Lagodekhi Protected Areas in East Georgia is home to beautiful pristine forests and mountains. And the administration is doing everything possible to protect this biodiversity from poachers.
The four days we spent in the winter wilderness of Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park took us through rich evergreen forests, alpine meadows and snowy high mountain peaks, while giving us a few new lessons on survival.
Borjomi-Kharagauli encompasses one of Georgia’s last major intact forest wilderness, and provides refuge to many of the Caucasus´s rich wildlife, such as brown bear, wolf, chamois, lynx and red deer. It is the first national park of the country, established after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and has faced many difficulties from the early days onwards in the attempt to stop poaching and illegal logging. Nowadays, the efforts to protect this unique biodiversity are intensified, while local communities have realized the potential of sustainable ecotourism.
Throughout its 30 years of existence, NACRES has become a centrepiece in the conservation puzzle of Georgia. We had the chance to accompany the conservation team on their field work to monitor the East Caucasian turs in the mountainous Kazbegi National Park. We spent the days searching for Caucasian turs on the majestic slopes of the Kazbegi National Park, while the evenings were filled with talks about Georgian biodiversity, human-wildlife conflict, effectiveness of protected areas and capacity building of rangers.
Deep in the rugged landscape of Eastern Anatolia lies one of the most scenic and biodiverse regions of Turkey. At the same time it is also the country´s biggest conflict region. Its inhabitants, the resilient Alevi Kurds have been long fighting to protect their home, long-standing traditions and whole identity.