CNF provides sustainable, long-term funding to the protected areas of the South Caucasus


We provide sustainable, long-term funding to the protected areas in the South Caucasus

CNF supports the key protected areas in the South Caucasus with long-term funding for operating costs and to improve the management effectiveness in the parks. Working in partnership with the local governments, CNF provides matching grants for operating costs and salary supplements, essential equipment and maintenance. In addition, we support the elaboration of management plans, biodiversity monitoring systems and sustainable development through ecotourism programs.

Azat River, Armenia © Wikimedia Commons



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 matches but does not exceed State budgets—potentially doubling a specific park’s operating funds. To ensure sustainable development in the protected areas, CNF stresses the importance of long-term planning processes that meet international standards, including local community involvement.

A “50% principle” ensures long-term commitment from both sides.


Operating Costs

Estimates indicate that Armenia and Georgia spend only about 50 percent of what is needed to cover even basic operating costs for their protected areas, such as salaries, utilities, maintenance, and equipment. Because donor support for these needs is scarce, CNF’s approach is to provide a long-term source of funding in the form of matching grants to maintain essential park functions. We also work with the parks to develop alternative revenue sources.

In coming years, CNF will be focusing particularly on providing funds and planning tools, and building capacity for, facilities maintenance—ensuring that as part of ordinary park operations investments made by us and others are not lost.

Biodiversity Monitoring

Biodiversity monitoring provides data on species population trends and ecosystem health, and enables 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.


The Caucasus region is known for its cultural as well as biological diversity. Half of its 35 million inhabitants live 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 development and nature protection. CNF funds support pasture use planning in traditional use zones in protected areas, and ensures that sustainable tourism plans are developed as part of the overall management planning for the protected areas which can provide alternative and mores sustainable economic opportunities to local people.

Long-term Planning

Management plans guide day-to-day operations in the parks and set short—and long—term priorities for administrators. When created with a participatory approach that involves local communities, farmers and other stakeholders, management plans can 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 in Georgia and Armenia that encourages long-term planning and efficient use of resources. We ensure that management plans are created using a participatory approach and involve local communities and stakeholders. A conflict assessment is part of the management planning process and ensures land use and zoning issues are addressed and plans are put in place to resolve them.



Algeti National Park, Georgia

Algeti National Park


Algeti is located on the southern slopes of the Trialeti mountain range …

Arzakan Meghradzor Sanctuary, Armenia

Arzakan—Meghradzor Sanctuary


Established in 1971, the Arzakan-Meghradzor sanctuary is located in Hrazdan forest in …

Borjomi National Park @ Agency of Protected Areas, Georgia

Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park


Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park (BKNP) is located in the heart of the Lesser …

Dilijan National Park © Wikimedia Commons

Dilijan National Park


Known for its magnificent oak and beech forests and curative mineral springs, …

Gnishik Protected Area, © WWF-Armenia/A. Malkhasyan

Gnishik Protected Area


Located 120 km southeast of Yerevan, Gnishik is the first community managed …

Hirkan NP © Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, Azerbaijan

Hirkan National Park


Located on the shores of the Caspian Sea in South-east Azerbaijan, Hirkan …

Javakheti Protected Area @ Agency of Protected Areas, Georgia

Javakheti Protected Areas


Javakheti is located in southern Georgia along the border with Armenia and …

Kazbegi NP © Agency of Protected Areas, Georgia

Kazbegi National Park


Kazbegi is located in the Greater Caucasus Mountains, it owes it’s name …

Khosrov Forest Reserve, Armenia © WWF

Khosrov Forest Reserve


Established in 1958 and just 20 kilometers from Yerevan, Khosrov Forest Reserve …

Kintrishi Protected Areas @ Agency of Protected Areas, Georgia

Kintrishi Protected Areas


Kintrishi is situated along the breathtaking gorge of the Kintishi river in …

Lagodekhi Protected Areas, Georgia © Agency of Protected Areas

Lagodekhi Protected Areas


Lagodekhi’s remote 24,451 hectares are situated in the greater Caucasus Range and …

Lake Arpi, Armenia @ Cissko

Lake Arpi National Park


Lake Arpi National Park is situated in the North-Western corner of Republic …

Mtirala NP, Georgia: Credit: Agency of Protected Areas

Mtirala National Park


Mtirala National Park situated in western Lesser Caucasus and covers 15,698 hectares. …

Shahdag NP, Azerbaijan Credit: Hartmut Mueller

Shahdagh National Park


Located in northern Azerbaijan, close to the border with Russia, the parks …

Shirvan National Park, Azerbaijan © EcoFilms/N.Tsiklauri

Shirvan National Park


Shirvan is home to the largest population of goitered gazelles in the …

Tusheti Protected Areas, Georgia © Agency of Protected Areas

Tusheti Protected Areas


Tusheti is located in the Eastern Caucasus Mountains. One of the largest …

Vashlovani Protected Areas © Agency of Protected Areas

Vashlovani Protected Areas


Vashlovani is Georgia’s most diverse landscape. Located on Georgia’s South-eastern edgethe park’s …

Zangezur Biosphere Complex ©

Zangezur Biosphere Complex


Established in 2013, the Zangezur Biosphere Complex combined Arevik National Park, Shikahogh State …

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