Twelve Protected Areas in Georgia will receive comprehensive support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) aimed at enhancing their management and financial sustainability, and at assisting Georgia to conserve and protect its unique biodiversity.
The five-year initiative will be implemented by the Caucasus Nature Fund (CNF) in close partnership with the national Agency of Protected Areas. Its overall budget amounts to USD 10 million and includes USD 1.8 million in GEF funding, USD 4.8 from the Georgian Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, USD 3.1 million from CNF, and USD 200,000 from the Bank of Georgia.
“Without biological diversity, there is no other life on Earth, including our own,” said Louisa Vinton, UNDP Head in Georgia, speaking at the public launch of the project on 28 February 2019. “With plants and animals disappearing across the globe at alarming rates, protected areas are our unique resource to conserve and restore ecosystems and ensure the survival of the planet.”
“We are launching an extremely important programme which will ensure financial sustainability of Georgia’s protected areas,” said Iuri Nozadze, Deputy Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia. “Currently, 8 percent of the country’s territory is under formal protection and this number is expected to increase to 20 percent in the next eight years. We are pleased to join efforts with our international partners and business companies to make Georgia’s protected areas more efficient and sustainable.”
The joint initiative of the Agency of Protected Areas of Georgia, UNDP, GEF, CNF and Bank of Georgia will run till 2023 offering technical assistance and consultative support to twelve major natural reserves in Georgia: Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, Lagodekhi Protected Areas, Vashlovani Protected Areas, Tusheti Protected Areas, Tusheti Protected Landscape, Mtirala National Park, Javakheti National Park, Kazbegi National Park, Algeti National Park, Kintrishi Protected Areas, Machakhela National Park and Pshav-Khevsureti Protected Areas.