ASSESSMENT OF ANTHROPOGENIC LOADS ON LANDSCAPES AS A TOOL TO DETERMINE THE POTENTIAL FOR SUSTAINABLE REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT: CASE STUDY FROM AZERBAIJAN
Authors: Mamedov, Ramiz; Mustafayev, Boyukagha
Source: Environment, Development and Sustainability, Volume 9, Number 2, May 2007 , pp. 131-142(12)
Abstract:In order to determine the potential for sustainable regional development of the Caspian coastal zone, a study was made for the Khachmaz-Absheron zone of Azerbaijan. An evaluation was performed to assess the anthropogenic load on landscapes. Using the 8-point scale offered by Isachenko [2001, Ecological Geography of Russia, Saint Petersburg University Press, Saint Petersburg] for the indicators of agricultural, industrial, urban and integral anthropogenic loads, we did a preliminary ranking of the provinces in the Khachmaz-Absheron zone of Azerbaijan for the each indicator taken separately. Vital statistics were used as a supplementary indicator of environmental conditions in the region. By comparing the data for provinces with each other and the data on Azerbaijan average, we have classified the provinces into 4 groups according to specific combinations of the indicators. Each group of provinces has distinctive environmental conditions and features for sustainable development. The classification makes it possible to develop certain recommendations for the regional sustainable development. Measures to be implemented within the Azerbaijan State Program on Social and Economic Development of Regions are also discussed. In the Khachmaz province, production of ecologically pure products is highly recommended. Special attention should be given to the development of tourism and recreational institutions in the Khachmaz, Khizi and Devechi provinces. Recommendations for these provinces include further development of industry on the basis of modern safe technologies. The irrigation and drainage networks should be reconstructed. The reconstruction will make it possible to reduce water loss and to increase the productivity of agriculture. In the Absheron province, Baku and Sumgait cities environmental systems are overloaded, and so the works at highly polluting enterprises must be stopped, the enterprises have to be re-equipped (old filters must be changed first of all) or relocated from the area (a decrease of environmental risk should be in the focus of attention). For improving of air quality, green areas should increase. There is a need to reduce urban traffic density and to reconstruct highways. Use of old vehicles must be forbidden or restricted, and transition to environmentally friendly fuel should be supported in every way possible. It is necessary to bring the waste management system and sanitary landfills up to international standards, and to improve the water supply and sewerage systems.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2007-05-01