Georgia’s most precious treasure-house – its beautiful nature and unique biodiversity – are represented almost untouched in its protected areas. The protection and preservation of this unique biodiversity and ecosystems is the first and foremost destination of protected areas. The first official high category protected area – Lagodekhi reserve – was founded in 1912, and Saguramo National Park, thereinafter Tbilisi National Park – in 1973. By 1991, the end of soviet era in Georgia, there were 15 reserves, and 1 national park with total area of 190 thousand hectares, which is 2,7% of Georgia’s whole territory. Besides, about 0,8% of Georgia’s territory was occupied by hunting ground.

In 1995 further expansion and development of protected areas started. According to the law of Georgia on protected areas of 1996, and on the basis of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) recommendations, the categories of protected areas consistent with international criteria and standards were legitimized. (State nature reserve, national park, natural monument, wilderness area, protected landscape, protected area with sustainable use of natural resources). As a result, all protected areas, existing in Georgia until 1996 under the law of Georgia “On the status of protected areas”, were granted international categories in 2007, and new protected areas were established in accordance with the Law of Georgia “On the System of Protected Areas”. Establishment of new protected areas is planned in the nearest future, e.g. Samegrelo, Upper Svanety glaciers, Racha-Lechkhumi etc. Currently, total area of protected territories is 600 597 hectares, which is 8% of the country’s whole territory. 51% of this is covered by forest, and the rest are alpine meadows, prairies, swamps, lakes and semi-deserts, sea water area, etc.  387 800 hectares, i.e. 64%, of these, which is 5,5% of Georgia’s whole territory, is managed by LEPL Agency of Protected Areas under the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.

As of today there are 87 protected areas of different category (based on IUCN criteria), in particular: 14 state reserves, 11 national parks, 41 monuments of nature, 19 wilderness areas, and 2 protected landscapes. So far, there is no protected area with sustainable use of natural resources in Georgia.
February 2019
გამოკითხვა თქვენი აზრით, აღმოფხვრის თუ არა დანაგვიანების პრობლემებს დაწესებული სანქციები?