Georgia: Local population to be involved in development of Racha National Park

The Racha National Park development project of Georgia now will be implemented with the involvement of the local population. To meet this end an information meeting was held recently in a number of villages under the Oni municipality.

These meetings aim to involve the people in the development of projects. The meetings were organised by the Ministry of Environment and Agriculture Protection with the collaboration of the Agency of Protected Areas.

On this occasion the participants of the working meeting together with the local population of these villages discussed the issues of specifying and demarcating the borders of the national park. They discussed the prospects of expanding and developing the protected areas of Racha national park as well as the current activities and planned projects.

At the same time the possibilities of receiving benefits based on the sustainable management of the protected areas and improving the socio-economic status of the population were also discussed in detail during this working meeting as well.

Similarly, the local community representatives had an opportunity to ask questions on topics of interest to the key speakers during the meeting. Their questions were answered by people involved in the development of Racha National Park.

It is to be specifically mentioned that the representatives of the National State Property Agency along with the representative of the NGO SABUKO(Society for Nature Conservation), representative of the Caucasus Nature Foundation (CNF), the network of associations of friends of protected areas and the international consulting group GOPA(infrastructure development company) also took part in the meeting, which was held in cooperation with the local government.

SABUKO is a Birdlife Partner in Georgia. Its main focus is the conservation of species and their habitats that are threatened by changed climatic conditions.

At the meeting with the local population, pamphlets covering every detail of the new project were also provided. The participants also shared their thoughts with the municipality representative and hoped that their views and suggestions would be implemented by the authorities as well.

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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