FLEG II has purchased a mini-tractor, drilling mechanism, cultivator and rotating cultivator for the Forestry Agency of Ajara (FAA). Under this Program, forest restoration works were initiated in Khulo Municipality of Ajara Autonomous Republic, Georgia. FLEG II contributes to fencing of more than 100 ha of degraded forest near village Bodzauri to protect it from cattle grazing.
Actual fencing work will be conducted by the FAA at end of July and beginning of August 2015. In some places within the fenced area, it will be necessary to remove tall grass and other ground vegetation, to promote the regeneration of valuable forest trees. The mechanisms transferred to the FAA will be used for this purpose. This component is supported by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).
Village Bodzauri is located in Khulo Municipality at the elevation of about 1,700-1,800 m above sea level. Forests around this village are mainly comprised of Caucasian fir (Aboes nordmanniana) and spruce (Picea orientalis). There are also individual trees and small groups of beech (Fagus orientalis). These forests are significantly degraded due to excessive grazing as in many other parts of Georgia. It is essential to protect them from grazing through fencing, in order to promote their recovery. In some places, vigorous ground vegetation (rhododendron, bramble, tall grass) has developed after the opening up of the forest canopy. This makes natural regeneration problematic, as the ground vegetation prevents the tree seeds from germination. It is thus necessary to remove this ground vegetation and, in this way, promote natural regeneration of the forest.