For the cooperation in the South Caucasus, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has formulated the Caucasus Initiative, which expresses the political will to contribute to regional dialogue between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. For that reason, GIZ on behalf of the BMZ is only implementing regional programmes covering all three countries. All regional programmes are expected to address the regional dimension in their areas of cooperation.
GIZ has been active in the South Caucasus since the beginning of the 1990s.
In 2015, national partners in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Armenia, together with GIZ launched the Integrated Biodiversity Management, South Caucasus (IBiS) programme. It is running until November 2019. The programme is to be seen against the background that the biodiversity in the region is of global importance, but under threat from the exploitation of natural resources by the local population, private industry and governments. The programme is supporting the countries in the South Caucasus to manage their biodiversity and ecosystem services more sustainably and in a more coordinated manner, based on solid data. Through this approach, the programme contributes to safeguarding species and habitat diversity for future generations.
The work is built on the results of two earlier GIZ-supported projects since 2008. These projects provide advice to develop policies, strategies and laws that are based on European standards. A number of strategies have already been successfully implemented for the sustainable management of forests, climate-adapted agriculture, and improved pasture management.
IBiS regularly hosts conferences, meetings and trainings for participants in all three countries. Several actors from the region have become master trainers on how to integrate ecosystem services into development planning. They conduct trainings for academic institutions and public agencies in their home countries on how to integrate the ecosystem services approach into development planning. They continually communicate and exchange ideas via a network of continued learning.
Workshops and Conferences
The International Workshop - “The UNESCO Man and Biosphere Concept - an inter-sectoral natural resource management approach. Could it work in the South Caucasus?” was held with the aim to introduce the Man and Biosphere (MAB) concept for cross-sectoral, integrated and sustainable management of natural resources. The workshop contributed to improve the understanding of this concept and stimulated intensive discussions about the implementation of the UNESCO MAB program in the South Caucasus, which resulted in the formulation of needs and next steps for each country.
A new platform supports long-term virtual exchange and dialogue between actors all over the region. This platform was established together with RECC, the Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus, which also acts as a host of the platform.
- Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus RECC