State Nature Reserves & National Parks
Natural State reservations are organised in land areas as defined by legislation to not be owned. Therefore it is not taken from land owner, leaser and user, but rather adopted by the State.
The protection and restoration of natural habitats are carried out by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. State natural reservations are areas of special importance for protection or restoration of natural habitat. They are, along with their components, essential for the maintenance of ecological balance.
The first Reserve in Azerbaijan was established in 1961 during Soviet rule. The Soviets continued this process until its fall in the 1990’s.
In 2003 the Azerbaijnai government began re-establishing reservations. During the same year they opened the Gakh National Reservation. Later, in 2005 Araz and Hirkan, in 2008 Zagatala, in 2009 Arpachay and Rvarud State Natural Reservations were also created.
Since 2003, as with nature reserves, the Azerbaijani government have re-established environmental policy. In 2003, as well as the opening of the Gakh National Reserve, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources also established Ordubad national park, which was named after academic, Hasan Aliyev, Shirvan. This was followed with the creation of Ag Gol parks, in 2004; Hirkan, Altiagac, in 2005; Apsheron, in 2006; Shahdagh and Goy gol National Parks, in 2008.
Furthermore, throughout and after 2008 the government have continued to expand and improve the territories of the National parks:
- Hirkan National Park, was expanded to 40358 hectares in 2008.
- On November 25, 2009, by decree of the President the territory of Ordubad National Park was expanded on account of Shahbuz State Nature Reserve, and lands of Shahbuz, Julfa, Ordubad regions and made 42797.4 hectares.
- With the same order, the name of the National Park was changed and named as Zangezur National Park after the academician Hasan Aliyev. By decree of Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated July 8, 2010 the area of Shahdag National Park was expanded by 14613.1 hectares t0 130508 hectares.
- At present, national parks constitute 3.6% of the country’s territory.