A national conference, dedicated to discuss and validate the Sustainable Pastureland Management Policy document, was held in “The Tsinandali Estate, a Radisson Collection Hotel” on June 1-3, 2022.
The purpose of the National Pasture Management Policy Document is to establish a unified, coherent approach to pasture management that ensures the prevention of land degradation and biodiversity conservation on pasturelands, improvement their productivity, promotion sustainable development of livestock sector.
National Pasture Management Policy Document is based on the holistic approach, by which the pasture management is considered as a part of livestock sector. At the same time, the pastures are considered as part of natural and semi-natural ecosystems, used by farmers of different social-economical categories who have different priorities and goals in terms of livestock development.
For today, the authorized owner to manage the state-owned pastures is not defined by the legislation of Georgia (except for protected areas and pastures managed by the forestry systems. Municipalities do not have the authority to perform pasture management and monitoring tasks for both – municipally owned and state owned pastures. Moreover, only less than a quarter of livestock owners have legal / formal rights on the pasture usage. Mentioned situation is a source of conflict, which later causes a lot of livestock owners to be left outside the formal management mechanisms.
The participants of a three-day long Tsinandali conference agreed that the legislation should:
1. Regulate the general systemic issues related to the sustainable use and protection of pastures at the national and regional level, as well as at the local levels;
2. Determine the institutionally responsible body for overall coordination of pasture management at the national level, which will also be responsible for the direct management of state-owned pastures (except for protected territories and pastures under the management of the forestry bodies);
3. Ensure that different mechanisms of the ownership / usage are brought into a legal framework, which will be compatible with the interests of different types of user groups in Georgia and
4. Establish the regulatory norms in order to ensure the functioning of institutional and management mechanisms.
Mentioned conference was supported within the framework of the project “Pasture Management in Georgia”, funded by the U.S. Forest Service International Programs and which is being implemented by the Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus (REC Caucasus). The pasture management national validation concept is being processed under the project of “Achieving Land Degradation Neutrality Targets (LDN) of Georgia through Restoration and Sustainable Management of Degraded Pasturelands”. The project is being developed under the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) foundation by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in coordination with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia. Implementing partner of the project is the Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus (REC Caucasus). Caucasus Environmental NGO Network participates in project implementation, as well.