A’WOT analysis for sustaınability of biodiversity and tourism in Shahdagh Natıonal Park, Azerbaijan

Keywords: national park, biodiversity, tourism, A’WOT analysis, AHP weights


Shahdag National Park is the largest protected area in Azerbaijan, as well as in the South Caucasus. The article examines the sustainable development of tourism and biodiversity in the national park and surrounding areas. For this purpose, SWOT analysis was conducted using multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) tools to implement planning. The study identified internal and external environmental factors influencing the national park and presented specific strategies for sustainability. Interviews and surveys were conducted with the management of the national park, as well as visitors, to identify the factors affecting the development of the park. During the analysis of the survey results, factors affecting biodiversity and tourism were taken into account, such as ecological sustainability, economic efficiency, and social responsibility, which are key indicators of sustainable development. Thus, the initial SWOT analysis identified the strengths and weaknesses of the park as internal factors, as well as the opportunities and challenges related to external factors. For each category, 5 factors were selected according to their importance and evaluated in terms of effectiveness by establishing a hierarchy. Based on the assessment, local and global weights of factors were calculated. Mountain ecosystems and the biodiversity of the national park received the highest rating value as an internal factor. Among the external factors, reducing the impact on ecosystems and opportunities to increase tourism revenues received a high score for its effectiveness. For the sustainable development of the research area, factors covering various aspects of society and the environment were comprehensively analyzed, and strategies were proposed that incorporate more scientifically effective and systematic attributes. The results showed that the main condition is to increase the protection regime of ecosystems identified as a priority in the national park and to raise public awareness of environmental issues. In addition, the use of the park’s tourism potential by local communities and the creation of stimulating business opportunities for entrepreneurs can make a positive contribution to sustainable development at the regional level.

Author Biography

Emil A. Jabrayilov
Institute of Geography, Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, Baku, Azerbaijan


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How to Cite
Jabrayilov, E. (2022). A’WOT analysis for sustaınability of biodiversity and tourism in Shahdagh Natıonal Park, Azerbaijan. Journal of Geology, Geography and Geoecology, 31(2), 302-310. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.15421/112228