Leyla Aliyeva, born in Moscow in 1985, is the first daughter of the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev. The 36 years old editor, artist and activist has shown for years her interest and love for the environment in her effort to spread a more conscious and protective environmental thinking.
According to her, the environmental problems associated with climate change and global warming, the increased carbon emissions, and concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, processes in the ocean and humanitarian crises in different parts of the world, can’t leave the younger generations indifferent.
Leyla Aliyeva’s Awards
Leyla Aliyeva is more than just a mother of three beautiful kids, for many years she has been an active advocate of environment conservation, and she has been rewarded for that.
In November 2011, she was awarded the “Key to Life” Prize in New York, for her active participation in humanitarian actions and on November 22 of the same year, she received a UN certificate and a special card.
On September 28, 2016, by a decision of the Moscow State International Relations Institute’s Scientific Council, she was awarded the “Medal of Merit”. Added to that, between April 2012 and 2013 she was honoured with the Special International Honorary Award for “Environmental Protection” by the Board of the Organizing Committee of the International Project Olympiad for Protection of the Environment.
Leyla Aliyeva’s Initiatives
There is a lot to mention about Leyla Aliyeva. Especially about her work with young people, philanthropy, and initiatives toward the environment. She has demonstrated that she knows how to respond to the problems and aspirations of citizens. At her initiative, lots of landmark youth events, exhibitions and forums have been held.
In 2011 she founded IDEA (International Dialogue for Environmental Action), which is an international campaign that was launched in Baku, Azerbaijan. For her the reason behind this campaign was super simple, “the environment is a key cause of concern for the younger generation in Azerbaijan, as it is around the world”.
One of her initiatives was the green landscape in the suburbs of Baku. There hundred of thousands of green seedlings were planted and eco-parks were created. Added to that, Baku citizens have public beaches, yards, built within the project called “our yard”, and a fully equipped space for them to have a lovely time.
Leyla Aliyeva is sharing with us her opinion regarding the environment and global warming and what we can and should do to take better care of it. In addition, she mentioned one of her projects that helped raise awareness about these topics.
Leyla Aliyeva Answers our Questions
Interviewer: We have seen for years how you have been working on different projects and ideas related to the environment and its protection. But in one of them your main goal is call for action, can you talk to us a bit specifically about that project?
Leyla: “Sure, in 2012 as the founder of IDEA, I started The Children’s Eyes on Earth project with Reza, one of the best-known photojournalists in the world, so later on, The Children’s Eyes On Earth International Youth Photography Contest was launched, which became a great opportunity for young people to raise awareness about important and different environmental issues, with pictures on the themes “I Love Nature and I Fear Pollution.” So, the main point and the essence behind the contest was to create an opportunity to share experiences and thoughts and help promote an understanding of some of the challenges facing our planet. We also had a main idea which is to establish one of the main platforms to inspire families, businesspeople, decision-makers, politicians, and others around the world to take action”.
Interviewer: Can you explain a little bit why is so important to take care of the environment?
Leyla: “Well, we should start from that we only have one planet! This means that when we talk about environmental protection, we are talking about the protection of our planet. Besides that, environmental protection creates instead of destroying, meaning it helps to make sure that in a long term we will have vital natural resources available. Also, as a mother, where my priorities are my children, I realized that environmental protection means taking a big responsibility, for you, for us, but mainly for our children, who probably will stay on this planet for a longer period than us”.
Interviewer: Now that you mentioned the word children. How do you manage to be a mother of three and focus on all these projects? Maybe some tip for those parents out there?
Leyla: I am really convinced that we are for sure more tired of idleness than of active and useful work. I always say that the more you do good, the more strength you draw from those who have been helped by your word or cause. People with a positive attitude can give and transmit huge emotional and physical strength to keep moving and be even more generous in their actions. I always see a bit of love and good in every person”.
After talking to Leyla Aliyeva, I am even more convinced that we all need to prioritize ecological issues and make them one of our priorities when making daily decisions.
By David Thompson