The IUCN Programme Office for the Southern Caucasus facilitates stakeholder participation in the planning of Ktsia-Tabatskuri Managed Reserve, the biggest managed Reserve (IUCN Category 4) in Georgia.
The office, on behalf of IUCN ROfE and in collaboration with the Protected Areas Agency at the Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Resources of Georgia, is developing the management plan for the reserve.
On August 5 and 6, 2008, five consultation meetings were held with local communities in the villages of Modega, Chikharula, Balanta, Bejano and Moliti, which are all situated around the reserve. The purpose of these meetings was to provide information on the KTMR MP to local communities, to answer their questions and to gather comments, ideas and suggestions for the final management plan. Apart from local inhabitants, the meeting was attended by representatives of local and regional authorities, the future management authority of the reserve, the Protected Areas Agency and IUCN.
During the meetings, information booklets about KTMR in Armenian and Georgian were distributed among the local stakeholders, many of which are ethnic Armenians. The discussions mainly focused on how KTMR will affect natural resource use and agriculture in the area, and what might be potential benefits of the reserve for the village inhabitants.
A Georgian version of the draft management plan will shortly be distributed to the communities, and a further series of meetings will be held there in October. The consultation process will ensure that local communities around Ktsia-Tabatskuri Managed Reserve have their say during management planning, and that future natural resource use reconciles the needs of these communities and the conservation objectives of the reserve.
The project “Management Plan for Ktsia-Tabatskuri Managed Reserve” is funded by BP BTC.