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Saving the Wild: Nature Conservation in the Caucasus
The Caucasus is one of the most diverse places on earth, with more species per acre than any other temperate zone. Leopards still roam here, only a few hours from central Europe, and conservation strategy is one of the few examples of inter-country collaboration in this region. A fascinating blend of culture, society and traditional life set in a history of fragmentation and conflict.
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Ranger killed in Borjomi Karagauli National Park

Ranger killed in Borjomi Karagauli National Park | Saving the Wild: Nature Conservation in the Caucasus | Scoop.it

A ranger has been killed on patrol in Borjomi Karagauli National Park whilst trying to stop a group of poachers.  This is the first death on patrol in the region, and shows that rangers are on the front line enforcing the law - several years ago these confrontations would rarely have happened, either because some rangers accepted money to allow poachers to enter the parks or because of a lack of equipment they weren't able to reach the more remote areas.  Now corruption has been stamped out and the dedicated rangers that remain believe in the value of protecting the parks.

 

Working for only €200 per month, these men face difficult conditions to protect one of the most biodiverse regions on earth.  International NGO's such as the Caucasus Nature Fund work to increase their pay and provide them with necessary equipment, but there is still much to do.  He leaves behind a wife and two children.

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Georgia Envisions Instant City on Swampy Site

Georgia Envisions Instant City on Swampy Site | Saving the Wild: Nature Conservation in the Caucasus | Scoop.it

Reaching the site where Georgia’s government is breaking ground for Lazika, its grandiose city of the future, requires navigating livestock — shaggy cows and huge spotted hogs that sunbathe on the road to the hypnotic chirping of innumerable frogs.

 

The proposed site is at the edge of the Kolkheti wetlands, where in 1997 Georgia committed to preserve about 82,000 acres as part of the international Ramsar Convention.

 

One finds varying opinions about the proposal to build a city of half a million here on a stretch of marshy land near the Black Sea.

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The new face of Batumi means more visitors for Mtirala

The new face of Batumi means more visitors for Mtirala | Saving the Wild: Nature Conservation in the Caucasus | Scoop.it

In the shadow of the Caucasus mountains, Georgia's Batumi is turning itself into a 'hip' coastal resort, and Mtirala national park is seeing increasing numbers of visitors to its 16,000 hectare wilderness.  A look at how important conservation of Georgia's natural assets is in the face of its increasing development.

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Report: Georgia Unearths the World’s Oldest Honey

Report: Georgia Unearths the World’s Oldest Honey | Saving the Wild: Nature Conservation in the Caucasus | Scoop.it
Georgians have long laid claim to being the first winemakers in the world, but could they also be pioneer beekeepers?
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Working to conserve carnivores in Georgia

Working to conserve carnivores in Georgia | Saving the Wild: Nature Conservation in the Caucasus | Scoop.it

The Georgian Carnivore Conservation Project is primarily funded by the EU and is implemented by Fauna & Flora International (FFI) in partnership with a national NGO, NACRES.

 

The main focus of the project is the conservation of the unique and globally important biodiversity of the semi-arid landscape in the south-east of the country.

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Discovering fairytale villages in the Caucasus Mountains

Discovering fairytale villages in the Caucasus Mountains | Saving the Wild: Nature Conservation in the Caucasus | Scoop.it
Among Europe’s highest peaks lies a region wedged between Chechnya and Dagestan that tourism has not yet discovered.Horses run wild through fields of irises in Tusheti, Georgia.
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Patrolling Service Developed to Eradicate Poaching in Vashlovani

Anti-poaching patrolling in Vashlovani Protected Areas will be carried out by cars by local trained rangers. Ranger stations will be equipped with satellite phones, radio sets, and photo cameras.

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The Million Project | PAN Parks

The Million Project | PAN Parks | Saving the Wild: Nature Conservation in the Caucasus | Scoop.it

 

Lagodekhi National Park, Georgia joins PAN Park's Millkion Project, and celebrates 100 years of National Patk status in 2012.

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Ban on Hunting of Endangered Species Lifted in Georgia

With the recent changes to the legislation, the ban on Red List species hunting in Georgia has been lifted, allowing shooting of even those species that were originally driven to the verge of extinction due to excessive hunting.

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Mountainous Georgia Gripped by Snowfalls

Mountainous Georgia Gripped by Snowfalls | Saving the Wild: Nature Conservation in the Caucasus | Scoop.it

Georgia’s mountainous regions are in the grips of major snowfalls. Avalanches threaten the Kobi-Gudauri highway. Road clearing works are still impossible due to continuously falling snow.  Pretty impressive stuff.

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Puppy power combats human-carnivore conflict in Eastern Georgia

Puppy power combats human-carnivore conflict in Eastern Georgia | Saving the Wild: Nature Conservation in the Caucasus | Scoop.it

Puppies aren’t just for Christmas – a fact not lost on the Georgian Carnivore Conservation Project (GCCP) who have embarked on a pilot programme employing canine assistance to help mitigate human-carnivore conflict in the Vashlovani and Tusheti Protected Areas of Eastern Georgia.

