Front row, from left to right: Tea Barbakadze, CNF; Levan Tabunidze, CNF; Nata Sultanishvili, Head of Planning and Development Division of the Agency of Protected Areas (‘APA’); Deputy Minister Iuri Nozadze, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture; Davit Iosebashvili, Chairman of APA: Tamar Pataridze, CNF; Lika Kalmakhelidze, CNF; Tamar Khakhishvili, Deputy Chairwoman of APA; Toma Dekanoidze, Deputy Chairman of APA; Carlo Amirgulashvili, Head of Biodiversity and Forestry Department of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture: Second and third rows: rangers of the Protected Areas.
December 24th & 25th 2023, Georgia
Celebrating Conservation Excellence – Rangers Honored with Annual Awards from Caucasus Nature Fund and the Agency of Protected Areas
In a momentous celebration of dedication and unwavering commitment to preserving the rich biodiversity of the Caucasus region, the annual awards ceremony organized by the Caucasus Nature Fund (CNF) in collaboration with the Agency of Protected Areas has recognized the outstanding contributions of the rangers of Georgia’s Protected Areas. These unsung heroes, on the frontline of nature conservation, have displayed exemplary efforts in safeguarding the unique ecosystems of the Caucasus.
The Caucasus Nature Fund, together with the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture and the Agency of Protected Areas of Georgia, gathered the individuals from different regions of Georgia to highlight the critical role of the rangers in preserving the natural heritage of the country.
The Caucasus Nature Fund, known for its commitment to the protection and sustainable development of the region’s national parks and nature reserves, collaborated with the Agency of Protected Areas to institute these awards. The CNF has been a vital force in channeling financial support, expertise, and resources to strengthen the conservation efforts in the Caucasus.
The Agency of Protected Areas, responsible for managing Georgia’s protected areas, expressed its gratitude for the dedication of the rangers. These individuals serve as the frontline guardians of the diverse flora and fauna that thrive in the region’s national parks, ensuring the delicate balance of ecosystems is maintained for future generations.
The assessment criteria for the awards are based on the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (‘SMART’). The SMART program is operational in CNF-supported PA’s. The SMART system ensures transparency and accountability in recognizing ranger achievements. CNF, together with the Agency of Protected Areas, awarded 21 rangers and protection team members at the end of 2023. Specific tasks, measurable outcomes, achievable goals, relevance to conservation objectives, and adherence to designated timelines were key factors in evaluating the rangers’ contributions.
The annual awards from the Caucasus Nature Fund and the Agency of Protected Areas stand as a beacon of hope and appreciation for the honored rangers, who, through their remarkable efforts, embody the spirit of conservation, reminding us all of the collective responsibility we bear in preserving the ecological treasures of our planet.