Another meeting of the Working Group on Environmental Issues of the Inter-Administrative Center operating under the Coordination Headquarters regarding the centralized solution of issues in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan was held, Report informs.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the relevant state institutions represented in the working group and members of the special delegations of the President of Azerbaijan for Karabakh and East Zangazur economic regions.

The participants were informed about the monitoring carried out in the liberated regions to assess the ecological situation, and held discussions. At the meeting, the group members were also informed about the biomonitoring carried out for the prevention of transboundary pollution of Okchuchay, the restoration of the ecosystem, the determination of scientifically based measures for the improvement of water quality, and the preparation of relevant proposals.

To determine the level of pollution in Okchuchay water, serious changes in the color of the water and a strong smell were observed during the monitoring conducted last week. The analysis of water samples taken from the monitoring point near the border of the river with Armenia revealed an increase in the concentration of iron, manganese, molybdenum, ammonium and sulfates in the water. The analysis of the data transmitted from the new generation automatic hydrological stations installed in the transboundary rivers, including in Okchuchay in Shayifli village of Zangilan district, confirmed the increase in pollution.

Heavy metal pollution in Okchuchay is observed throughout the year. During the last monitoring, the reason for the change in the color and smell of the river was the sharp increase in the amount of ammonium and sulfate ions in Okchuchay. Thus, in Okchuchay, the amount of ammonium was 4-5 times higher than the norm, and the amount of sulfate was several times higher than the norm. This is due to the wide use of these chemicals in the mining industry.

Due to the continuous pollution of Okchuchay from the Western Zangazur territory, appeals were made to international organizations to inform them about the ecological crisis and critical condition of the river and its ecosystem and to prevent pollution. Also, despite appeals and calls addressed to the German Cronimet Holding, which is a shareholder of the Qajaran copper-molybdenum combine in Armenia, as one of the primary sources of pollution of Okchuchay, no practical measures have been taken and the pollution of the river continues today.

Taking into account the seriousness of the issue, the evidentiary documents collected on regular ecological monitoring were submitted to the General Prosecutor’s Office of Azerbaijan for legal assessment and taking appropriate measures.

The Working Group carries out its activities in close communication and information exchange with other working groups and special representations of the Interdepartmental Center.