NGOs, Governments Support Fund to Protect Biodiversity in Caucasus Region

Conservation International has announced the launch of the Caucasus Protected Areas Fund, an international collaboration to protect biodiversity and provide long-term financial sustainability for protected areas in Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.

The fund, which was created with $9.7 million in commitments from Germany (through the KfW Development Bank), the World Wide Fund for Nature in Gland, Switzerland, and D.C.-based CI, will provide up to 50 percent of the basic annual operating costs of protected areas in the Caucasus identified as having the greatest biodiversity. An additional two-year, $300,000 grant has been pledged to the effort by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, a joint initiative of CI, the MacArthur Foundation, the Global Environment Facility, the Japanese government, and the World Bank.

Jorgen Thomsen, CI's senior vice president for conservation funding, said investing with a partner with common objectives and similar approaches was critical to both GCF and KfW. "[The Caucasus Protected Areas Fund] represents a milestone in a partnership that has involved developing financing mechanisms for protected areas in Madagascar, South America's Guyanas, and now the Caucasus in the past eighteen months."

"New Fund for Protected Areas in the Caucasus Set to Top US $50 Million" Conservation International Press Release 03/20/2006.