To mark the International Biodiversity Day, on May 22, 2021 Dedoplistskaro Municipality in partnership with REC Caucasus and in close collaboration with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia (MEPA) opened the Biosphere Reserve Tourism Information Center and Bird Watching Tower in the region of Kakheti. Both locations were set up within the EU-funded “Establishment of Vashlovani Biosphere Reserve in Kakheti Region as a Model for Inclusive and Sustainable Growth” project.
The guests included the Deputy Minister of MEPA – Ms. Nino Tandilashvili, the Mayor of Dedoplistskaro – Nikoloz Janiashvili and the Executive Director of RECC – Ms. Sophiko Akhobadze, who cut the red tape to officially open the sites.
The biosphere reserve includes the Vashlovani Protected Area located in Dedoplistskaro. However, unlike the protected area, there are fewer restrictions in a biosphere reserve and, therefore, more space for economic activities, while ensuring nature protection. The new status of the territory will allow local inhabitants in Dedoplistskaro to maintain and protect the environment while getting involved in sustainable businesses. This will increase the interest of the business sector in the region, as well as contribute to the economic growth, which is a great opportunity to increase the economic and tourism potential of Dedoplistskaro. The Bird Watching Tower, which is located in Koghoti Gorge, will be open to public and will allow people to observe the birds in the gorge using special observation equipment.
“UNESCO Biosphere Reserves represent instruments for the introduction of unified conservation and sustainable land management practices, which are important national priorities. Establishing the first Biosphere Reserve in Dedoplistkaro will create a case of harmonious human-nature coexistence, based on climate conscious agricultural development, sustainable forest management and nature conservation” – stated Nino Tandilashvili, the Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia.
“I would like to express immense gratitude towards the European Union, as the infrastructure for Biosphere Reserve in Dedoplistskaro, the Tourism Information Center and the Bird Watching tower were established with their financial contribution. These sites will clearly encourage the development of nature-oriented tourism, as well as support the environment protection and economic development of the local population.
On behalf of the Dedoplistskaro Municipality, the project manager, Mr. Amiran Kodiashvili joined the guests at the site and informed them about other relevant past and on-going activities. The event was finalized by the photo exhibition depicting everyday human activities in harmony with nature, in order to showcase biosphere reserves as a model for sustainable growth and development. The author of the exhibition is a well-known Georgian photographer Anka Gujabidze.
The EU has been supporting regional development activities in Georgia for many years now. Launched in 2019, this particular project aims to support the establishment of biosphere reserves in Kakheti – Dedoplistskaro Biosphere Reserve. The project has already established a multilateral cooperation platform and working groups, involving the local government in Kakheti.
For further information please contact:
Lali Tevzadze, Project Coordinator, REC Caucasus
Cell: +995 557 73 69 19