Minister Davitashvili: “management and expansion of protected territories is the State priority; these are unique territories, which entail an outstanding biodiversity and protection of the resources”
Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia (MEPA), Mr Levan Davitashvili delivered a presentation on “Environmental Protection and Rural Development 2030”, which was attended by the Prime Minister of Georgia, Mr Irakli Gharibashvili, as well as representatives of the MEPA, State Trustees, diplomatic missions, international/donor organizations, relevant associations, scholars, as well as farmers. Among various matters discussed at a great detail, Minister Davitashvili briefed attendees on the plans for developing protected territories. During the period of 2012 – 2021, Georgia’s protected territories significantly increased from 293 476 hectares and nowadays it stands at 798 287 hectares, which covers 11, 5 % of the whole country. As set forth in the plan, by 2030, protected territories shall comprise 1 million hectares and cover 17 % of an entire Georgia. Moreover, Georgia is actively engaged into ensuring that UNESCO awards four Georgian protected territories (Kolkheti and Mtirala National Parks, Kintrishi and Kobuleti protected territories) with the World Heritage Site status, which will be an immense international recognition that will boost visibility of Georgia’s protected territories. As a future perspective of the Agency of Protected Areas of Georgia within the plan – a unified database of biodiversity monitoring will be developed, which will complement significant study of core species at protected territories, as well as recovery goals. It has also been planned to ensure consistent inventory of forests at these territories with an entailing forest management plans, which have complemented sustainable management and recovery actions. The best practices aim at recruiting rangers at the protected territories, which will complement sustaining the respective territories through equipping rangers with fire resistance systems and modern smart technologies, which are being cultivated. By 2030, number of rangers will be increased in 50 %.