Map of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is a country in the South Caucasus region, situated at the crossroads of Southwest Asia and Southeastern Europe. It is bound by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south. Three physical features dominate Azerbaijan: the Caspian Sea, whose shoreline forms a natural boundary to the east; the Greater Caucasus mountain range to the north; and the extensive flatlands at the country's center. There are also three mountain ranges, the Greater and Lesser Caucasus, and the Talysh Mountains, which together cover approximately 40% of the country. Nine out of 11 existing climate zones are present in Azerbaijan. Nearly half of all the mud volcanoes on Earth are concentrated in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan's flora consists of more than 4,500 species of higher plants. Due to the unique climate in Azerbaijan, about 67 percent of the species growing in the whole Caucasus can be found in Azerbaijan. Since the independence of Azerbaijan in 1991, the Azerbaijani government has taken drastic measures to preserve the environment of Azerbaijan. But national protection of the environment started to truly improve after 2001 when the state budget increased due to new revenues provided by the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. Within four years, protected areas doubled and now make up eight percent of the country's territory. Since 2001, the government has set up seven large reserves and almost doubled the sector of the budget earmarked for environmental protection.

Quick Facts

Land use

Total land area
8,266,300 hectares
Area of forest
13.8% of land area
Area of agriculture
57.7% of land area
Area of permanent cropland
2.8% of land area

