Georgia Moves Forward in Developing its System of Protected Areas

TBILISI – The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) completed a 7-year program to promote the long-term financial sustainability of Georgia’s Protected Areas.

With USD 1 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the program was implemented by the Agency of Protected Areas and Caucasus Nature Fund (CNF) in cooperation with the Transboundary Joint Secretariat (TJS) for the South Caucasus.

The summary workshop of the program on January 25 brought together a wide range of partners and beneficiaries. Gigla Agulashvili, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia, and Niels Scott, Head of the UNDP in Georgia, addressed the participants of the meeting.

“The last seven years were critical for making the system of Protected Areas in Georgia more effective and sustainable,” said Minister Agulashvili said. "We made good progress in improving the financial sustainability of the Protected Areas, developing biodiversity monitoring and environmental tourism. In order to keep pace of these positive developments, we hope to launch the second phase of the program soon".

Since 2010, the program has benefitted 10 Protected Areas and National Parks in Georgia with the focus on infrastructure projects, environmental tourism and education.

“Sustainable management of Protected Areas has environmental, economic and social benefits. The examples of Borjomi-Kharagauli and Lagodekhi national parks show that local residents are the first to benefit from environmental tourism and other opportunities,” said Scott.

Assistance to the Protected Areas is part of a wider cooperation between the Government of Georgia, Global Environment Facility (GEF) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP), aiming to support Georgia in expanding access to green solutions and making environmental issues an integral part of development.

25 January 2017 17:59