|Town/Region||Chkhorotsku, Khobi, Martvili, Senaki, Tsalenjikha, Zugdidi|
|Date||10 Sep 2015|
Our plan has two main components: a scientific research component and a public education component. For the scientific component, we plan to use springtails as biodiversity indicators of cave dwelling animals, palynological data of modern cave deposits and speleoclimatic investigation in disturbed and undisturbed caves of researched territories to determine the factors that affect cave biodiversity and hinder cave conservation actions.
In terms of public education, we plan to organize seminars and excursions in Samegrelo region. During these seminars we will provide detailed information to the local people about the genesis of the local caves, their microclimatic conditions, biodiversity, palynological data of modern cave deposits and the negative outcomes of anthropogenic disturbance.
During the excursions, local school pupils will be involved in the speleological and biospeleological investigations to provoke interest in disciplines associated with cave research or to learn fundamental principles for sustainable management and conservation of cave ecosystems. It should be mentioned that, during the last decades, Georgia’s young generation has been less inclined to choose professions associated with cave investigations, such as Geography, Biology and Palaeontology. Educational projects, such as the current proposal, can generate interest in the above disciplines amongst local school pupils, potentially giving rise to a new generation of Georgian speleologists and biospeleologists. This will guarantee that cave investigation and conservation activities will continue in the future.
We also intend to publish and distribute illustrated booklets for local people about the caves’ microclimatic conditions, cave-dwelling invertebrate animals, organic remains and threats caused by anthropogenic factors to provoke their ongoing interest and participation in cave protection activities. Besides, after seminars and excursions, active school pupils will be encouraged and rewarded by the cups and calendars with the RSGF logo.
Read about Shalva's previous project http://www.rufford.org/projects/shalva_barjadze or for more information contact: