The final meeting of the Eco-Corridors Fund for the Caucasus marks the end of the initiation phase and the start of the implementation phase.
The Eco-Corridors Fund for the Caucasus held a successful and exciting 2019 meeting of its Regional Consultative Forum in Tbilisi on November 26, 2019 marking the final formal gathering of the programme’s initiation phase and the commencement of the implementation phase.
Eco-Corridors Fund (ECF) team arranged a comprehensive agenda which included a summary of the project’s accomplishments in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, an overview of the unique and innovative methodology and details on how the ECF programme is contributing to the Caucasus Ecoregional Conservation Plan.
The meeting celebrated the success of ECF’s actions so far, which have led to 19 conservation agreements being signed in 3 countries, securing community-based conservation on over 75.000 hectares of landscapes in the Southern Caucasus.
Throughout the meeting translations in the four active languages (Georgian, Armenian, Azeri and English) were available via headsets, enabling participants to listen and contribute in their native language. This feature fostered active participation from local community leaders and enabled effortless discussion and communication.
The highlight of the meeting, was the facilitated panel discussion where representatives of participating local communities and independent experts discussed the lessons learned through the programme, the barriers to continued conservation activities and sustainable socio-economic development opportunities in rural communities of Caucasus. A final message on the future outlook was provided, encouraging the continued efforts towards the conservation objectives and sustainable use of resources outlined in the signed ECF’s conservation agreements.
ECF was pleased to bring together representatives from participating local communities to converse with representatives from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), German Development Bank (KfW) and WWF Caucasus as well as governmental delegates from Armenia and Azerbaijan and Georgia.
The ECF team is dedicated to supporting and assisting communities as they embark on the implementation phase of the programme–the most important and instrumental aspect of the project. The commitment, enthusiasm, accountability and creativity these communities displayed throughout the initiation phase of ECF has encouraged project backers and organizers that this strategy of community-based landscape and biodiversity conservation will be successful long-term, and thus replicable throughout a greater area of the Caucasus and the world.
Full Press Release available here:
* All photos by Erekle Rostiashvili