GIZ has been active in Azerbaijan since 1995, and opened an office in Baku in 2007. Around 50 GIZ experts are working to help Azerbaijan transition to a more market-oriented economy and democracy. Our work is part of the South Caucasus Initiative of the German federal government on environment and natural resources, sustainable economic development, and good governance.

The Integrated Biodiversity Management, South Caucasus (IBiS) programme runs from 2015 to 2019. In Azerbaijan, we cooperate with the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources on sustainable biodiversity and ecosystem services management. This includes policy dialogue, education and training, awareness raising and pilot projects. The pilot initiatives take place in the district of Ismayilli, a mountainous area in central Azerbaijan that covers roughly five percent of the country. The area is not only home to a wide variety of wildlife and a broad diversity of landscapes, but also fertile agricultural lands.

sample activities


There are over 50 environmental education centres in Azerbaijan, whose role is to develop an understanding of the environment. Around 11,000 children and young people are learning to take responsibility for their natural surroundings. We are supporting the Ministry of Education in reforming and restructuring these education centres. Resources are being pooled and teaching modules are being made more interesting and interactive. We are helping to train 35 teachers to become environmental instructors.

These activities are an example of our capacity development measures. They take place on three levels: The individual level (training of trainers), the organisational level (organisational development) and the societal level (supporting the reform process by the Ministry of Education).


  • Development of a new vision for the education centres
  • Strategic cooperation with environmental education institutions in Germany
  • A new building in the old town of Baku will soon provide classrooms and overnight accommodation for over 50 children




IBiS is advising its partners on intersectoral land-use planning as well as integrated land-use management. That includes erosion prevention, but also opportunities for locals such as orchard management and beekeeping. These measures take place in the pilot district of Ismayilli, which encompasses 105 villages. Up to eight municipalities will be supported in piloting innovative erosion control measures.


  • Implementation concept for hazelnut plantations on eroded land in five municipalities
  • Raising awareness and fostering knowledge among decision makers and local farmers about how to erosion
  • Stabilization of eroded hills and construction of check-dams in eroded riverbeds
  • Fencing off eroded areas and re-establishing them as meadows for cattle
  • New income opportunities for local farmers




IBiS is supporting the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources and the Ministry of Agriculture on establishing environmental information systems for the integrated management of biodiversity and ecosystem services. It will help decision-makers to develop policy based on reliable data. Those activities are accompanied by capacity building on the use and management of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing data.




In addition to our efforts in improving the environmental education centres, IBiS is also helping to improve university teaching in the environmental sector by supporting Baku State University in delivering a new master’s degree course in bio-ecology. The university is broadening its capacities in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with the help of IBiS. A GIS expert and a laboratory will assist them in expanding their remote sensing capabilities.

To address the inter-sectoral demands for the sustainable use of ecosystem services, over 100 decision makers are trained on the integration of ecosystem services into their policies.A new platform will support long-term virtual exchange and dialogue between actors all over the region. IBiS is designing the platform together with RECC, the Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus.




In cooperation with the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, IBiS is implementing a public awareness campaign on ecosystem services.




  • Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources
  • Ministry of Education
  • Ministry of Agriculture
  • Baku State University
  • ADA University
  • Western University
  • District administration of Ismayilli
  • Municipalities of Ismayilli
  • United Nations Development Programme