To wrap up all activities around World Environment Day 2012, which falls this year on the eve of the United Nations Rio +20 Conference on Sustainable Development, the UN Information Office (UNO) in Azerbaijan, organized clean up at the Shuvalan beach on Absheron peninsula on 2 June.
The ‘subbotnik’, which is a popular name for Saturday’s gatherings, brought together more than one hundred young, enthusiastic and active environmentalists, volunteers from various NGOs like AEGEE Baku, Green Baku, “Temiz Sheher”, Association of Former UN Interns (AFUNI) Flash-mob Baku, and the Green Bikers Club, who despite the strong winds, willingly showed their love and care to Mother Earth. The participants enthusiastically teamed up with the UNO for a cleaner, greener and brighter outlook for themselves and future Azerbaijani generations.
“The main goal of such events is to create global awareness of the environment, encourage political attention and support individual and community projects in this direction,” says Vafa Safarli, UNO Azerbaijan’s Public Information Associate.
Volunteers in green t-shirts and caps, (which symbolized the idea of “green growth”), picked up plastic bags, bottles, cans and food remnants from the whole shoreline. Concurrent with the cleanup activities, the volunteers conducted educational outreach with people who were resting on the beach. One of the things that made this cleanup so successful was the commitment by the volunteers to have constant follow up.
“Despite the strong wind, we didn’t stop, and thus, we sent a strong message to society that everybody should do their part in preserving our Planet,” said passionate environmentalist Samir Gadirov, who also thanked the UNO team for what they have been doing in engaging youth in environmental issues and supporting them in their environmental efforts.