Armenia Put Numerous Wildlife Species At Risk In Azerbaijan - MFA

(MENAFN- Trend News Agency) BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 12. Armenia has putmore than 500 wildlife species at risk in Azerbaijan, the country'sForeign Ministry said in a statement, Trend reports.

The ministry noted that Azerbaijan's first arbitration ever[arbitration proceedings against Armenia under the Berne Conventionon the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, towhich both states are parties] was launched on January 18, 2023,based on a wide range of evidence about the widespreadenvironmental destruction caused by Armenia during its 30-yearillegal occupation of Azerbaijan's territories.

"On April 12, 2024, the Peace Palace at the Hague hosted thefirst formal proceedings in Azerbaijan's claim within inter-statearbitration under the Bern Convention on the Conservation ofEuropean Wildlife and Natural Habitats.

Upon liberating its territories in 2020, Azerbaijan uncoveredshocking evidence of Armenia's destruction of, and failure toprotect, the environment.

Armenia's actions caused severe harm to the area's naturalhabitats and species, depleted natural resources, and destroyedbiodiversity.

Armenia's widespread deforestation, unsustainable logging, andpollution through significant environmentally irresponsible andillegal construction and mining activities in forest regions,including in what had been protected nature reserves prior toArmenia's illegal occupation in 1991, have put more than 500wildlife species at risk in Azerbaijan.

Until today, Armenia continues to harm biodiversity and livingnature in our territories by polluting the transboundary riversflowing from its territory to the territory of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan's legal action makes specific claims against Armeniain areas such as legal obligations to maintain populations of allwild flora and fauna; ensure conservation, restoration, andimprovements to the habitats of wild flora and fauna; and takesteps to protect species listed by the Convention, includingmigratory species, as a priority.

In the arbitration, Azerbaijan asked the distinguished tribunalto order Armenia to cease all ongoing violations of the BernConvention and pay full reparation for its environmentaldestruction.

This arbitration will set an important precedent as a landmarkstep in environmental litigation-making and make the internationallegal obligations imposed on states related to biodiversity trulyeffective. It is also a serious effort to secure justice," thestatement concluded.

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