Improving National Biodiversity Monitoring Systems in the Southern Caucasus

With its huge diversity of plant and animal species and high level of endemism, the South Caucasus is recognized as a global biodiversity hotspot. However, biodiversity is lost at a dramatic rate in the region. Halting of the loss of biodiversity is regarded as a priority to the states.

www.countdown2010.net Photo: Countdown 2010

One of the prerequisites for halting this biodiversity loss is the establishment of an efficient and regionally consistent biodiversity monitoring system. Although this need is acknowledged as a national priority of all South Caucasus countries, they all lack well-established monitoring systems to date. Data are collected sporadically and are not compiled systematically and are not made publicly accessible. The responsible institutions often have no sufficient capacity to implement modern monitoring approaches.
At the Caucasus launch of Countdown 2010 (Gudauri, 2006), a set of priority biodiversity indicators was identified by stakeholders. The IUCN South Caucasus Office is developing and/or adapting these from internationally acknowledged indicators, for future inclusion into national biodiversity monitoring systems in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. In Georgia, where this activity was initiated first, additional advice and support is given to the Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Resources for the development of the overall national biodiversity monitoring system.

Activities:

  • Development and publication of guidelines, methodologies and protocol templates for a set of five priority indicators.
  • Support and advice to government institutions responsible for biodiversity monitoring in their efforts to create national biodiversity monitoring schemes.

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 Ketevan Skhireli

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