Hyrcanian Forests, a natural wonder of unparalleled beauty and ecological significance, on the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage list. The Hyrcanian Forests, located in the southern part of Azerbaijan, is a treasure trove of biodiversity and a vital component of our global ecosystem.
The Hyrcanian Forests, covering approximately more than 40000 hectares, stands as a testament to the extraordinary capacity of nature to flourish and evolve over millions of years. Its origins can be traced back to the Tertiary period, making it one of the oldest forests on Earth, and a living record of our planet's natural history.
This forest is a haven for countless plant and animal species, many of which are endemic and found nowhere else in the world. Among its inhabitants are the Persian leopard and a diverse array of flora and fauna that rely on the Hyrcanian Forests for their survival. Protecting this unique habitat is not only essential for preserving the biodiversity of our planet but also for ensuring the long-term well-being of countless species and the ecosystem services they provide.
The Hyrcanian Forests is not just a biological treasure but also a cultural and historical marvel. For centuries, it has been intertwined with the lives and traditions of the people living in its vicinity. The forest has been a source of livelihood, inspiration, and spiritual significance for local communities. Its inclusion as a UNESCO World Heritage site would not only acknowledge its ecological importance but also celebrate the deep-rooted cultural connections that have evolved over generations.
Furthermore, the Hyrcanian Forests faces various threats, including habitat fragmentation and climate change. Inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage list would provide much-needed international recognition and support for conservation efforts. It would signify a collective commitment to safeguarding this precious ecosystem for future generations.
The nomination Azerbaijan’s Hyrcanian Forests was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List at the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (2023).