High School ECOSOC - UN Forum on Forests


Natania Blair

Cite as

Position Paper

Name: Natania Blair

Delegation: Institute of Advanced Placement


Greetings from Azerbaijan, the nation which is former Soviet republic, the largest country in the Caucasus region that is bounded by the Caspian Sea and Caucasus Mountains which span Asia and Europe Azerbaijan, with its strategic geopolitical location, is located at the crossroads of several civilizations over the centuries. Azerbaijan's capital, Baku, is famed for its medieval walled Inner City. Due to Azerbaijan’s diverse climate, the country is home to rich and diverse fauna and flora. Therefore, Azerbaijan has many national treasures in the form of Relict trees. Their decorative leaves, large crowns and strong trunks have attracted the attention of naturalists, botanists and gardeners from all around the world for centuries. These majestic trees are found in the Hyrcanian (Hirkan) Forest in the south of Azerbaijan. Forest areas, as defined by the United Nations, is “land spanning more than 0.5 hectares with trees higher than 5 metres and a canopy cover of more than 10 percent, or trees able to reach these thresholds in situ. It does not include land that is predominantly under agricultural or urban land use.”


According to The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), human life depends on the earth as much as the ocean for our sustenance and livelihoods. Plant life provides 80% of our human diet, and we rely on agriculture as an important economic resource and means of development. Forests account for 30% of the Earth’s surface, providing vital habitats for millions of species and important sources for clean air and water; as well as being crucial for combating climate change.


Based on an article by the United Nations, “Climate Change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment.” Evidences of climate change extend from shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding. Deforestation, a top cause of the issue of climate change and global warming, defined by the United Nations, is “the conversion of forest to other land use independently whether human-induced or not.” It includes areas of forest converted to agriculture, pasture, water reservoirs, mining and urban areas. The term specifically excludes areas where the trees have been removed as a result of harvesting or legal logging, and where the forest is expected to regenerate naturally. Degradation of forest resources and deforestation, insufficient meeting the needs and demands of the society for environmental, social and economic goods and services, inadequate stakeholders’ participation and inter-sectorial collaboration in forestry practices are the main challenges of the Azerbaijan forestry.


However, as mentioned before in the definition, not every case of deforestation is intentional. Some cases are caused by a combination of human and natural factors like wildfires and subsequent overgrazing, which may prevent the growth of young trees. On the other hand...