International Conference “Perspectives of Biodiversity Monitoring in the Caucasus” was held by WWF Caucasus Programme Office and Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund in Tbilisi, Georgia on December 6-7, 2005.
“Monitoring and identification of the current status of biodiversity in the Caucasus is urgently needed,” – says Nugzar Zazanashvili, WWF Caucasus PO Conservation Director. “Today when governments, scientists and NGOs try to join their efforts in biodiversity conservation it is crucial to have a realistic picture of what do we have, where is the most gaps to focus on, where we can cooperate and what should be done in first place. Another significance of the conference we would like to stress your attention on is that this is a first attempt to tackle the biodiversity monitoring problem on regional level uniting environmentalists of Georgia, Armenia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Russia”.
As a result of the effort of 42 experts from five Caucasus countries representing scientific community, state institutions and non-governmental sector monitoring indicators were selected, data collection, sharing and dissemination methods defined, design of Model Monitoring Plan created; Regional Monitoring Network shaped. Materials mentioned above will serve as strategy outline for final proposal development. Another important issue is that participants delegated one member from each country to the Steering Committee which will coordinate follow up of the conference. The group agreed to have a final proposal for Biodiversity Monitoring Network for Caucasus by the end of February, 2006.
The next step of this initiative will be a presentation of the proposal at the Caucasus countries Ministerial Conference taking place in Berlin in March, 2006 in seek for international support.