CNF provides sustainable, long-term funding to

the protected areas of the South Caucasus


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
Vashlovani National Park, Georgia © Agency of Protected Areas, Georgia



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


Operating Costs

Because governmental budgets for basic operating costs (such as salaries, uniforms, utilities, maintenance, and equipment) for Protected Areas in the South Caucasus have historically been 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. We have introduced SMART patrolling to ensure better protection and patrolling at our parks in Georgia, while in Armenia we have funded an extensive program of surveillance systems at our PA’s.

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. Further, in Georgia it has supported in the implementation of a 10-year biodiversity monitoring plan; in Armenia, CNF has sponsored the implementation of a five year plant diversity monitoring program with Institute of Botany.

Over time, our work in the PA’s of Georgia and Armenia has contributed to significant increases in populations which were becoming extinct. Thus, the Caucasian leopard has reappeared in Armenia, where we now count 10 -12 animals. In Armenia,  a joint program with WWF to re-introduce red deer has resulted in a population of 37 animals, three of whom are established outside of the breeding centre. Adjacent to Georgia’s Vashlovani PA’s, goitered gazelles from Azerbaijan have successfully established in local plains.

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.

From working with one park in 2009 (Georgia’s Borjomi Kharagauli), CNF now works with 18 parks across the region – 13 parks in Georgia, and five in Armenia. We supported 70 rangers in 2009, and 850 park employees in 2023. In 2009, we supported 107,000 hectares of protected land; in 2023, that number is at 679,910 hectares.


Algeti National Park, Georgia, © Agency of Protected Areas

Algeti National Park

Algeti National Park is located in the Trialeti Range of the Lesser…
Aragvi Protected Landscape, Foto: Agency of Protected Areas, Georgia

Aragvi Protected Landscape

Aragvi Protected Landscape was established in 2021 and covers 99,802 ha. It…
Arpa Protected Landscape, Armenia

Arpa Protected Landscape

Located in south-central Armenia, Arpa Protected Landscape (formerly Gnishik PL) is the…
Batsara-Babaneuri Protected Area, Georgia, Foto: Agency of Protected Areas, Georgia

Batsara-Babaneuri Protected Area

Located in Kakheti region, Pankisi gorge, on the territory of Akhmeta municipality.…
Winter at Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, Georgia

Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

Located in the heart of the Lesser Caucasus Mountain range, Borjomi-Kharagauli National…
Dilijan National Park © Wikimedia Commons

Dilijan National Park

Dilijan National Park is located in northeastern Armenia, on the Pambak, Aregouni…
Javakheti Protected Areas, Georgia, Georgia - Foto by Agency of Protected Areas Georgia

Javakheti Protected Areas

Javakheti Protected Areas is located on a high volcanic plateau that straddles…
Kazebgi National Park, Georgia, Caucasus, Mount Kazbegi

Kazbegi National Park

Kazbegi National Park is located high in the Greater Caucasus mountains, and…
Khosrov Forest Reserve, Armenia © WWF

Khosrov Forest State Reserve

Khosrov Forest State Reserve is located in the mountainous terrain of central…
Kintrishi Protected Areas, Georgia - Foto by Agency of Protected Areas, Georgia

Kintrishi Protected Areas

The dramatic Kintrishi Gorge is located in southwest Georgia, where the Adjara-Imereti…
Lagodekhi Protected Areas, Georgia © Agency of Protected Areas

Lagodekhi Protected Areas

Lagodekhi Protected Areas is located on the slopes of the Greater Caucasus…
Lake Arpi, Armenia @ Cissko

Lake Arpi National Park

Lake Arpi, located in the extreme northwest corner of Armenia, on the…
Machakhela National Park, Georgia

Machakhela National Park

Machakhela National Park is located 30 km away from Batumi in the…
Mtirala NP, Georgia: Credit: Agency of Protected Areas

Mtirala National Park

Mtirala National Park is situated on the Adjara Mountain Range, where the…
Pshav-Khevsureti National Park:_Khidotani ridge and Tebulosmta © Moahim, Wikicommons

Pshav-Khevsureti Protected Areas

Pshav-Khevsureti Protected Areas was established in 2014 and encompasses Pshav-Khevsureti National Park,…
Racha National Park, Foto: Agency of Protected Areas, Georgia

Racha National Park

Newly established (2023) Racha National Park is located within the administrative boundaries…
Truso Protected Landscape, Foto: Agency of Protected Areas, Georgia

Truso Protected Landscape

Truso Protected Landscape corresponding to IUNC category V was established in 2021…
Tusheti Protected Areas, Georgia © Agency of Protected Areas

Tusheti Protected Areas

Tusheti Protected Areas is located in the northeastern corner of Georgia, high…
Tusheti Protected Landscape, Georgia

Tusheti Protected Landscape

Tusheti Protected Landscape covers 31,517 ha and is located on the southern…
Vashlovani Protected Areas, Georgia

Vashlovani National Park

Located in the extreme southeastern corner of Georgia on the plains of…
Our Program - Caucasus Nature Fund
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