In early September, the Institute of Technology and Life Sciences in Falenty made a presentation in Baku’s Institute of Erosion and Irrigation. The presentation summed up a series of Polish aid development projects that were implemented in Azerbaijan in 2009-2014.
The presentation showed the results of collaboration of both institutes in the area of research into soil erosion and salinity in the selected regions of Azerbaijan. Both processes pose a serious problem in the rational management of the country’s natural resources. They are also the main focus of research at the Baku Institute which carries out projects for the Azerbaijani Ministry of Agriculture. According to the Institute’s statistical data, around 80% of arable land in Azerbaijan’s mountainous regions is threatened with erosion, while the process of salinization affects most of the lowland soils that serve as arable lands or pastures.
The projects enabled the staff of the Baku Institute to familiarize themselves with the GIS software potential as a modern tool applied to spatial planning. The Institute developed a GIS laboratory for experts to implement GIS software in modelling local erosion phenomena.
In the course of the projects, assumptions for a data base were developed containing information necessary for spatial analyses of the process of erosion. Eventually the data base will cover all the country’s administrative regions situated in the Greater Caucasus Mountains. This region is most affected by different forms of erosion. The data base could be used in the process of spatial planning by Azerbaijan administrative units.
In the period of 2009 – 2014, MFA allocated approximately PLN 1.2m to implementing development projects of both institutes.