Experts from the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) arrived in Georgia to study the National Parks of Kolkheti, Mtirala, as well as the protected areas of Kintrishi and Kobuleti in Adjara. The fact is that these reserves are nominated for inclusion in the list of UNESCO Natural Heritage Sites.
Colchis forests and areas with high humidity stand out for their unique eco-system and rich biodiversity. The territory is widespread relict and endemic species included in the Red Book (list). For the first time in the country's history, on February 1, 2019, four protected areas of Georgia were included in the list of UNESCO nominees for inclusion in the list of natural heritage sites. Experts on the spot get acquainted with the unique nature of the Colchis forests and areas with high humidity. The decision on granting the status will be made based on the report of the IUCN representatives.
As the Georgian Agency for Protected Areas told reporters, UNESCO's decision will become known, presumably, in May 2020. “The process is quite lengthy: experts have to prepare a report, then they will get acquainted with it at UNESCO. Then there will be additional questions and answers to them. And only then a decision will be made. Most likely closer to May, ”the Georgian Protected Areas Agency said. The UNESCO nomination is an important phenomenon for the country.
The assignment of the status contributes to an increase in the popularity of nature reserves, the development of ecotourism, as well as the dissemination of experience in managing protected areas.
The initiative to include the protected areas of Georgia in the UNESCO list has been carried out since 2017 with the support of the German government, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Mikhail Zokov Foundation.