By Leman Mammadova
For the first time in the country, a biosphere reserve will be created in the Zagatala-Balakan zone.
The project will be developed by joint efforts of the Azerbaijani government and the German Development Bank (KfW), Hikmat Alizade, Director of the Department for Biodiversity Conservation and Development of Specially Protected Natural Areas at the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, told Trend.
In his words, the project of the biosphere reserve has been developed for several years, and has already passed the preparatory stage.
“Currently, several companies participate in a tender organized by KfW, and its results will be announced in the coming weeks,” he noted, adding that after that, work will begin with the winning company to create a biosphere reserve in the Zagatala-Balakan zone.
Alizade stressed that four years are allotted for this project and it is planned to complete work in 2023.
He noted that as part of the project, environmental protection measures are planned in the Zagatala State Nature Reserve and the surrounding areas, as well as measures to improve the living standards of the local population, social measures.
In general, all these works are aimed at turning this area into an environmentally safe zone, he said.
Biosphere reserve is a special type of nature reserves. The reserves are the research institutions, which are assigned to the specified territory. Any activity that violates natural complexes or threatens the preservation of natural objects is prohibited by law both on the territory of the reserve and within the protection zone established around it.
Biosphere reserve is a protected area recognized within the framework of international program “Man and Biosphere”, which was adopted at the 16th session of the UNESCO General Conference in 1970.
This program was approved in connection with the increasing human impact on the environment and is intended to ensure, based on comprehensive basic research, obtaining the data necessary for the rational use of natural resources and the management of processes in the biosphere.
The main goal of creating biosphere reserves is the preservation of natural ecosystems and their gene pool in their natural form, as well as continuous and comprehensive environmental monitoring.
It is believed that the territory of the biosphere reserve practically does not experience local impacts of the surrounding landscapes, transformed by human.
The main tasks of biosphere reserves are to preserve the diversity and integrity of plant and animal communities within natural ecosystems, the diversity of the gene pool, to conduct long-term scientific research in modified and close to natural conditions.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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