Youth Union of Azerbaijan’s ruling party urges int’l community to protest against Armenia’s policy of eco-terrorism
The Youth Union of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party (YAP) has made a statement regarding the pollution of the Okhchuchay River by Armenia.
The statement reads:
"As a result of the aggressive policy pursued by Armenia against Azerbaijan for almost 30 years, 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands were under occupation. Despite the adoption of four UN resolutions on the occupation of Azerbaijani lands by Armenia and the immediate cessation of this occupation, and Azerbaijan’s long-term efforts to resolve the conflict within the framework of international law, Armenia’s aggressive policy had been continued. Furthermore, this policy was implemented not only on the battlefield but also by carrying out environmental terrorism in the historical lands of Azerbaijan. As a result, the flora and fauna system of the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan was destroyed, forests were burned, and rivers were polluted with toxic waste. Starting from 27 September 2020, Azerbaijan carried out counter-offensive in response to Armenia’s provocations against the civilian population, liberated its occupied territories within 44 days and restored its territorial integrity. After the end of the occupation of these areas, with the direct participation of the country’s leadership, large-scale construction work began, especially major projects initiated with the aim of restoring the destroyed ecosystem.
One of the rivers severely polluted by Armenia is the 83-km-long Okhchuchay, which passes through the Zangilan region of Azerbaijan. A 47-km section of the river passes through the territory of Armenia, which is the main place where the river is polluted. The Zangazur copper-molybdenum plant operating here is the main cause of river pollution. However, the company tries to avoid this responsibility and does not accept these claims. Once used for agricultural purposes and rich in rare fish species, this river basin has been destroyed due to high pollution. Due to the extreme toxicity of the river water, no living things inhabit here, and for this reason, it is called “dead river”.
After the liberation of the Zangilan region, according to ecologists, studies were conducted on the ecological situation in these regions on water pollution in the Okhchuchay River. The results of laboratory samples taken from water in January-March 2021 reflect a high number of heavy metals – copper, molybdenum, manganese, iron, zinc and chromium, were found here. Such pollution poses a special threat to human life by causing serious damage to flora and fauna. The abundance of heavy metals in the water service triggers complications in the human body, from disorders to the gastrointestinal tract to the destruction of the cardiovascular and nervous and hematopoietic systems of the body in destructive processes in the kidneys and bone tissue. Samples taken from the Okhchuchay River prove once again that the Zangazur copper-molybdenum plant flows into the river without treating the polluted water.
According to the UN, approximately 2.2 billion people worldwide do not have safe drinking water. By 2040, global water demand could increase by more than 50%, and by 2050, the number of people living in water-scarce areas will reach 5.7 billion. Freshwater issues in Azerbaijan are vital as 70% of water resources flow through neighboring countries. However, Armenia’s non-accession to the Helsinki Convention on Transboundary Watercources allows it to evade responsibility under international law. This international document serves as a mechanism for strengthening national measures and international activities aimed at environmentally sound management and protection of transboundary services and groundwater.
As the YAP Youth Union, we call on the entire international community, especially environmental organizations, not to remain indifferent to these actions of Armenia. The international community must unequivocally protest against Armenia’s policy of environmental terrorism against Azerbaijan. For almost 30 years, Armenia’s aggressive policy against Azerbaijan has seriously affected the fate of millions of Azerbaijanis, killing tens of people and expelling hundreds of thousands of them from their homes. As a time when the world’s freshwater resources are dwindling, the international community must not remain silent about the fact that this aggression is still at an environmental level, and must take urgent measures to stop the pollution of the Okhchuchay River."