Vulnerability and adaptive capabilities of natural resources and agriculture of Azerbaijan are estimated on the basis of identification of interrelation patterns between current climatic changes and water resources, agroclimatic resources, forest ecosystems, agricultural productivity, as well as social and economic aspects of effects.
As outlined in Azerbaijan's National Communication (2000), the Republic of Azerbaijan occupies a territory of 86.6 thousand km2, which lies at the western coast of the Caspian Sea, between mountainous systems of the Greater and Lesser Caucasus and the Talish mountains. From the north to the south, territory of the country extends for 400 km, and from the west to the east - for 500 km. Average altitude is 384 m, with drop in altitude from 4,466 m (the Bazar-Duzu Mountain) to - 27 m (coast of the Caspian Sea). Plains and lowlands occupy 57%, with low and middle mountains constituting 39.5%, and mountainous areas (above 2,500 m) 3.5% of the total territory. As of 1999, total number of population is 7.95 million people. Depending on the altitude and remoteness from the Caspian Sea, several climatic types are identified: arid subtropical, humid subtropical, temperate and cold. Average annual air temperature varies from 14°C in the low lying areas to 0°C and below in the highlands. Average annual temperature in July in low lying areas is 25-27°C, in highlands it does not exceed 5°C, in January, it is respectively 3-6°C and -3 - -5°C. Absolute maximum reaches 43°C, absolute minimum is -30°C.
Major sectors of economy of Azerbaijan are: fuel energy, machinery construction and metal processing, chemical and petrochemical, light and food industries, as well as agriculture. Peak of development of the economy of Republic falls on the period between 1985 and 1990, when out of the total output 85% of industrial and 30% of agricultural products were exported from the country. After the collapse of the USSR, disruption of traditional economic links has very negatively reflected on the social and economic situation of the country. This process has further aggravated by the unstable public and political situation and occupation of 20% of country’s territory, which provided up to 15% of GDP, great amount of refugees and IDPs (more than 1 million people) from the occupied territory of Karabakh and Armenia, as well as transport blockade and some other factors. All these have caused a deep economic crisis, as a result of which GDP and other social and economic indicators have drastically decreased.