State Nature Reserves & National Parks
Natural State reservations are organised in land areas as defined by legislation to not be owned – e.g. so it is not taken from land owner, leaser and user. The protection and restoration of natural habitats in Azerbaijan 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 and their components, as well as for the maintenance of ecological balance.
The first reserve in Azerbaijan was established in 1961during soviet rule and the process continued until its fall in the 1990’s. In 2003 a re-establishment of reservations started, and in the same year Gakh National reservation was opened, and in 2005 Araz and Hirkan, in 2008 Zagatala, in 2009 Arpachay and Rvarud State Natural Reservations were created.
Since 2003, as with nature reserves, a re-establishment of environmental policy was achieved. In this year, 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 academician Hasan Aliyev, Shirvan. This continued with the creation of Ag Gol parks, in 2004, Hirkan, Altiagac, in 2005 Apsheron, in 2006 Shahdagh and Goy gol National Parks, in 2008. During and beyond 2008 the territories of National parks have also been expanded and improved.
- 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. With 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.