On August 8, the first field survey has started in the pilot area on the Caspian Sea coast of Neftchala region within the CRIPTIC project. CRIPTIC – Cleaning Riverine Plastic from a Transboundary Inflow to the Caspian is a Norwegian-Azerbaijani joint research project funded by the Handelens Miljøfund Environmental Foundation. The CRIPTIC project is also supported by BP, ESRI, At-Geotech, Azercosmos, MONT Group, SPECTRA, Az-Green, CASPIAN GEOMATICS and Quintessence C&S.
The main partners of the project on the Norwegian side are Aquaplan-Niva, Norwegian Institute for Water Research NIVA, SALT, Terra Nor, and on the Azerbaijani side are the Azerbaijan Geographical Society, the Institute of Geography of ANAS, the Caspian Integrated Scientific Network (CASPISNET), Water the Union of Specialists, Azersu is represented by Sukanal Research and Design Institute of OJSC.
In this field survey, which was supported by CASPISNET, students from various universities and staff from various government agencies.
CRIPTIC crews began online registration and cleaning of each plastic waste collected using special software after drone shooting in a 1,200-meter-long and 140-meter-wide strip in the pilot zone. This method, which is applied for the first time in Azerbaijan, will help many specialists and relevant organizations to use the modern world experience to effectively combat plastic waste. The collected plastic waste was handed over to a plastic waste recycling plant in Baku.
Head of CRIPTIC project in Azerbaijan, Ph.D. Elnur Safarov said that the main goal of the project is to model modern satellite, drone observations, programming languages, machine learning, artificial intelligence on a complex application of GIS platform and to teach this experience to Azerbaijani specialists. Noting that the project consists of three work packages, the organizer said that they include the cleaning of river banks and the classification of plastic pollutants in the Kura River, the implementation of cartographic work for cleaning operations and public involvement. He also thanked the Neftchala District Executive Power for its support in holding the event successfully.
In addition, high-resolution satellite imagery, which determines the location of relatively large plastic waste in larger areas in the pilot zone, will be provided by Azersky, a joint operator of Azercosmos and a remote observation satellite of the Earth’s surface.