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Encounters with an ancient natural heritage – Green Treasure of Azerbaijan

2 June 2014

Thematic exhibition launched in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Relict Trees of the Hyrcanian Forest in Talysh Mountains of Southern Azerbaijan.

The first thematic exhibition on Relict Trees of the Hyrcanian Forest in Talysh Mountains of Azerbaijan opened on 2 May 2014 at the Azerbaijan National Academy of Science, in the country’s capital Baku. This international exhibition project is a collaborative initiative of the Botanic Garden of the University of Fribourg, the Natural History Museum of Fribourg, Switzerland, the Institute of Botany of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Science, Baku, Azerbaijan, Botanic Gardens Conservation International, United Kingdom, and Design NG Tornay Graphic and Communication, Fribourg, Switzerland.

The exhibition aims to raise awareness of the conservation needs of the spectacular relict flora found in the Hyrcanian region of the Talysh Mountains in southern Azerbaijan. Relict trees form a particularly emblematic component of our natural heritage, having continued to exist all through an enormous time span of the Earth’s geological history. Outlasting changing environmental conditions for millions of years, these species provide a unique opportunity to research past, recent and present evolutionary processes and biogeographical distributions. Besides their ecological functions within the ecosystems in which they occur, many relict trees hold important socio-economic use benefits and cultural values. Unprecedented, rapid global transformations in recent history, specifically demographic and climatic changes as well as large-scale land conversion, threaten the survival of numerous unique relict plants.

By way of 12 panels and multimedia technology, the exhibition introduces various relict tree species found in the natural forests of Azerbaijan.
The exhibition catalogue can be accessed here: Green Treasures of Azerbaijan
Video clips of the exhibition can be accessed at the following links:
The exhibition is on permanent display at the Institute of Botany and Central Botanic Garden of the National Academy of Science of Azerbaijan. The exhibition can be visited free of charge (Patamdart Highway 40, Baku;  Tel (994 12) 502-49-73; (994 12) 433-29-73).

This exhibition forms part of wider international conservation efforts of the Botanic Garden of the University of Fribourg, the Natural History Museum of Fribourg in Switzerland and Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) in the United Kingdom, as well as numerous further in-country partner organisations to develop and implement initiatives dedicated to safeguarding the unique natural heritage presented by relict trees for future generations. A major example of this international collaboration is Project Zelkova, aimed at promoting an integrated in and ex situ conservation approach to all species in this iconic relict plant genus.
Pterocarya pterocarpa
Parrotia persica

A global action plan for the conservation of threatened Zelkova species


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