The feasibility study of the Succow Foundation and the Georgian NGO NACRES, in cooperation with the Georgian Ministry for Environment and Natural Resources, has identified numerous positive preconditions for establishing a biosphere reserve in Kakheti. Some UNESCO criteria are already fulfilled. Together with stakeholders and decision makers at regional and national level several scenarios for such a biosphere reserve were drafted and discussed. The scenario covering the complex system of migratory pasture areas in Tusheti and Vashlovani including a connecting corridor was identified as the long-term objective for the biosphere reserve. Like this it could most effectively support the traditional land use of mobile sheep husbandry (transhumance) in Kakheti and help solve various problems connected to it.
Within the recently launched project, "UNESCO biosphere reserve establishment in the climate-vulnerable regions of Kakheti in Eastern Georgia - working towards the nomination", the Succow Foundation continues working towards the establishment of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in Georgia. The project is the next phase of the work done within two one year-projects in which the potential for biosphere reserves in Georgia was studied, the feasibility of the region of Kakheti was analysed, capacities of relevant actors were strengthened and an implementation plan for the planned Kakheti BR was developed. Within the commenced project, Succow Foundation and its partner organization, the Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus (RECC), in cooperation with local and national stakeholders in Georgia, will realise selected parts of the implementation plan to build up the BR and achieve a successful nomination to UNESCO.
The initiated project aims to develop a concept and a nomination document of the planned BR meeting the requirements of the UNESCO for biosphere reserve nomination; raise acceptance and awareness of the planned BR among the local, regional and national stakeholders of the planned BR; and conceptually prepare a BR management structure allowing multi-stakeholder participation.
The project is financed as part of the program "Capacity development for climate policy in the Western Balkans, Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Phase II" of the International Climate Initiative of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH (German Society for International Co-operation).