Byline: Adeel Mukhtar Mirza
Either one calls it the 'Land of Fire' or 'Pearl of Caucasus', words cannot comprehend even a sense of Azerbaijan. Magnificently amalgamated with Eastern colours with the Western progress, Azerbaijan maintains its unique nature, alluring culture, uncommon history, mesmerizing traditions, fine cuisine and distinctive customs. It is place that will satisfy a soul, looking for hospitality and friendliness.
At the Eastern side of Transcaucasia (South Caucasus) on the shores of the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan is country with the population of around 9.8 million and territory of 86, 600 square kilometers. In fact, it is the largest country in the South Caucasus as per its population as well as territorial statistics. The Baku city is the capital and the largest city of Azerbaijan. Moreover, it shares its borders with Iran (765 km), Turkey (15 km), Russia (390 km), Georgia (480 km) and Armenia (1007 km), with its Eastern border touching the waters of the Caspian Sea.
Azerbaijan covered its path to development and is successfully standing in the comity of developed nations. However, development process usually begets difficult situations. Development, a new cultural paradigm, is one of such conundrums. It is a situation where 'the consumption of natural resources is ahead of their recovery; extremely uneven resources distribution destabilizes both separate countries and the world as a whole; degradation of the natural environment takes place and irreversible negative processes are developing in the biosphere.' Used for the first time in 1972 at the UN conference on the human environment in Stockholm, sustainable development concept, on the contrary, aspires countries to meet their present needs without jeopardizing the future of subsequent generations. The concept covers three sectors: economy, ecology and society. Those economic projects are preferred that take into account possible environmental consequences. In the field of ecology, stability of natural and ecological systems is the main goal. As far as society is concerned, social stability in conjunction with economic activity, protected environment and reduction of social evils as well as destructive conflicts are considered.
Sustainable development is a critical strategic goal in Azerbaijan. Its development model is pursued under the principles...