Media   NEWS   Information and consultation workshops on the Emerald Network organised in the framework of EU proj

From 21 to 23 October 2019, three information and consultation workshops will be held in the municipalities of Zugdidi, Tsageri and Ambrolauri discussing the development of management plans for the Emerald Network sites ‘Samegrelo 2’, ‘Ratcha-Lechkhumi’, and ‘Svaneti-Ratcha’.

The goal of the workshops is to inform local authorities about these sites, which are areas of special conservation interest, home to protected species and habitats. The workshops also mark the beginning of establishing cooperation activities with local communities to sustainably develop the areas. Experts will share knowledge and expertise on socio-economic impacts of biodiversity conservation, including on how to increase the value of traditional products, eco-tourism, etc.  

It is noted, that all three sites are especially rich in forest habitats and grassland, many of which were insufficiently covered by or were completely absent from the country’s Emerald Network before.  Mammals such as bear, wolf and lynx as well as river otter and many bat species are found at all three sites. These Emerald sites can significantly contribute to maintaining the so-called ‘favourable conservation status’ of key large mammal populations.

Participants at the workshops include representatives of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, the National Forestry Agency, the Mayors of Zugdidi, Tsageri, Ambrolauri, Oni, Mestia, Chckorotskhu, Martvili, Khoni, Lentekhi municipalities and other local participants who will discuss concrete conservations activities and cooperation possibilities for the longer term.

The Emerald Network development in Georgia
Development of the Emerald Network is an important international tool for the implementation of the 1979 Bern Convention on the conservation of European wildlife and natural habitats. In 2009, Georgia joined the Convention, bringing the country’s obligations regarding the conservation of wildlife species and habitats in line with those in the EU and other countries. Currently, Georgia has adopted 39 Emerald sites, has 7 candidate sites and 12 proposed sites. Three of the 39 sites should have their management plans in place by 2023, the remaining 36 designated sites by 2024.

The workshops are organised in the framework of the EU-funded project "Support to implementation of the environmental provisions of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement" in cooperation with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture’s Environmental Information and Education Center. Through implementation of environmental commitments included in the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, the project is helping to better protect Georgian nature, decrease pollution and improve the quality of the air.

For more information:
Delegation of the European Union to Georgia
Mr. Tamriko Mikadze, Press and Information Officer, Delegation of the European Union to Georgia
E-mail: Tamriko.Mikadze@eeas.europa.eu
Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture
Ms. Mariam Sulkhanishvilli, National Focal Point of the Bern Convention
E-mail: Mariam.sulkhanishvili@mepa.gov.ge
Project Office at the MEPA                                         
Mr. Robert Bakx, Project Leader. E-mail: bakxrc@hotmail.com

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