The tourism e-brochures and films about the Southern Caucasus’ Protected Areas in this website were developed under the coordination of the “Transboundary Joint Secretariat for Nature Conservation in the Southern Caucasus”. The editors are the Ministries of Environment of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Close project partners who contributed to the production of the brochures and films are WWF and the Caucasus Nature Fund. The project was implemented and funded by KfW Development Bank on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The Transboundary Joint Secretariat is one of the four ‘pillars’ of the “Ecoregional Nature Protection Programme for the Southern Caucasus”, implemented by KfW on behalf of BMZ. All ‘pillars’ of this programme sustain the joint aim to harmonize nature protection objectives and instruments in the Southern Caucasus with sustainable socio-economic development and local participation as major guiding principles:
1) The Transboundary Joint Secretariat (TJS)
TJS promotes regional harmonization and modernization of the nature protection sectors in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia through international ‘best practices’ and transboundary experience exchange. It supports the development of nature protection strategies and methods to improve financial stability of the protected areas. In its second phase from 2011 to 2015, TJS also tests financial participatory approaches for socio-economic development in communities through cognitive learning processes.
2) Support Programme for Protected Areas (SPPA)
The support programme invests in the establishment and development of individual protected areas in the Southern Caucasus countries. These investments enable the protected areas to design management plans, improve capacities of their staff, and develop sustainable tourism and infrastructure, including visitor centres and walking trails. The investments also support socio-economic developments in local communities living near the protected areas.
3) The Caucasus Nature Fund (CNF)
CNF is a conservation trust fund supported by donations of the German government and other international donors. It provides long-term financing for the operational costs and the maintenance of infrastructure and equipment of the protected areas in public-private partnership with the governments of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. CNF also finances monitoring systems and activities for tourism development.
4) Eco-corridor Development Programme (ECDP)
The recently initiated ECDP is designed to link protected areas through eco-corridors serving as connection channels for animal populations that otherwise might suffer from genetic degradation due to their isolated location. Therefore the ECDP will prepare land use plans for selected priority eco-corridors and create incentives encouraging the residents in these corridors to use the land and natural resources in more sustainable ways.