Natural and Economic Zoning of Irkutsk Region
The article describes the natural and economic zoning. Such zoning is the process and the result of dividing the territory into areas with a combination of natural and social systems. The leading criterion for division of the territory is the special interaction between natural and socio-economic objects on the territory of the zone. At the core of zoning lie administrative districts, which are the main objects of nature management and conservation. The article offers variant of the integrated natural and economic zoning of the Irkutsk region’s territory. During zoning methods of multicriteria valuation using qualitative and quantitative indicators, the leading factor, cartographic method are applied. Zoning includes three hierarchical levels. Grassroots level is represented by administrative districts. Eleven natural-economic areas are mentioned at the second level. They consist of the adjacent administrative areas. District-forming factors are the features of the natural conditions, resources and socio-economic indicators. Natural-economic areas are combined into five groups at the third level. The criteria for their associations are geographical location, the history of settling, infrastructure features, legal status. Because of multiplicity of characteristics used in the zoning, the most important indicators are favoured. A description of the map is also given. As an example, the article examines two groups of natural-economic districts: Northern and Cis-Angara. They play a significant role in the economy of the Irkutsk region. The main purpose of natural and economic zoning is the establishment of regional natural management systems as an object of control.