Ecotourism promotion in the Southern Caucasus

With its wide range of ecosystems ranging from subtropical humid forests, to mountain steppes, to alpine ecosystems, and with its rich cultural heritage, the Southern Caucasus offers a great potential for various forms of ecotourism.

www.countdown2010.net Photo: Countdown 2010

At the same time, sustainably managed ecotourism can contribute to nature conservation by offering income alternatives to other, unsustainable forms of natural resource use. However, the potential for the development of this resource for conservation and rural income is currently underused, owing to a lack of tourism infrastructure and services and other factors.
To address these shortcomings, comprehensive studies will be conducted in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan to document ecotourism potential and to identify needs for its realization. These studies will point out unrealized development potentials for the ecotourism sector and contribute to a better appreciation of the economic value of biodiversity throughout the region. The study reports will be the basis of print publications and a high-profile website on ecotourism in the southern Caucasus. They will improve the basis for ecotourism planning and development in the region, and raise awareness of the economic potential of ecotourism and the value of nature as a resource for the tourism industry.

Activities:

  • Publication of country studies on “Potentials of Ecotourism” in print;
  • Establishment of a website based on their findings;
  • Improved basis for ecotourism planning and development in the region;
  • Heightened awareness of the economic potential of ecotourism and the value of nature as a resource for the tourism industry among regional decision makers.

Donor: Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Partners: The Environment Ministries of the three South Caucasus countries
Project duration: 07/2007-07/2008
Contact person: Ms Ana Shubitidze

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