On 2-6 June I traveled to Baku, Azerbaijan, to facilitate a UNEP-organized Integrated
Approach to Environmental Sustainability in Development Planning National
Workshop for government officials and academics on integrating the
Sustainable Development Goals at the national level. The workshop was held
at the ADA University, and was followed the next day, World Environment Day,
by a high-level International Conference Stakes and Solutions of Climate
Change in preparation for the UN Climate Conference (COP21) in Paris in
December. For other pictures of Baku, see my previous
visit in 2012.
Views of Baku from my hotel room
UNEP workshop on Integrated Approach to
The opening session included talks by the French Ambassador, the UN Resident
Coordinator, the Deputy Minister for Ecology and Natural Resources, and the
UNEP Regional Coordinator Mahir Aliyev (one of my former students in
Environment Diplomacy). The Vice Rector of ADA University gave an opening
keynote on the global challenges for sustainability. I introduced the
Sustainable Development Goals, and my UNEP colleague Wondwosen Askane
presented the UNEP contribution to these challenges.
The opening session; H.E. Pascal Meunier, Ambassador of France
speaking; Dr. Rameshwar Kanwar, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs, ADA
UN Resident Coordinator Antonius Broek speaking; Rauf Hajiyev, Deputy
Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources, speaking; Dr. Kanwar's opening
part of the audience
The afternoon included the Director of the Institute of Sustainable
Development in Moscow speaking on integrated approaches, after which I
presented a scenario for discussion on the phasing out of fossil fuels after
the UN Climate Conference and how the government would need to integrate its
response. A variety of ideas for positive responses were discussed.
Conference on Climate Change
The Conference on Stakes and Solutions of
Climate Change: governmental action, civil society's commitment and
technological solutions was addressed by Dr. Hussein Baghirov,
Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources, and attracted wide press
coverage. The afternoon included two panels on civil society involvement and
on technological solutions.
The Minister's opening talk; the opening session; a large audience
and press for the Minister's speech
Press interviews with the Minister and other personalities after the
An afternoon panel, and part of the audience
The two events were very complementary, and hopefully will lead to progress
at the national level.