Azerbaijan’s First Lady, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva, Foundation’s Vice-president Leyla Aliyeva and Arzu Aliyeva attended the ceremony.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Leyla Aliyeva said this exhibition was a right method in terms of emphasizing the beauty of all threatened animal species, their significance and importance of their protection.
Mentioning her trip to Australia to participate in the assembly of the World Parks Congress, Leyla Aliyeva underscored the importance of future generation’s protecting the nature, and talked about the works done in Azerbaijan to this end.
“In Azerbaijan, we enlighten the youth on protection of the environment,” she said. “Azerbaijan is a country with old traditions and rich history. Located at the crossroads of the East and West, our country enjoys both Eastern wisdom and Western progress. Azerbaijan has become one of the major hubs on the historic Silk Way."
She said Azerbaijan’s becoming a country of tolerance, dialogue and new ideas has greatly influenced the development of our culture.
"Rare geographical location between Europe, Asia and Middle East has influenced not only our culture, but also our nature, by creating beautiful landscapes," she said. "Azerbaijan is a country of snowy mountains, lakes, rivers, dense forests, lowlands and meadows. Azerbaijan enjoys nine out of the 11 climate zones existing in the world, which creates very rich biodiversity.”
“Therefore, three years earlier, we established IDEA – the International Dialogue for Environmental Action Public Association,” she said. “Although we are at the beginning of the way we have determined to go, we have already implemented a number of projects and reached positive outcomes."
"Our projects include planting 3 million trees to represent three million young people, reintroduction of gazelles into wildlife, and enlightening over 8 thousand children on the significance of protecting the environment. We have also identified our famous "Five", which includes a brown bear, a wolf, an eagle, a gazelle and a Caucasian leopard.”
Leyla Aliyeva mentioned the Caucasian Biodiversity Summit held in Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan country’s being a member to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
She informed that in order to rescue the Caucasian leopard from the peril of extinction and ensure its return to Europe, works are being carried out with the World Wildlife Protection Fund, the Panther Organization and other organizations working in this sphere.
Leyla Aliyeva thanked those contributing to organization of the exhibition, and once more underscored the significance of protecting the environment.
Emphasizing the high-level organization of the event devoted to the 50th anniversary of IUCN Red List, Chief Director of the organization Julian Marthon brought to attention that today’s event was of significance for him.
Marthon said the participation of Azerbaijan’s First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva and Leyla Aliyeva, head of IDEA Public Association, which is well-known for its interesting projects in the world, made the exhibition more interesting.
The chief director said he was informed of IDEA projects and these projects have made its contribution to the ecological enlightenment works in the world.
Art-lovers of London joining the exhibition, which took place with the organizational support of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and “Baku” Magazine, were presented works representing various directions of modern art.
Along with modern art representatives from different countries, Azerbaijani artists are also represented here. Leyla Aliyeva, Aida Mahmudova, Farid Rasulov, Rashad Alakbarov have joined the exhibition with interesting works.
Moreover, works reflecting threatened flora and fauna species by George Condo, Tracey Emin, Andy Warhol, Gavin Turk, Peter Blake, Douglas Gordon, Stephanie Weile and other well-known representatives of modern art are displayed at the exhibition.
The objective of holding such exhibitions is to enlighten people on the significance of the ecosystem and its protection and strengthen social responsibility in this direction.
Being the biggest and oldest organization dealing with protection of the environment, the International Union for Conservation of Nature includes 1200 government and non-government organizations from 160 countries.
The Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature is considered to be the most detailed collection of information on global protection of wildlife and threatened species.