A consortium led by the IUCN Programme Office for the Southern Caucasus has received a BP “Eco-Award” for the project Facilitating stakeholder participation in protected areas of Georgia.
The project, which is planned to last for 18 months and to be jointly implemented with the Georgian Society of Nature Friends (Telavi) and the Mlokosevich Society (Lagodekhi), will assist participatory development of detailed Terms of Reference (ToR) for Advisory Boards for Georgian protected areas by the Agency of Protected Areas at the MoE, and will support application and improvement of these ToR in three pilot areas in the Kakheti region (Tusheti, Lagodekhi and Vashlovani). Additional forms of participation such as Associations of Friends of Protected Areas and Junior Ranger Programmes will also be piloted, while local stakeholders will be trained to make the most of the newly established participation opportunities. The Eco-awards are funded by BP Georgia and administered by the Eurasia Partnership Foundation.
Having received the award, IUCN South Caucasus Programme Coordinator Tobias Garstecki highlighted the opportunity offered by the project: “Georgia’s protected areas are a very important part of its ecological infrastructure. In order to be managed effectively, they must not be managed in isolation, but in collaboration with those who live around them and use them. This project gives us the opportunity to build on the legal basis and political will that exists in Georgia, and to develop concrete ways of local stakeholder participation, together with our partners at the Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Resources and our local NGO partners. We appreciate this award as an investment into the ecological infrastructure of Georgia”.