The Michael Succow Foundation (MSF) was actively involved in the process of establishing the first Biosphere Reserve (BR) in Georgia from the very beginning. The work commenced with a feasibility study, followed by a capacity-building phase, and concluded with a project to support the nomination process of the Three Alazani Rivers BR in Georgia. Through the approval of the nomination by the International Coordinating Council of UNESCO's Man and Biosphere Programme, the BR successfully became part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) in June 2022.
MSF continues to work on strengthening the newly approved BR in Georgia. For this purpose, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia (MEPA), the Regional Environmental Center for the Caucasus (RECC), and with financial support from the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety, and Consumer Protection (BMUV) via the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a new project titled “Biosphere Reserves as Model Regions for Sustainable Development – Capacity Development for Coordinated and Effective Management of the Three Alazani Rivers Biosphere Reserve in Georgia” was initiated.
The main goal of this project is to raise awareness on the BR concept and to increase the capacities of BR management body and other key stakeholders to ensure effective and coordinated gender-responsive management of the Three Alazani Rivers Biosphere Reserve, as well as fulfilment of its functions and goals contributing to the sustainable development of the region.
The project aims to achieve the four main objectives:
- Gender-responsive BR governing, management and advisory bodies are established and operational;
- Capacities of the BR management body and key partners concerning specific topics and challenges in regard to BR development are strengthened as well as knowledge sharing and exchange between key stakeholders is promoted;
- The BR office is established, equipped and operational;
- Three Alazani Rivers BR is promoted on local as well as national level and selected awareness-raising activities are implemented with active involvement of youth and women.