NACRES Appeal to the Parliament of Georgia

On the purposed amendments to the hunting regulations and procedures

NACRES welcomes the wish of the Parliament of Georgia to improve the hunting legislation. This initiative is viewed as a sign of the recognition of monetary values of the wildlife, which may be expected to serve as a prerequisite of increased control of illegal hunting in the country.

Nevertheless the proposed amendments include twohighly significant issues that contradict sustainable use principles as well as Georgia’s international commitments:

  • The draft law envisages lifting the ban on hunting forcertain red list species, more so with no prior assessments or monitoring
  • Hunting will be allowed on Georgia’s national parks

In our opinion, the proposed amendments will have a number of serious consequences most important of which include:

  1. Some of the red listed species will be faced with the imminent threat of extinction.
  2. By allowing hunting in the national parks, there will be no areas in the entire country where wildlife populations could thrive in the natural environment, i.e. there will be no natural reservoirs to support the species populations (the small state nature reserves, the only remaining “no-hunting zones”, can not serve that function); as a result the very fundamental role of the protected area will be undermined.
  3. Some of the proposed changes are aimed at a short-term financial effect and will not support the development of sustainable hunting tourism in Georgia (counter to the objectives of the amendments).
  4. The entire tourist potential of Georgia’s national parks will be at risk as well as the reputation of the country as an international ecotourism destination.
  5. In practice the draft law undermines past and future multimillion investments into Georgia’s nature conservation sector made by the international community; the support of such important donors as the EU and individual member states, Global Environment Facility (GEF), etc. may be negatively affected.

We request that the Georgian Parliament involves relevant organizations and individual experts in the review of the proposed draft law. We strongly believe it is possible to improve the draft so that it incorporates sustainable use principles while fully considering the interests of the private sector and those of the local communities.

 

Contact Information: Mailing Address - PO Box 20, Tbilisi - 0179 Georgia
Courier Address - 12a Abashidze Street, 0179 Tbilisi, Georgia. - Tel: (+995-32) 2 23 37 06 - Fax: (+995-32) 2 53 71 24
E-mail: administrator@nacres.org
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