Twenty-eight decision-makers, experts and representatives of academic institutions working on topics related to ecosystems, biodiversity and nature conservation from three South Caucasus countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, convened on October 24-27, 2016, in Tbilisi, Georgia, to participate in the regional training course “Introduction to the Concept of Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES)”. The meeting was arranged by the Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus in the frame of the project “Mainstreaming of Biodiversity Values into Decision-Making at Various Levels of Governance in South Caucasus”, financed by Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The four-day intensive course was organized with the support of GIZ Integrated Biodiversity Management, South Caucasus, IBiS, financed by BMZ.
Training was led by GIZ trainers. Course addressed PES schemes as projects, communal or individual initiatives, rather than national programs. The reason for this was to ensure that participants understand the mechanics and logic of PES and not get diverted to the institutional and political complexities of programmatic, national PES programs.
During the course participants from three South Caucasus countries were introduced the basic components of PES scheme, transaction mechanism, basis for exchange, and efficiency of scheme; to comprehend the existence and relationship of different ecosystem services; to identify the role of the different parties, actors and stakeholders and obtain a general overview of the state of the art of ecosystem services markets and their role and importance while developing a PES scheme. Furthermore, participants prepared different cases. At the end of the course they gave presentations, where own ideas and proposals were presented. What is more, representatives shared experiences with one another.
The meeting was opened by the First Deputy Minister of Environment and Natural Recourses Protection of Georgia, Mr. Teimuraz Murghulia and Mr. Hans-Joachim Lipp, GIZ Program Director.
Concrete actions and pilot ideas were discussed both by REC Caucasus and GIZ for further implementation.