The friend and partner of the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets, also the Network Development Manager for Europe and Central Asia at BirdLife International Brecht Verhelst congrats the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge’s 10th Anniversary.
Brecht Verhelst said. “I first visited the place in winter Y2017, when it was covered with snow and I was immediately impressed by what FPWC had achieved there. They managed to set up the first private protected area in the Southern Caucasus and they got the massive support from the local community. They could do by setting up the number of small businesses, such as ecotourism, dried foods, honey and by employing some people as guards to stop to poaching, what was common until then in the area.
Later I visited the place many times both for work and private reasons and had a chance to observe some impressive wildlife there, for example – bears, lynx and many special species of birds. I am really hoping that this model can serve as an example for other places in the Caucasus and also the authorities and donors will recognize it as very powerful approach to conservation, that can stand a long side government run protected areas and that will provide the financial support to ensure its long time sustainability”.
This year the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge celebrates its 10th anniversary. The Caucasus Wildlife Refuge (CWR), which encompasses around 30,000 hectares, is the first privately protected area in the South Caucasus. The CWR is managed by Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife & Cultural Assets (FPWC) since 2011. Being the habitat of a number of southern Caucasian species, the CWR territory is an area of crucial importance buffering Khosrov Forest State Reserve (IUCN Ia category). The refuge is a safe haven for many rare species, such as Brown bears, Bezoar goats, Armenian Vipers, Bearded Vultures and endangered Caucasian leopard.