“The current state of the forestry sector in Georgia and future perspectives” – article by Ilia Osepashvili, Senior Forest Officer of WWF in the Caucasus and FLEG II Program Coordinator featured in Woodland Heritage magazine, 2016. Woodland Heritage is a Registered Charity, operating in the United Kingdom. Their purpose is: “To maximize the economic and environmental value of trees and to promote wood as a renewable natural resource”. The patron of Woodland Heritage is His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.
“Georgian forests are very rich in biodiversity due to the combination of a complex terrain and a wide range of climatic conditions. The climate ranges from wet subtropics on the Black Sea coast to permanent snow cover in the high mountains. The lowest precipitation is about 400 mm/year in the south-eastern end of the country. In contrast, the precipitation can be as high as 5,000 mm/year on Mt. Mtirala, located near the Black Sea coast in Ajara.
The Caucasus, where Georgia is located, is one of the 200 global ecoregions identified by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Of 34 biodiversity hotspots defined globally by Conservation International (regions which are richest in biodiversity, threatened by human activity), Georgia is part of the two of them - Caucasian and Iran-Anatolian hotspots.
About 400 tree and bush species grow in Georgian forests. Of these, 61 are endemic for Georgia. Typical representatives of fauna include brown bear, tur, chamois, wild boar, Caucasian red deer, roe deer, lynx, wild cat, etc. – all of them depend on natural forest. Pristine forests cover about 500,000 ha according to expert estimates. “- Ilia is highlighting importance of Georgian forests in his article.
To read the full article and learn more about challenges faced by the Georgian forestry sector, present efforts and future perspectives, please download below.