NEWS | Announcing the Start of Phase Two of ECF
ECF II kicks off with team workshops and coordination meetings in Tbilisi
After the successful completion of the first phase of the Eco Corridors Fund (January, 2016-February 2020), additional funding for eco-corridor conservation in the Caucasus has been committed to WWF Caucasus Programme Office by Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through KfW Development Bank, Switzerland's Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, (SDC) and Slovenia's Centre for International Cooperation And Development, (CMSR). This second phase of the ECF will direct Germany’s BMZ funding to work towards concluding some 30 conservation agreements with village communities in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, covering some 120 000 hectares of land in key biodiversity areas of Caucasus. In addition to these conservation agreements, funding is intended to build the capacity of conservation practitioners in the region for community-based conservation and to disseminate it approach to other regions of the world. The funding from Switzerland’s SDC will support additional activities to develop value chains based on sustainable use of natural resources within Armenia. Slovenia’s CMSR already supports the development and implementation of the sustainable forest management plan in Georgia’s eco regional corridor.
The consortium of GOPA Worldwide Consultants (GOPA) and Deutsche Forstservice (DFS) was selected and contracted as consultants in late 2020 to support WWF in the implementation of the ECF II. This is the same consortium that already supported the implementation of ECF I.
The GOPA team mobilised on February 1, 2022 meeting together with the WWF Caucasus programme office in Tbilisi, Georgia for a training and planning workshop and coordination meeting. This marked the official kick-off of the programme’s three-month inception phase, which will be followed by a meeting of the ECF Regional Consultative Forum planned for May 2022.
The GOPA team at the WWF Caucasus office. From left to right: Armen Shabazyan, ECF National Coordinator Armenia; Steffen Schuelein, Environmental and Social Standards / Community Management Specialist; Khayyam Ismayil, ECF National Coordinator Azerbaijan; Christian Tunk, GOPA Backstopper; Tata Chochua, ECF National Coordinator Georgia; Jernej Stritih, Chief Technical Advisor.