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."