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Chasing a phantom wolf

Chasing a phantom wolf | Saving the Wild: Nature Conservation in the Caucasus | Scoop.it

Gareth Golsthorpe joins the projects field team for a week in Vashlovani National Park. The team has, over the past couple of years, been trapping wolves as part of a telemetry study linked to one of our key project components dealing with human-carnivore conflict. The study is tracking wolf movements in order to gauge their level of complicity in livestock depredation; a big issue in the project site.

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Europe’s wild network of Pan Parks

Europe’s wild network of Pan Parks | Saving the Wild: Nature Conservation in the Caucasus | Scoop.it
Overcrowded Europe may be culturally dense, brimming with historic cities and manicured landscapes, but it also has some genuine wilderness areas – albeit in the recesses of the continent.

 

There are only 12 parks in the selective Pan Parks network, which stretches across 10 countries, from Finland to Georgia. In the core areas in these parks, no human exploitation is allowed, no roads or construction, no hunting, fishing, mining, logging, grazing or even grass cutting.  And Borjomi Kharagauli National Park in Georgia is one of them.

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NGOs Joining to Save Bakhmaro

NGOs Joining to Save Bakhmaro | Saving the Wild: Nature Conservation in the Caucasus | Scoop.it

NGOs are joining to save Bakhmaro: a five-cascade HPP is constructed in the gorge of Bakhvistskali River where Bakhmaro resort is located.  The hydro power station will change the climate on the spot, which will bring to the loss of resort function in Bakhmaro...

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The Messenger - New CARE project hopes to develop Georgia-Armenia border regions

The Messenger - New CARE project hopes to develop Georgia-Armenia border regions | Saving the Wild: Nature Conservation in the Caucasus | Scoop.it

Yesterday, CARE International in the Caucasus hosted a conference titled “Joining Regional Actors for Local Economic Development”, organized within the framework of the project “Local Actors Join for Inclusive Economic Development and Governance in the South Caucasus (JOIN)”.

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70% increase in Russian visitors to Georgia

70% increase in Russian visitors to Georgia | Saving the Wild: Nature Conservation in the Caucasus | Scoop.it

About 30 000 Russians have entered Georgia since visa restrictions were lifted February 28. This is seventy per cent higher than the same period last year.  Manjgaladze says the increase in Russian visitors is a benefit.“In addition this is extra financial resource for Georgia’s tourism infrastructure. More tourists means more employed people.”

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Georgia toasts the good life

Georgia toasts the good life | Saving the Wild: Nature Conservation in the Caucasus | Scoop.it

The authorities in Georgia are hoping to intoxicate tourists with their country's charms by building a fountain which pumps out strong alcoholic liquor instead of water once a week.

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Georgian Environmental Organizations Demand departure of Energy and Natural Resources Minister

Georgian Environmental Organizations Demand departure of Energy and Natural Resources Minister | Saving the Wild: Nature Conservation in the Caucasus | Scoop.it

Georgian environmentalists demand from the President Mikheil Sahakashvili the firing of Energy and Natural Resources Minister Alexander Khetaguri for his non-professionalism, and appeal to veto the amendment to the Law on Environmental Protection.

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Dam Projects Face Resistance in Georgia

Dam Projects Face Resistance in Georgia | Saving the Wild: Nature Conservation in the Caucasus | Scoop.it

The Georgian authorities are promising that 15 new hydroelectric power stations will create thousands of jobs and improve energy provision, but environmentalists and residents of the villages to be flooded have voiced strong objections.

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Snowboarding, skiing and bears in Georgia

Snowboarding, skiing and bears in Georgia | Saving the Wild: Nature Conservation in the Caucasus | Scoop.it

The Caucasus has seen some of the deepest snow in recent years over the past month.  This blog takes a look at the lives of Caucasus residents living in the countryside through some interesting photo galleries and videos.

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FPWC Cross Border Project kicks off in 2012

In January 2012 FPWC’s SOS Culture project will kick off. The project which has a cross-border approach will last 24 months and is funded by the European Union. The overall objective of the project is to register and preserve endangered cultural assets in remote border regions of Armenia and Georgia.

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Georgia: Going for Green, or Greenbacks?

Georgia: Going for Green, or Greenbacks? | Saving the Wild: Nature Conservation in the Caucasus | Scoop.it

A proposed highway through Georgia’s Black Sea wetlands and the introduction of hunting in national parks are raising concerns that Tbilisi’s focus on immediate economic gain could result in the destruction of natural treasures...

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Borjomi National Park, Georgia - Wilderness on the Doorstep

Two young Georgians give a tour of Borjomi National Park, showing the scenery, animals and efforts at reintroduction of the endangered Bezoar Goat.  Video in Georgian.

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The Big Picture: Georgia

The Big Picture: Georgia | Saving the Wild: Nature Conservation in the Caucasus | Scoop.it
“Georgia is not just a European country, but one of the most ancient European countries,” Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili once said.
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