PROGRAM

CNF provides sustainable, long-term funding to

the protected areas of the South Caucasus

AN ENDURING SOLUTION

We provide sustainable, long-term funding to selected Protected Areas in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia designed to improve park management permanently.

Working in partnership with the national governments, CNF provides matching grants for operating costs and salary supplements, essential equipment and maintenance. In addition, we support the development of management plans, biodiversity monitoring systems and ecotourism program that support sustainable development and livelihoods in the local communities.

Tree in Sunset, Vashlovani National Park, Georgia Foto by Agency of Protected Areas, Georgia

OUR APPROACH

PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP

CNF works through public-private partnerships with the three governments, each side committing to long-term support for the Protected Areas. Following a “50 percent principle”, CNF can match but does not exceed state budgets – potentially doubling a specific park’s operating funds. Our 50% principle promotes a long-term commitment from our partner governments.

To ensure sustainable development in communities surrounding the Protected Areas, CNF stresses the importance of long-term planning processes that meet international standards, including the involvement of local people.

Our 50% principle
promotes a
long-term commitment
from our partner governments.

WHAT WE FUND

Operating Costs

Because governmental budgets for basic operating costs (such as salaries, utilities, maintenance, and equipment) for Protected Areas in the South Caucasus is insufficient, CNF provides a vital and long-term source of funding to ensure essential park functions are maintained. Funding for maintenance of facilities and equipment, for example, ensures that infrastructure and other capital investments made by us and others are not lost.

CNF’s funding priorities in coming years will include staff training to build Protected Area-level capacities and the introduction of new technologies to ensure better patrolling and protection.

Biodiversity Monitoring

Biodiversity monitoring provides data on species’ population trends and ecosystem health, and enables an analysis of threats and impacts from human interactions and changing environmental conditions. It is an essential conservation tool for appropriately managing a park’s natural resources and offers valuable information on the effectiveness of Protected Area management. Presently there is incomplete data for species in the Caucasus ecoregion, and most of the parks lack the capacity to implement even basic monitoring systems.

CNF supports biodiversity monitoring projects by paying for equipment and studies so the parks have reliable data about the species in the region.

Sustainable Tourism

The Caucasus region is known for its cultural as well as biological diversity – with the majority of its inhabitants living in rural areas where the main economic activities include raising cattle and sheep and small-scale farming. Overgrazing, logging and illegal hunting are damaging the region’s ecosystems, resulting in an overall loss of biodiversity and threatening the livelihoods of the local people.

CNF encourages cooperation among governments, local communities and park authorities to promote sustainable economic development and nature protection. CNF funds support sustainable tourism plans which provide alternative and more sustainable economic opportunities.

Long-term Planning

Management plans guide day-to-day operations in the parks and set short- and long-term priorities for administrators. Created with a participatory approach that involves local communities, farmers and other stakeholders, management plans identify potential areas of conflict and propose land use strategies that conserve biodiversity while maintaining rural livelihoods.

CNF has worked with international consultants and local NGOs to create a standard for management plans that encourages long-term planning and efficient use of resources.

OUR PARKS

Algeti National Park, Georgia

Algeti National Park

Georgia
Algeti National Park is located in the Trialeti Range of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains, with its striking mountain peaks and dramatic Algeti River Gorge. Its thick forests are the most southerly distribution of Eastern Spruce and Nordmann Fir, as well as being home to the brown bear; Imperial Eagles can even sometimes be spotted soaring [...]
Bezoar Goats (Capra aegagrus aegagrus) in Gnishik Protected Area, Armenia; Foto by WWF Armenia

Arpa Protected Landscape

Armenia
Located in south-central Armenia, Arpa Protected Landscape (formerly Gnishik PL) is the country’s first community-managed protected area and is managed by a foundation representing the villages of Khachik, Gnishik and Areni. The arid and rocky Gnishik gorge is home to an incredible variety of plant and animal life, including the bezoar goat, the population of [...]
Winter at Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, Georgia

Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

Georgia
Located in the heart of the Lesser Caucasus mountain range, Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park comprises more than 1% of the total territory of Georgia. Its thickly-forested mountain gorges and alpine meadows are home to a staggering variety of endemic flora (chestnut, oak and yew) and fauna (wolves, bears, lynx, griffon vultures, golden eagles and one hundred [...]
Dilijan National Park © Wikimedia Commons

Dilijan National Park

Armenia
Dilijan National Park is located in northern Armenia, on the Pambak, Aregouni and Miapor mountain ranges. Its mountain peaks, dense forests and curative mineral springs, amongst which the attractive town of Dilijan is nestled, have earned Dilijan the title of “Little Switzerland” among proud locals. Its mixed forests and mountain slopes are home to black [...]
Hirkan NP © Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, Azerbaijan

Hirkan National Park

Azerbaijan
Located on the shores of the Caspian Sea in South-east Azerbaijan, Hirkan is one of region’s truly unique protected areas. Ninety percent of the park’s 40,358 hectares are covered by deciduous forest and include virgin forests virtually untouched for millions of years. The region’s subtropical climate make for a lush green landscape. There are over [...]
Javakheti Protected Areas, Armenia, Georgia - Foto by Agency of Protected Areas Georgia

Javakheti Protected Areas

Georgia
Javakheti Protected Areas is located on a high volcanic plateau that straddles Georgia, Armenia and Turkey. This unique landscape is characterized by low volcanic mountains and wide, calm lakes that mirror the skies above. These lakes and waterlands provide a natural resting spot for a staggering variety of migratory bird species – the Protected Area’s [...]
Kazebgi National Park, Georgia, Caucasus, Mount Kazbegi

Kazbegi National Park

Georgia
Kazbegi National Park is located high in the Greater Caucasus mountains, and takes its name from Mount Kazbegi, the sixth highest peak in the Caucasus at 5,047 meters and one of Georgia’s most famous natural landmarks. Most of the park’s territory consists of snow-covered peaks, alpine meadows and jagged basalt cliffs, providing an ideal habitat [...]
Khosrov Forest Reserve, Armenia © WWF

Khosrov Forest State Reserve

Armenia
Khosrov Forest State Reserve is located in the mountainous terrain of central Armenia, and claims to be one of the oldest Protected Areas in the world – in the 4th century the area was designated as a royal reserve by King Khosrov Kotak specifically with the aim of maintaining the natural climatic conditions of neighbouring [...]
Kintrishi Protected Areas, Georgia - Foto by Agency of Protected Areas, Georgia

Kintrishi Protected Areas

Georgia
The dramatic Kintrishi Gorge is located in southwest Georgia, where the Adjara-Imereti Range of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains traps moist air rolling in from the Black Sea, resulting in one of the most humid climates in the country. Most of the Protected Areas consist of thick forests, including relict species such as pontic oak and [...]
Lagodekhi Protected Areas, Georgia © Agency of Protected Areas

Lagodekhi Protected Areas

Georgia
Lagodekhi Protected Areas is located on the slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountains and stretches from humid and thickly-forested gorges up to steep alpine meadows as high as 3,000 meters above sea level. The inherent value of the region’s virgin forests of beech and hornbeam, with their rich variety of plant and animal life, was [...]
Lake Arpi, Armenia @ Cissko

Lake Arpi National Park

Armenia
Lake Arpi, located in the extreme northwest corner of Armenia, on the Javakhk-Shirak Plateau close to the border with Turkey and Georgia is part of the same ecosystem found in Javakheti Protected Areas in Georgia. The National Park comprises Lake Arpi and a number of other small lakes, rivers and wetlands, all of which host [...]
Machakhela National Park

Machakhela National Park

Georgia
The newest park to be supported by CNF (beginning 2020) Machakhela National Park is located 30 km away from Batumi in the foothills of the Lesser Caucasus. Close to the Turkish border, Machakhela expands the protection of the unique ecosystems of the Colchic forests - rich tropical and sub-tropical habitats (temperate rain forests with peat [...]
Mtirala NP, Georgia: Credit: Agency of Protected Areas

Mtirala National Park

Georgia
Mtirala National Park is situated on the Adjara Mountain Rage, where the Lesser Caucasus meets the Black Sea, and is one of the wettest parts of the country, with average annual precipitation of around 1,200 to 2,000 mm. Mtirala’s dense forests of chestnut and beech are home to roe dear, wild boar and brown bear [...]
Pshav-Khevsureti National Park:_Khidotani ridge and Tebulosmta © Moahim, Wikicommons

Pshav-Khevsureti Protected Areas

Georgia
Pshav-Khevsureti Protected Areas was established in 2014 and encompasses Pshav-Khevsureti National Park, Roshka Natural Monument, and Asa Managed Nature Reserve. Located near Georgia’s border with Russia, it is accessible from neighboring Tusheti and Kazbegi Protected Areas (PAs) via stunning paths through mountains of magic. Here, you can witness deep riverbeds and their numerous tributaries which [...]
Shahdag NP, Azerbaijan Credit: Hartmut Mueller

Shahdagh National Park

Azerbaijan
Located in northern Azerbaijan, close to the border with Russia, the parks 115,000 hectares are part of the Greater Caucasus Mountains and make it the largest protected area in the Caucasus Ecoregion. The national park is home to the rare East Caucasian tur (Capra cylindricornis), a mountain dwelling goat found only in the eastern half of [...]
Shirvan National Park, Azerbaijan © EcoFilms/N.Tsiklauri

Shirvan National Park

Azerbaijan
Shirvan is home to the largest population of goitered gazelles in the region. The park’s semi-desert landscape extending inland from the Caspian Sea includes a shallow lake that provides wetland habitat for many birds and plants. CNF Support Supported since: 2012 Grant amount: €100,000 Recent Projects and Investments: Construction of three tourists bungalows Refurbishment of [...]
Tusheti Protected Areas, Georgia © Agency of Protected Areas

Tusheti Protected Areas

Georgia
Tusheti Protected Areas is located in the northeastern corner of Georgia, high in the Caucasus Mountain and is accessible for only 4-5 months of the year. Its virgin pine forests, vast alpine pasturelands and snowy mountain peaks host a variety of plant and animal life (East Caucasian Tur, Chamois, Bezoar Goat, brown bear, red fox [...]
Vashlovani Protected Areas, Georgia

Vashlovani Protected Areas

Georgia
Located in the extreme southeastern corner of Georgia on the plains of the Alazani River, Vashlovani is one of the most unique and breathtaking landscapes in the South Caucasus. The park’s large swathes of arid semi-desert, with their razor-sharp limestone cliffs and groves of pistachio trees, barberry and thistle, are reminiscent of the African bush [...]
Zangezur Biosphere Complex © EcoFilms.ge/N.Tsiklauri

Zangezur Biosphere Complex

Armenia
‘Biosphere’ denotes the connectedness and co-dependency of various species within one ecosystem and it’s precisely due to the existence of one such ecosystem in southern Armenia that - in 2013 - several existing protected areas in the Syunik Region were combined to create the Zangezur Biosphere Complex, one of the region’s largest protected areas. The [...]
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