The Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus (REC Caucasus), being a partner to Michael Zuccow Foundation and Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia participates in implementation of the project for establishment of biosphere reserves in Kakheti region since 2016 and is actively involved in planning next steps with project partners. For this purpose, in February-March 2017, joint meetings have been organized in the target municipalities of Kakheti (Telavi, Gurjaani, Signaghi, Dedoplistskaro, Akhmeta) region together with representatives of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia, Michael Zuccow Foundation and REC Caucasus, which aimed to inform local institutions and bodies about the next steps of the project and get information about the most important challenges in the region at this stage. Besides, there have been organized meetings with different partners and stakeholders at national and international level, such as: UNESCO MaB Committee in Georgia, GIZ, Elkana, Agency of Protected areas, Head of Development Cooperation in the South Caucasus of Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Georgia and the deputy minister of Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia to discuss future processing of the project. As a result, project got complete support from all the partners and stakeholders and its implementation is highly appreciated at any level.
It is planned to assemble local working groups in the target municipalities by the help of local government bodies and NGOs until the end of 2017 to raise major problems and key issues for the local governments and population. It is planned to make groups of representatives from different stakeholders in Georgia to visit two different countries of Europe with different experiences of establishment and management of Biosphere Reserves until the end of 2017.