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Azerbaijan - Country Profile

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Status and Trends of Biodiversity


Azerbaijan can be divided into a number of biogeographical regions, although is dominated by Mediterranean plant communities (50%), boreal plant communities (30%), and Caucasus plant communities (5%). Azerbaijan has forest, grassland and desert, mountain, wetland, coastal and marine ecosystems. There are approximately 4,500-recorded species of higher plants, which represent around 65% of the floral diversity of the Caucasus region, and 11% of the world’s flora. There are over 400 species of plants endemic to Azerbaijan. Approximately 20,000 species of invertebrates have been recorded. Azerbaijan supports 623 species of vertebrates including: 89 fish species; 10 amphibians; 52 reptiles; 363 species of bird; and some 106 species of mammals. There are forty species of invertebrates listed in the Red Book as being threatened with extinction. Among vertebrates, five species of fish are considered endangered due to anthropogenic activities. Five species of amphibians found are listed in the Red Data Book of Azerbaijan. Major threats to biodiversity include habitat loss and modification, overuse of biological and natural resources, pollution, introduced and alien species, climate change and natural disasters.

Number and Extent of Protected Areas

To date the area covered by five of the protected areas has been increased by 36,600 ha, and they now cover a total area of 70,700 ha.

National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan

Major features of National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

The NBSAP provides strategic direction and measurable targets for the conservation of the country's biodiversity over the next five years. It also contains an outline of the priority activities that should be undertaken in order to achieve these targets. The final NBSAP document will comprise three main sections: 1) Country study that summarizes the current status of Azerbaijan's biodiversity, including uses and threats, and outlines the current state of conservation activities. 2) National Strategy -This strategic framework is a guide to the most pressing conservation activities. It consists of an overall aim and a series of measurable objectives. The strategy outlines principles that will guide the implementation of the NBSAP, and constraints and opportunities that should be considered during its design and implementation. 3) National Action Plan -This section outlines a series of prioritized activities that must be undertaken in order to achieve the objectives set in the strategy.

Implementation of the Convention

Initiatives in Protected Areas

A network of protected areas has been created in Azerbaijan, which are not evenly distributed across the country, although the main landscapes of ecological importance are represented within the protected areas system. The Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources manages these reserves. In 1988 the government published a plan for the future development of the national protected areas system up to 2010, with a target for covering a total of 954,000 ha. To date the area covered by five of the protected areas has been increased by 36,600 ha, and they now cover a total area of 70,700 ha. In addition, a Presidential Decree established Ordubad National Park (12,131 ha), Shahbuz Strict Nature Reserve in Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic (3,139 ha), Gakh Strict Nature Reserve (36,836 ha), Shirvan National Park (54,373 ha) and Ag-Gol National Park (17,924 ha). Finally, in 2004, the Hirkan National Park was created on the base of Hirkan State Reserve with a total area of 21,435 ha of Lenkoran and Astara regions.

Initiatives in Access and Benefit Sharing

A Presidential Decree established the “State Commission of Genetic Resources on Biodiversity” in December 2002, whose main purpose is to implement measures in line with Azerbaijan’s commitments under the Convention on Biological Diversity, in order to prevent the loss of genetic resources of plants, animals and microorganisms.

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  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme