|Town/Region||Mt Askhi, Mt Jvari, Mt Migaria|
|Date||21 Mar 2017|
This is the continuation of a conservation project in the Samegrelo region of Georgia. Our goal is to protect, study and raise awareness of the dangers facing the endangered Mingrelian birch, Betula megrelica and it's habitat. Our ultimate goal would be to achieve the creation of a properly policed Protected Area around the habitats. However, given the political and economic instability of the region we think that it is more practical to engage and educate the local populations. In particular the school-children who will potentially be the next generation of rural workers and employers.
The contribution of our work will therefore be:-
1. Educating the Local Population - Pilot Schools Programme
We have already set up a small-scale programme in Chkorotskhu School, Samegrelo, engaging a teacher for three months to run lessons about conservation and their local environment. We will continue this programme for at least 12 months, to measure the effect of this initiative. If successful, we would aim to secure long term funding and lobby the Georgian Ministry of Education and Science to include this initiative into the National Curriculum.
2. Lobbying for Protected Area Status
We will petition the Georgian government to create a Protected Area for the mountainous area around Mt Migaria, Mt Jvari and Mt Askhi.
3. Maintaining and Enhancing the Ex-Situ Conservation Collections
Ex-situ collections are being established at Bakuriani Botanic Garden (Georgia) and Stone Lane Gardens (UK) to preserve living collections of wild-origin material and educate the public about our conservation project. We will continue to maintain and enhance these important collections.
4. Regular In-Situ Monitoring of Wild Populations
Regular checks on the wild populations will highlight any damage caused by human activities and help to educate the shepherds and loggers about the project.
5. Advancing our Knowledge by Extending the Field Work.
More study of the newly discovered wild population on Mt Askhi is desirable, as is analysis of the soil and underlying geology.
Read about Paul's previous project http://www.rufford.org/projects/paul_bartlett_0 or for more information contact: