Biosphere Reserve in Tusheti, Eastern Georgia

The planning of a Biosphere Reserve in Tusheti, Eastern Georgia is making good progress.

The work on developing BR zoning and the management plan concept has been initiated successfully and will be completed soon. A possible name of the planned BR was also discussed and as a preliminary version the name “Three Alazani Rivers Biosphere Reserve” was approved by the stakeholders. The name of the planned Biosphere Reserve is derived from the watershed that includes origin areas of three rivers – namely, of Alazani River and its two tributaries Tusheti Alazani River and Piriqita Alazani River.

Due to the restrictions related to the COVID19 outbreak, ordinary working meetings were substituted by the virtual meetings. Since March, a number of conferences with different stakeholders were organized online. A possible zonation of the planned BR was elaborated step by step, taking in to consideration the different informational layers (existing land use, protected areas, licenses etc.). In the beginning of June, the initial zonation plans (see Zonation Map) were presented to and discussed with many stakeholders and local communities.

The zoning map was developed based on the ecosystem approach. The boundary of the planned BR ensures the integrity of the BR and covers Ahmeta Municipality, small part of the Telavi Municipality (until the road to Tusheti), Pankisi gorge and the whole Tusheti. Core zone covers all strict Nature reserves and all strict protection zones of the existing Protected Areas in Tusheti and the protection zone of the Tusheti Protected landscape. The buffer zone covers the rest of the Tusheti National Park, Tusheti Protected landscape, Ilto sanctuary, villages around the Batsara strict Nature reserve and Alazani flood forest.

The planned Three Alazani Rivers BR is composed of three zones (see Zonation Map):

  • core area (33,574.99 ha)
  • buffer zone (75,456.66 ha)
  • transition area (90,869.36 ha)

Meanwhile the Michael Succow Foundation together with the Regional Environmental Center for the Caucasus and NNLE “Tusheti Friends Association“ are working on the development of the management plan concept for the planned BR.

The project is implemented within the GIZ program “Capacity Development for Climate Policy in the countries of South East, Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus and Central Asia, Phase III”, as part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). Local implementing partner of the project is Regional Environmental Center for the Caucasus.

Project duration is 12.2018 – 03.2021.


For further information, you can contact the project manager:

Mr. Nika Malazonia

Michael Succow Foundation
Ellernholzstr. 1/3
D-17489 Greifswald