Implementation of Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan
Conservation of Ecosystems and Species in Georgia: Brown Bear (Phase I)

Project Implementation Period: June 2004 - May 2006

NACRES has recently finished working over the first phase of the complex project focused on brown bear conservation in the Trialeti range and Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park.

The directions of the project were as follows: conservation of bear population, public education, establishment of local support groups (LSGs), and preparation of LSGs to implement the conservation plan for brown bear.

The first part of the project concentrated on the current situation analysis. Within the frames of this project, field research was carried out in the target region to evaluate bear population and habitat (the forest).

Data was collected at randomly selected sites in order to evaluate and classify forest habitats. We used the field research materials and the satellite maps to compile the map of the habitats of the target territory. 

It was first time in Georgia that NACRES implemented the method of genetic analysis of bear excrements to make an assessment of bear population. Our representative visited the US and worked in the laboratory of the Aidaho University to make analysis.

As a result we already know the approximate number of bear population living on the territories of Borjomi-Kharagauli and Bakuriani.         

Analysis of field research materials by geographical information systems (GIS) allowed us to develop a map of the habitat (other thematic maps were also compiled), and to identify territories frequently used by the bear.

As part of the project, “Analysis and Consultation Team” (ACT International) completed socio-economic research to determine the causes of poaching and loss of bear habitat, the attitudes of local residents, etc.

Within the frames of the project, NACRES prepared a complex account concerning the condition of the population that covers the results of the interpreted materials and analysis. Thus, the first draft of the action plan for the conservation of brown bear in the target region has been developed. 

The final versions of the both documents were developed on the basis of public review. About 30 people, representatives of governmental, non-governmental, scientific and business sectors, were involved in the discussion of these documents.

World-renowned bear experts were actively involved in the project: Dr. Juro Huber from Croatia and Dr. Jon Swenson from Norway.

Besides, one of the goals of this project was to raise public awareness and promote environmental education.

We worked hard in this direction. We disseminated information concerning the necessity of bear population protection and conservation, published a number of brochures, posters, calendars concerning the problem. Various newspaper articles covered the environmental issues during the time. Clubs for environmental education were established in seven schools of the region. Exhibitions (photo and paintings), different ecological activities and meetings with the local authorities were organized.

This project certainly helped to strengthen environmental NGOs in the Tetritskaro region. It is noteworthy that this territory, especially the area around the Algeti reserve, serves as an important spot in Georgian wildlife conservation. 

Within the frames of the project, it was planned to establish local support groups in three target districts (Gori, Tetritskaro. Borjomi). With this aim, the NGO sector of the target districts was assessed in order to select an NGO to deal with environmental issues. As a result of this assessment, the following organizations were selected in the three districts:

- Community organization Tskarostvali - Gori
- Association Borjomi - borjomi
- Association for Civil Society Development - tetritskaro

Members of local support groups were offered trainings. In order to improve the material base of local support groups, they were equipped with computer technology and office techniques. Currently these organizations are implementing the environmental projects of their own.    

For detailed information please contact either Irakli Shavgulidze or
Kakha Artsivadze



Contact Information: Mailing Address - 0179 Tbilisi-Georgia
Courier Address - 12a Abashidze Street, 0179 Tbilisi, Georgia. - Tel: (+995-32) 23 37 06 - Fax: (+995-32) 53 71 24
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All photos were taken by members of NACRES staff

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