The Georgian Field Researchers’ Union Campester has joined the growing IUCN network in the South Caucasus. The NGO, which specialises in research and conservation of bats, was admitted as a member at the IUCN Council at its 70th meeting on 4 October.
Campester was established in 1995. Its mission is the conservation of biological diversity and historical monuments, with a particularly focus on bats and their habitats. During its 13 years of existence, the union and its members have carried out a wide variety of research and conservation projects, and have provided scientific expertise in EIAs(Environmental Impact Assessment). 192 scientific articles and four books have been published by union members during this period.
Campester’s activities currently concentrate on support studies assessing the human impact on the environment, EIA, environmental trainings for youth organizations, advice and consulting related to PA establishment and the preparation and publication of environmental educational materials.
For example, the union developed the Transboundary Bat Monitoring Network in the Caucasus, together with partners in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia. 35 bat species were found in a total of 234 sites. Thereby, the basis of a unified regional monitoring network was created, a vision for bat conservation was formulated, and an action plan for bat conservation was developed. Other projects of Campester have focused on bat monitoring techniques, comparative ecological studies on individual species (e.g. Bechstein’s Bat Myotis bechsteinii) and PA management plan development.
Commenting on Campester’s admission, IUCN South Caucasus Director Ramaz Gokhelashvili said: “We are glad that Campester has joined IUCN because this NGO contributes crucial expertise to conservation in Georgia – conservation not only of bats, but also of bat habitats with their entire biota. As an IUCN member, it will be easier for Campester to fulfil its mission because we can help to ensure that their findings are turned into policy and action. For instance, IUCN POSC is currently incorporating obligations of the Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats (EUROBATS), to which Georgia is Party, into the TEMATEA issues based modules, which will make national implementation of this agreement more effective. This will benefit bat conservation in Georgia”.
Contact: Ioseb Natradze firstname.lastname@example.org