On December 9, 2018 the village communities of Qalayhudat, Khinalig, Hapit and Alik, gathered in the Guba region of Azerbaijan to participate in a presentation and awards meeting. This meeting was, in part, a celebration of the successful implementation of ECF’s Financial Participatory Approach (FPA) tool as a framework for nature conservation in the area. Sixteen representatives from the four participating villages attended the meeting.
Malak Shukurova, the National Coordinator of ECF Azerbaijan, addressed the attendees, discussing the status of the Eco-Corridors Fund project in the region, including current work, projects, events, training and community involvement. On behalf of ECF she expressed gratitude to everyone participating in the project.
ECF Azerbaijan’s FPA specialist, Lacin Novruzov, spoke next, recognizing the FPA as a tool and a new approach to nature conservation in the region. He said that the FPA is challenging some of the more conservative and traditional approaches to environmental issues. Following his speech, a number of community members were asked to speak, sharing strategies and success of the FPA in their communities.
Elmaddin Namazov, the pasture management specialist, took the floor and spoke about the importance of pasture management and the role of community members in this process.
Malak Shukurova then closed the meeting, acknowledging and thanking community members who actively participated in the implementation of the FPA tool in the Eco-Corridor Program in the Southern Caucasus. Certificates were presented, photographs taken and refreshments enjoyed.