efficient equipment and environmental facilities, including energy-efficient windows, underfloor heating, ventilation and thermal insulation systems. The audit results in buildings showed that the measures taken led to reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in buildings by 200 tons and a 35% reduction in energy consumption. It is to note that a total of 2,500 people are expected to benefit from these buildings each year.
The international consultant on Project component (b) worked closely with Local Experts and the Project Team in general to apply new methods to modernize SOCAR’s Transport Fleet. As the result, hybrid cars were presented to SOCAR’s Transport Park. On 02.03.2017, 4 (four) hybrid cars were presented to SOCAR by UNDP within the NAMA project. The engines of these cars convert the energy produced by combustion into electrical energy. As the result of the use of such cars, fuel consumption and environmental pollution are much lower than conventional vehicles. As continuation of this work, the procedures for obtaining an “Eco-driving Simulator” to train drivers of SOCAR’s Transport Park are close to completion stage. It is planned to be used as an example to the private sector, as well as a pilot for the Energy Efficiency Strategy.
Meanwhile, Eco-driving training was conducted by an International Consultant for 12 selected SOCAR drivers. Local Experts also continue to train drivers, and to date, more than 80 drivers have been trained. It is to note that as the result of the activities, 10-15% savings in fuel consumption are expected, and up to 1,200 drivers will be trained annually in environmentally friendly driving. Meanwhile, under the third component of the Project, from the collection of associated gas released into the atmosphere during SOCAR’s oil and gas production, about 600 households with a population of 2,500 people in about 12 villages of Siyazan district will be provided with clean gas. In fact, activities on the collection and processing of associated gas in 63 wells in the Zagli-Zeyva field of the Siyazanneft OGPD have been started, and the project envisages the collection of 6.8 million cubic meters of associated gas per year.Reference NC-4 of AzerbaijanContact Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan Republic
2.Climate adaptation measures
OthersResponse RecoveryAs you know, the coronavirus mainly affects the respiratory system. This factor increases the need for measures to improve air quality. One of the factors affecting the environment is the oxygen level in the atmosphere. Of course, green areas and forests are the main sources of oxygen enriching our lives. In recent years, millions of trees have been planted in the country as a whole, and this work continues today. As we know some trees (mainly pine trees) emits phytoncide that contributes to reducing of infectious diseases.Contact National Hydrometeorology Service Mr. Fuad Humbatov ; Mr. Jeyhun Hasanov
Adaptation measures • Design and implementation of forest planting programs: The trees should be fast growing and drought-resistant species, preferable local species should be used; • Reforestation and restoration measures should be carried out in arid areas; • Reforestation activities in regions with high risk to flood; • Preventive measures should be taken to avoid forest fires; • Prevention of the spread of pests and diseases; • Prevention of illegal cutting and other forest-related measures; • Study the current state of forests, inventory them and draft a new forest structure; • Development and implementation of measures for the restoration of forests to ensure efficient use of renewable forest resources (fruits, medicinal, etc.); • Identification of forest areas for recreation, determine the amount of pressure, the identification and use of the potential of tourism-oriented recreation; • Planting of fast-growing trees on farms to reduce the shortage in forest products; • Design and planting of forests and gardens that meets the needs of a new agricultural system; • Establishment of specialized operational chemical-fire stations in order to prevent forest fires; • Identification of phytosanitary conditions of forests, implementation of appropriate measures on a regular basis in order to prevent various diseases and pests; • Establishment of forest protected areas in order to protect the agricultural land from water erosion, drought and dry winds.Contact Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan Republic
Citizens’ lives (behaviour change) / employmentRedesignAs a certain number of employees were allowed to perform their duties, the control measures were taken in the service areas of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources. During the pandemic, as in other areas of the environment, there has been a significant decline in illegal hunting.Contact State Environmental Safety Service
Azerbaijan has undertaken measures to support climate change efforts, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol in order to reduce climate change impacts to older persons as well as population.
The need to address the threat of climate change to development progress further reflected in the outcomes and frameworks from three other major conferences and summits of 2015: the Sustainable Development Goals, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (the outcome of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development). Older people recognized for the first time as a stakeholder group within the Sendai Framework, and the Sustainable Development Goals include specific references to all ages and older people. Azerbaijan has prepared a number of laws, state programs and regulatory acts concerning the Convention, and has adopted related international documents that support climate mitigation.
This mitigation process the impacts of climate change affects to older persons will be reduced. Fight with infectious diseases is one of the priority areas of the health sector in Azerbaijan. Among the main causes of death, infectious and parasitic diseases hold one of the most important places. As a result of the measures realized in the last 15 years the continuous reduction of infectious diseases, revocation of some of them has been achieved in practice. Purposeful measures combating infectious diseases show positive results.Contact Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan Republic
4.Other environmental measures
Waste management and Circular economy / sustainable production and consumptionResponseRelevant measures are being taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection and to ensure the safety of citizens by analyzing the situation and development in the country in connection with the global pandemic.Contact Environmental policy division Ms. Leyla Aliyeva ; Mr. Mehman Nabiyev
Waste management and Circular economy / sustainable production and consumptionResponse RecoveryIn addition, warning instructions were sent to the relevant executive bodies and large shopping centers, as well as to all medical institutions to ensure the management of hazardous medical waste in accordance with the requirements of existing legislation, in order to take preventive measures against coronavirus in crowded areas (parks, malls, recreation centers, public catering facilities).Contact Environmental policy division Ms. Leyla Aliyeva ; Mr. Mehman Nabiyev
OthersResponse Recovery RedesignIn the post-COVID-19 period, there will be a need to strengthen control over the efficient and economical use of natural resources without compromising the ecological balance in order to meet the socio-economic needs of society.
It is intended to develop a “Response Strategy against COVID-19” on the basis of the UN framework document “Urgent socio-economic measures against COVID-19” (Coordinating body is the Ministry of Economy). The strategy envisages capacity building of existing health services, social protection and provision of necessary services, support for small and medium enterprises and job protection, formation of macroeconomic policies and financial incentives, promotion of investment in social cohesion and community sustainability. Environmental protection issues will be taken into account in each of the areas envisaged during the development of the strategy. A working group consisting of representatives of relevant government agencies has been established to develop the strategy.Contact Environmental policy division Ms. Leyla Aliyeva ; Mr. Mehman Nabiyev
COVID19 recovery and other environmental issuesResponse RecoveryManagement of hazardous medical waste generated during a pandemic is important in preventing the spread of the virus. In this regard, necessary measures have been taken to collect, transport and neutralize hazardous medical waste, as well as to safely manage the wastewater. “Instructions on collection, neutralization and disposal of medical waste during the fight against COVID-19” was delivered to medical institutions. The Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources provided transportation and disposal of 5648 m3 of hazardous medical waste generated in 58 medical institutions and quarantine hotels.Contact Environmental policy division Ms. Leyla Aliyeva ; Mr. Mehman Nabiyev
OthersResponse Recovery RedesignThe Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Azerbaijan cooperates with the relevant Ministries, UN bodies and agencies, and with other international organisations in the field of environment.The delegates from the Ministry are attended the webinars, online conferences in the field of coordination of pandemic and environmental issues. The reports regarding the COVİD-19 impacts on environment sent by the Secretariats of Conventions are being analyzed.
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