People

Population
9.7 million
Population growth
1.2% annually
Rural population
45.0%

Economics and development

GDP per person
5496.30 USD
GDP from agriculture
5.7%

Climate change and biodiversity

CO2 emissions
3.80 metric tonnes per person
Threatened animal and plant species
97
National Restoration Targets
Total restoration target
1,218,028 hectares
UNFCCC NC5 and NC6
Third National Communication to the UNFCCC, Republic of Azerbaijan (2015)
  • Chapter 5: Vulnerability Assessment, Climate Change Impacts, and Adaptation Measures – Forests (pg. 71-72):
    • Reforestation: forest restoration measures were conducted on 10,528 ha in 2012, forest planting and sowing took place on 3,078 ha. Support for natural restoration of forests was made on the remaining 7,450 ha. However, it is still necessary to increase the amount of protection forests in the low-lying areas and non-forested areas in several places. The works in the direction of restoration and reconstruction of Tuqay forests located in the valley of Kura and Araz Rivers are being carried out. Large areas of protective forests have to be planted in the mountainous areas to prevent erosion, as well as comprehensive measures for the rehabilitation of major rivers basins (reforestation, agro-meliorative and hydromeliorative) should be carried out.
    • Suggested Adaptation Measures:
      • Design and implementation of forest planting programs: The trees should be fast growing and drought-resistant species, preferable local species should be used;
      • Reforestation and restoration measures should be carried out in arid areas;
      • Reforestation activities in regions with high risk to flood;
      • Preventive measures should be taken to avoid forest fires;
      • Prevention of the spread of pests and diseases;
      • Development and implementation of measures for the restoration of forests to ensure efficient use of renewable forest resources (fruits, medicinal, etc.);
      • Planting of fast-growing trees on farms to reduce the shortage in forest products;
      • Design and planting of forests and gardens that meets the needs of a new agricultural system.
Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) of the Republic of Azerbaijan (2015)
  • Mitigation – LULUCF Sector:  Plant new forest areas, water and land protecting forest strips (windbreaks), urban and roadside greenery as well as further improve the management of pastures and agricultural lands (pg. 3).
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Country Profiles – NBSAPs, National Reports (5th)
National Strategy and Plan of Action on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity in the Republic of Azerbaijan (2006)
  • Action Plan for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in the Republic of Azerbaijan
    • Conservation and efficient use of forest biodiversity – Support sustainable use of forests: Develop and implement urgent measures to provide for natural regeneration, protection and sustainable use of forests, rare shrubs, sparse xerophytes forests in border areas (timeframe: 2006-2009) (pg. 10)
Azerbaijan Fifth National Report (2014)
  • Progress and achievements in the implementation of national biodiversity policies and strategies, including mainstreaming
    • Conservation and efficient use of forest biodiversity – Support sustainable use of forests: Ongoing – Recurrent activities underway (pg. 5)
  • Key strategies and state programs include: (pg. 7)
    • The National Program on forest restoration and expansion
  • The key biodiversity mainstreaming activities undertaken in the last four years, for each of the key production sectors in Azerbaijan, is summarized as follows:
    • Forestry sector: expanding the national forest coverage; greening urban areas; and rehabilitating the ecological functioning of degraded forests. (pg. 7)
  • Actions taken to implement the CBD since the fourth report (2010), and the outcomes of these actions (pg. 35)
    • 2.3.4 Strategic goal D: Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services: 10,131 ha of forest habitat under active restoration (7,385 ha of rehabilitation and 2,746 ha of seeding and cultivation). (pg. 36)
  • 2.4 Effectiveness of the mainstreaming of biodiversity into relevant sectorial and cross-sectorial strategies, plans and programs
    • A number of state programmes are being implemented to now expand the national forest coverage, green urban areas and rehabilitate the ecological functioning of degraded forests. Wide-scale national forest planting and greening initiatives have been undertaken over the last 5 years. Most of the species of trees and bushes used for forest planting and greening are fast-growing trees and bushes (e.g. chestnut oak, chestnut, ash, plane tree, cypress). Regular maintenance of forests is being implemented to protect forest species from various diseases and pests. In accordance with the “National Program on forest restoration and expansion” forest restoration activities were implemented in the area of 53215 hectares… Re/afforestation measures were taken in the area of 10131 hectares instead of the forecasted 10120, along with forestation and sowing works in the area of 2,746 hectares instead of the forecasted 2745. In the area of 7385 hectares, measures were taken for assisting natural re/afforestation. (pg. 40)
  • Progress towards the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets and contributions to the relevant 2015 Targets of the MDGs
    • Headline indicators used to determine state of progress of Azerbaijan in contributing to meeting the Aichi Biodiversity Target
      • Target 14: Trends in area of degraded ecosystems restored or being restored – 10,131 ha of forest habitat under active restoration (pg. 49)
  • The following proposals have been included into the process of revising and updating the NBSAP (2015-2020)
    • Perform works such as restoration of old forests to improve bio-productivity and enhance focus on the shelters of species (implementation period: permanent) (pg. 55)
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Country Profiles – NBSAPs, National Reports (5th)
Voluntary National Report to the 11th Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (2014)
  • Does your government’s national forest policy/strategy or national forest program contain time-bound and quantified targets related to the forest area? YES
  • Since 2007, what activities has your government undertaken to reverse the loss of forest cover and/or to enhance the area and quality of forests?
    • Afforestation: 23,877 ha
    • Restoration: 74,111 ha
  • *No UNFF10 National Report
Other (National Strategies and Plans, Rural Development Programs, Natura 2000 areas, projects, and goals)
Restoration target
709,528 hectares
National Forest Program (Forest Policy Statement and the Action Plan 2015-2030) (Final Draft) (2013)
  • Strategy 4: Forest areas and tree cover are significantly expanded through afforestation on suitable lands and restoration of degraded forest areas
    • Significantly increased by establishment of multipurpose forest plantations and tree plantings on suitable lands outside forest fund (up to 20% of the country in the long run)
      • National Afforestation Campaign
      • To reach 20% forest cover requires + 699,000 ha
Implemented Activities: The works fulfilled by the Forestry Development Department in 2015

In 2015, there was 10141 ha in forest restoration, 2635 ha in afforestation, and sowing of 2636 ha forest plants. 4310,4 hectares were planted, and irrigation works were carried out in 33224,6 hectares (lightly edited for clarity).

State Program on Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development in the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2008-2015 (2008)
  • Strategic Goal # 7: improving environmental situation and ensuring sustainable management of environment
  • Targets: Increase forest area to 12.5% by 2015
Global Environment Facility (GEF) projects
Restoration target
508,500 hectares
4332: Sustainable land and forest management in the Greater Caucasus landscape (2011 – duration 60 months) (Financing: $5,680,000 grant + $11,400,000 co-financing = $17,080,000)
  • SLM/SFM: 483,800 ha forest (p. 2)
  • 20,000 ha forestlands under improved multi-functional forest management (p. 2)
  • Restoration (via reduced anthropogenic pressures): 5,000 ha community forest (p. 2)
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