CIVICS/Zaqatala Case Study
Zaqatala district borders Georgia in the south, [[w:Dagestan|Dagestan] in the north and w:Balaken:Balaken and Gakh districts in the west and east. Zaqatala town is located 445 km away from Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. It sits on the bank of the Tala river and at the Yevlakh-Baku highway. It is 25-30 km away from the Eskibazar, that was one of the biggest trade centres of the East at the Great Silk Way. Gala plain is at the 25-35 metres above the town.
Zaqatala district is composed of 1 town, 60 villages and two additional 2 settlements. It has an area of 1,350 km² and a population of 120,300 people (sources?). From Zagatala to Baku City, it is about 450 km.
- Landscape being existed in the north and northeast sides is mountain, and in the south and southwest is flatted. The highest point is Guton mountain (3648 m). Climate at the plain is warm, in mountains – cold. The mid temperature of January on the plain - 1 C, in mountains - 10 C, mid temperature of July accordingly +24 C and +5 C. Level of precipitation constitutes 600-1600 mm a year. Half of the territory of the area is occupied with woods, basically, in mountains. It grows rare the most valuable types of trees: chestnuts, hazelnuts, nuts, filbert, oak, beech, hornbeam, garagaj and others. Forests cover about 49% of the territory of the district. At the plain, the greenery is privilege like bushes. Noble deer, it is habituated pheasant, snowbird, partridge, turaj, mountain eagle, hawk, nightingale and others.
- Having founded in 1929 Zagatala State Nature Reserve occupies part of the area territory. Square of the reserve constitutes 23844 Hectares. In the National park, it is forbidden to carry out any economic activity, but there are conditions available for ecological tourism. Having making walk tour or on horses upon tourist routes one may watch animals and birds habituated in reserves, make camera shooting and photo. At the aforesaid routes there are places where tourists might have relaxation term and to stay at night. It is presumably hunting on pheasant and water floating bird and running to such animals as wild bore, hare. In outskirts of Gas village, you may have skating in winter. Zagatala – international region. Herein in conjunction with Azerbaijanis, there live representatives of more than 20 nations: Avars, Tsakhurs, Russian, Lezghins, Tatars, Ingiloys and others.
- As of the 1st January 2011, population of Zagatala district was 120,266 people. Average density of the population was 89 people per 1 sq. km. Population mainly inhabits foothills and plains. Zagatala town, Aliabad, Mukhakh, Upper Tala, Lower Tala, Danachi villages are large settlements. Zagatala is a multinational district. Here there are representatives of up to 20 nations (avars, sakhurs, lezgies, tatars, udins, geogians, jews and etc.).
- Picturesque nature, attractive climate and historical monuments of the district boosted the development of tourism. There are unique natural areas good for recreation (Zagatala waterfall, Khalakhi lake, Gebizdere, Honzogor mountain, Moorchay, Malarasa pass and etc.). Zagatala State Reserve (area – 23.8 thsd. ha) is the first reserve established in the Caucasus (1929) region with very rich flora and fauna is very important for the development of ecotourism.
- 2 fortresses, 38 mosques, 3 minarets and 2 churches are preserved as historical monuments. They include fortress in Zagatala town ( 1830), mosque in Aliabad village (XIX century), Chingizgala in Jar village (XIV century), «Sheytangala» ( XVII century), fortress in Mukhakh village, tomb and mosque in Lower Tala village, tower in Upper Chardaglar village (XIV century) and etc.
- Main areas of the economy are – tobacco growing, silkworm breeding, nut growing, grain growing (corn for forage). Zagatala district has beautiful and rich nature, minerals and fertile lands. Zagatala is one of the main districts of the country specialising in tobacco growing, silkworm breeding and nut growing. Moreover, grain growing, cattle breeding and processing of agricultural products play an important role in the economy. Mainly nuts and seedy fruits (apple, pear) are grown in the territory of the district.
- Furthermore, grapes, tea, plants containing ether are also grown. There is a fruit cannery, nut processing factory, tobacco fermentation, butter-cheese plants, brickworks, poultry incubator in the district. Economic reforms pursued in recent years created a favourable condition for the reconstruction of the economy and development of the agrarian sector of Zagatala district.