National parks - areas having status of nature conservative and scientific-research institutions where natural complexes of preferential ecological, historical, aesthetic and likewise importance located on and, used for nature conservative, enlightenment, scientific, cultural and other purposes. Functions of the national parks are as follows:
- to preserve natural complexes, exotic and standard natural zones, historical-cultural sites;
- to create opportunities for tourism and rest (recreation);
- to develop and apply scientific methods of nature conservation and ecological enlightenment;
- to enlighten the population from ecological standpoint;
- to implement ecological enlightenment;
- to restore the damaged natural and historical-cultural complexes and sites.
It should be noted, that there did not exist National parks in the Republic of Azerbaijan before establishment of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources.
In 2003 was established Zangazur National Park on the base of Ordubad National Park named after Academician Hasan Aliyev, Shirvan, Aggol, in 2004 Hirkan, Altiaghaj National Park, in 2005 Absheron National Park, in 2006 Shahdag National Park, in 2008 Goygol National Park.
In 2008, the area of Hirkan National park was enlarged to 40358 hectares.
On 25 November 2009 was created an area of 42797,4 hectares on the base of Ordubad National Park named after Academician Hasan Aliyev and Shahbuz State Nature Reserve in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.
Zangazur National Park was named after Academician Hasan Aliyev.
Shahdag National Park was established in accordance with the decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated July 8, 2010. The area of Shahdag National Park was enlarged to 130508,1 hectares. Yalama Forestry Protection and Restoration Division was established in accordance with the decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated November 5, 2012 and enlarged to 11772,45 hectares and established Samur- Yalama National Park.
Currently, the area of the territory of National Parks is 3,7 %.
At the present there are carried out relevant works regard to establishment of new national parks, state natural reserves and is intended to enlarge the territory of Gizilagaj state natural reserve.