20.06.2012 08:02
Category: News News

Promoting forest-based beekeeping in south western Georgia

Training in beekeeping (Machakhela Gorge, Adjara Autonomous Republic, Georgia; 25 March 2012); © WWF CauPO
Transfer of beehives and equipment to the villagers from Machakhela Gorge (Khelvachauri, Adjara Autonomous Republic, Georgia; 10 May 2012); © WWF CauPO

Between March and June 2012, WWF-Caucasus Programme Office (WWF-CauPO) conducted a campaign on the promotion of beekeeping in Machakhela Gorge, Adjara Autonomous Republic, south western Georgia.

The successful promotion of the beekeeping business would significantly increase the income of local households, and this would eventually reduce pressure on wood resources. In addition, there have been good traditions in beekeeping in the surrounding villages, which would create a favorable environment for exchanging information and experience.

The pilot sites were located in the villages of Zeda Chkhutuneti, Kokoleti and Chikuneti in Mahcakhela Gorge, bordering with Turkey. These villages were selected because of their proximity to the Turkish border. The aim was to promote cooperation with the Camili Biosphere Reserve on the Turkish side, particularly after the establishment of a Protected Area in Machakhela Gorge on the Georgian side.
Initial meetings were held between the WWF-CauPO consultant and local villagers, representatives of self-governing authorities and other stakeholders. Information about the Program as well as its component on bee-keeping activities was presented to the participants.

As a result of these meetings, about 20 representatives of households were selected and subsequently trained in beekeeping. After the training, they received, free of charge, beehives with bee families (five beehives per household) as well as other equipment and medicines, necessary to start a beekeeping business. The condition for acquiring the equipment was that after two years, each beneficiary would transfer one bee family to another household representative from Machakhela Gorge free of charge.

This activity aims to address the socio-economic needs of the local population, and to contribute to easing the pressure on local wood resources, especially fuelwood. The outcomes of the activity would contribute to the achievement of Results 1 and 3 of the Program: “Increased awareness and commitment of key stakeholders on FLEG” and “National ownership and capacity increased”.

For more information please contact Ilia Osepashvili from WWF-CauPO: iosepashvili@wwfcaucasus.ge