IUCN has been present in the Caucasus since the mid-1990s when the first national NGOs joined as Members. Opened in October 2006, the IUCN office in the Caucasus is part of IUCN’s European region and one of three sub-regional offices. It has been responsible for the implementation of the Union’s programme in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia and for liaison with Member organizations and Commission members in the region.
IUCN has recently changed its role in the Caucasus: It strengthens its support of nature conservation in the region through its new structure – the Caucasus Cooperation Centre. A Strategy paper outlines IUCN’s role in the region. The new structure aims to make nature conservation in the region more effective by providing a range of services to all interested and engaged actors in the field. Services will be offered under two priority programme areas: Biodiversity Conservation and Natural Resources Management, and include
- Access to global nature conservation knowledge
- Promotion of synergies among ongoing and planned activities via thematic networks
- Assistance in identifying gaps and trends in specific sectors
- Facilitation of multi-stakeholder processes
- Communication: global to local and local to global reach.