The pilot phase of the ECF in Azerbaijan is implemented in the Greater Caucasus ecoregional corridor with the funds provided by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through KfW Development Bank. The consortium of GOPA Consultants, DFS and HessenForst are providing consulting services for the implementation.
The facility has been designed to be open to other donors, partners and regions. Set up and management costs are covered by the initial funding. WWF would welcome the participation of other organisations who wish to support the biodiversity and/or economic development objectives of the partnership.
Partnership with the local communities
The aim of ECF is to create a win-win solution in terms of both nature protection and socio-economic development objectives. To achieve this, the scope of the “Conservation Agreements” is being developed in a combination of two interconnected approaches:
1. Conservation planning includes a landscape plan setting conservation objectives and priorities and geographically or thematically limited land use or resource use plans in partner communities, such as forest management, urban development plans. These plans will be discussed in the framework established by the FPA (see below) process in order to secure high level of local participation in the development of the plans in order to get a same understanding of the approach, and to discuss and to agree on the way forward (e.g. to develop and agree the menu of measures and cost norms).
2. Financial Participatory Approach (FPA) conducted in partner communities. Each FPA cycle is adapted to the respective programme phase (data collection & analysis, planning, implementation and monitoring) and serves to mobilize local communities, to integrate their knowledge and experience into the programming of the partnership, to set their own objectives, to develop their ownership. The main tools of FPA are: contests and awards; capitalisation; training, learning and exchange visits; and media involvement.
The rural populations in Greater Caucasus Ecological corridor regions still largely depend on subsistence farming for their survival, leading to high pressure on common natural resources such as forests and pastures. Since the end of Soviet Union, the breakdown of the system of subsidies and collective farming has led to rural decline and widespread rural poverty. Young generations are looking for job opportunities in the urban areas, but the share of population employed in agriculture is still very high compared to developed countries. Modern rural development programmes and farming support systems are now being developed and it is important that nature conservation and environmental concerns are integrated into these policies early on.
Key to the success of the partnership is the ability of local communities to organise themselves, successfully pursue their mission and deliver the results under long term conservation agreements.
ECO-CORRIDORS FUND FOR THE CAUCASUS
Red deer / Zagatala State Reserve
Brown bear / Zagatala State reserve
"Earth is our home!" competition, Saribash village
Training about beekeeping for local communities
Funding Organization(s) / Donor(s):
Government of Germany, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through KfW
Executing Agency: WWF Caucasus Programme Office
Contractor: GOPA-Consultants, Hindenburgrin
Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia
Easter Greater Caucasus Ecological Corridor in Azerbaijan (4.500 km2)
2015 - 2020