Monitoring of demining and agricultural land use state in the liberated territories of Karabakh
In this report, monitoring of demining and use (lease) of arable lands was carried out in line with assessment of the state of water, land and other resources of the liberated areas and the changes made during the reporting period (January 2022 - June 2023) in the legislative acts providing for the legal regulation of the mentioned activities were reviewed in duly manner. The monitoring report divulged that the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) has not provided specific criteria (mechanisms) to select agricultural companies for the purpose of leasing land in the liberated territories of Karabakh until the beginning of 2023; the issue is that one legal norm (i.e. the law adopted by the Parliament) was applied in certain areas of Azerbaijan regarding the leasing of agricultural lands, and another legal norm (Presidential decree) was applied to the lands located in Karabakh. In February 2023, by amending the law “On Land Leasing”, the Land Code and the Presidential decrees on the implementation of both normative legal acts, the dual power in the legislation was put an end to, the leasing of agricultural lands and the changing of the designations of places (lands/grounds) within this type of land authority was given to the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA). The monitoring report revealed that all the companies that rent land in Karabakh either belong to the President's family (“Agro Dairy”, “Dost Agropark”, “Karabakh Takhil”, “Azersun”, “Azershekar”, etc.) or to high-ranking officials (“Crown K do” LLC, “Agroinkishaf 2017” LLC, “Agro Sell-Service” LLC, “Absheron Agro 2020” LLC, “Grow Group” LLC, etc.) One of the findings of the monitoring report is the fact that the MoA is the executive body in the process of leasing the lands of Karabakh, and all activities in Garabag, including the use of land, are directly managed by the Coordination Headquarters (CO) established in the Presidential Administration.
In the report, it was also reflected that the Coordination Headquarters, CoM and other state institutions operating in Karabakh did not observe the standards of transparency and accountability, did not divulge information and did not respond to inquiries.
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