AZƏRBAYCANDA KORONAVIRUSLA BAĞLI XƏBƏRLƏR

Azerbaijan’s first biosphere reserve to develop its ecotourism

Azerbaijan’s first biosphere reserve to develop its ecotourism

Society
09 June 2020, 15:32 380
The new reserve will be of interest to both domestic and international tourists
 
The project "Creation of Zagatala-Balakan Biosphere Reserve" has been launched in Azerbaijan, Deputy Chairman of the Department for Biodiversity Conservation of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources Arzu Samadova said.
The Zagatala-Balakan Biosphere Reserve, which will be established based on the Zagatala State Nature Reserve within the project, will create conditions for the development of ecotourism and increase employment of the local population in the region, as well as help identify trails and observation points so that people can see the beauties of nature without harming flora and fauna, Samadova noted.
The official added that the biosphere reserve also exists in Turkey, Russia, and Belarus, and now Azerbaijan will have one of its own.
Samadova noted that conditions would be created to stimulate ecological and rural tourism in the region and increase the socio-economic welfare of the population.
She went on to add that the mentioned biosphere reserve will have modern infrastructure and will be provided with alternative and renewable energy sources. At the same time, a farm will be established on the territory for the production of environmentally friendly products.
"One of the features of the biosphere reserve is that the organic products produced here will be marked with the logo of the reserve and will be exempt from customs duties when exported to some countries. The project also plans to provide small grants to people engaged in economic activities in the surrounding areas,” she said.
Samadova also said that the project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Germany) and has an implementation period of 4 years.
Interestingly, what is the importance of the establishment of this reserve in our country for tourism, how it will contribute to the development of tourism in the next stage, and most importantly, what steps should be taken to promote this reserve to the world?
According to tourism expert Jeyhun Ashurov, many countries are implementing the development of sustainable tourism as an important tourism policy. "In this case, the question may be, what is the development of sustainable tourism. To pursue a tourism policy while protecting nature, which means that to not harm nature in places where people flock to the maximum. On the contrary, with the help of people, work is being done to clean nature, to lay new green belts. From this point of view, rural green tourism and ecotourism are among the most developed types of tourism in recent times. As a result, people are more sensitive to nature because the policy of the vast majority of countries is in this direction. There are several reserves in our country. However, the main difference of this new reserve, which will be funded by the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, is that there are no serious restrictions on the entry of tourists. That is, as you know, there were some difficulties in organizing excursions to other reserves. Of course, there will be supervision, but in comparison, this reserve will be open to tourists interested in ecotourism. Tourists will be able to get acquainted with flora and fauna there. The creation of this reserve, especially in the green Zagatala-Balakan region, is an additional product for the country's tourism. The reserve will be of interest to both domestic and international tourists and is also a contribution to the development of sustainable tourism,” he said. 
Tourism expert Asim Mammadov notes that this step will arouse interest in our country among world tourists. "There are many types of tourism, and each has an audience. Some people like to visit historical places in the country they visit, and some like to taste different dishes. Some are interested in ecology and nature. These tourists are lovers of nature, flora and fauna and travel to get acquainted with the nature and ecotourism of different countries. In my opinion, the greater the range of tourism products, the more tourists we can attract. The creation of a new reserve will be able to provide an influx of tourists in the next stage. It would be better to provide special information about this reserve in tourism exhibitions, and when it is ready, to post videos of it on the Internet. Then tourists will be more interested in coming,” he said.
 
Gunel Azade