Georgia is located in the South Caucasus region, bordering the Russian Federation in the north, Republic of Turkey and Armenia to the south, Azerbaijan to the east and the Black Sea to the west. Due to its diverse relief and climatic zones, Georgia is rich in biodiversity and hosts a high level of endemism (IUCN, 2012). Based on richness of biodiversity and related threats, 34 biodiversity hotspots have been identified in the world today and, of these, Georgia is part of two.
Due to habitat destruction and extensive, unregulated exploitation, many plant and animal species have become endangered, with 29 mammal, 35 bird, 11 reptile, two amphibian, 14 fish and 56 woody plant species currently included on the national Red List.
Georgia’s 2005 NBSAP recommends “mainstreaming nature’s value in decision making” to ensure that appropriate financial and economic programmes are in place to support effective conservation of biodiversity, and to ensure the delivery of the NBSAP activities.
Tourism related to protected areas has been a steadily growing sector of the Georgian economy. This sector could be used for economic development. Forests cover around 40% of Georgia’s territory and provide habitat for a significant number of fauna and flora species of Georgia. Forests however are under threat from unsustainable logging, overgrazing and land encroachment.
Biodiversity Finance example in Georgia
Caucasus Nature Fund (CNF): By providing long-term support and management assistance for the protected areas of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, CNF seeks to conserve the unique flora, fauna and ecosystems of the Caucasus for future generations while at the same time improving the lives of local people today. CNF has a lot of different strategic partners. For Example the Federal German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development through the German development bank KFW, has committed €22 million in support of CNF since 2007 and WWF Germany has provided €800,000 since 2007.
For more information: http://caucasus-naturefund.org/