In the mountainous country of Georgia, approximately 40% of the land is forested. It may not come as a surprise to a Georgian that 97% of those forests are located on mountain slopes. The remaining 3% are low-lying and flood plain forests in the Kolkheti region. The primary goal of the ENPI East FLEG II Program in Georgia is to bring about improvement in forest governance through the production of analytical reports, provision of expert advice, and facilitation of knowledge transfer and stakeholder dialogue.
Cow, tree, and shed in foreground - mountains in back

The IUCN-FLEG II team established a close cooperation with Georgian institutions, especially with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection, the Agency of Protected Areas, the National Forest Agency, and the High Council of Justice. These inter-institutional collaborations enabled IUCN to play a pivotal role in the positive development of the Georgian forest sector and to establish itself as a trustworthy partner to all relevant stakeholders. Within the ENPI East FLEG II Program, the IUCN team's work included the following activities:

  • organisation of innovative hands-on training on forest law enforcement for state officials in protected areas;
  • assessment of the forest dependency of Georgian rural communities including GIS mapping of outcomes from the research;
  • support in the development of the state program to provide rural populations with timber and firewood;
  • assessment and preparation of guidelines on the management of pests and diseases in Georgian forests; and
  • support for an awareness-raising campaign among local populations on the usage of energy sources.  


New Moves to Combat Forest Pests and Diseases in Georgia

Because of the very positive and collaborative relations developed with Georgian authorities, we were asked to intervene and devise a strategy to address this specific issue in and beyond protected areas. For this purpose, we decided to use our professional contacts and engage experts and research centres from around the world.Marika Kavtarishvili, FLEG II Country Program Coordinator for IUCN in Georgia

Forest is Not Firewood

The activities realised within the FLEG II Program are a precious support for our Ministry in the development of sectoral policies. The data on firewood needs provided by FLEG is crucial in the discussion on the urgency of reforms both at the local and national levels. The FLEG team is bringing an invaluable contribution to the debate.” Karlo Amirgulashvili, Head of the Forest Policy Service of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia

Role Playing Brings Real Solutions

During my more than 20 years of working for the Protected Areas Administration, this is one of the best trainings I have ever attended. Even when we know the procedures, the mock trials really helped me see how one simple mistake in the real world can be enough to unravel all of our enforcement efforts. I am eager to start applying the new strategies we learned here.Vaja Cherkezishvili, the head of security division in Vashlovani Protected Areas


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