Pilot projects from Georgia discussed during the CBD subregional workshop
The CBD subregional workshop for Eastern Europe and Central Asia on “Valuation and Incentive Measures” was organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, UNEP and IUCN and was held in Tbilisi, Georgia on 29–31 May 2012.
Ekaterine Otarashvili, IUCN ENPI FLEG Program Coordinator in Georgia, presented a case study as part of the session on “Addressing incentives harmful for biodiversity“. The presentation was based on the results and lessons learned from the implementation of pilot projects in forest dependent rural communities in Georgia. The projects were developed following the study “Assessment of the economic and social impact of unsustainable forest practices and illegal logging on the rural population of Georgia”, conducted by Vasil Gulisashvili Forest Institute.
The activities implemented within the pilot projects aimed at strengthening the capacity of local communities to gain revenue from sustainably using timber and non-timber forest products, for example: a Wood Art workshop and a training center in Manavi; charcoal production in the village of Kochbani; beekeeping in the villages of Sakire and Tadzrisi, and Youth Wood Art workshop in Borjomi.
The most important lesson from the implementation of the pilot projects was the following: measures executed by the government to protect natural resources from unsustainable use should go hand in hand with the economic incentives to encourage alternative, more favorable income-generating activities within the communities.
The CBD subregional workshop for Eastern Europe and Central Asia aimed to support member countries in:
- Making use of the findings of the global studies on the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB);
- Integrating the values of biodiversity into relevant national and local policies, programmess and planning processes;
- Promoting the exchange among practitioners of practical experiences on valuation and incentive measures.
Participants of the Workshop included officials responsible for implementation of the CBD from countries in the region, including Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Iran, Moldova, Serbia, Tajikistan, Ukraine and others.