Kolkheti National Park from now on is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Georgia has been working for several years to offer a UNESCO World Heritage Site   and   finally, Colchic   rainforests   and   Wetlands   were   nominated   for   the UNESCO   World   Heritage   in   2019.  The   site   proposed   by   Georgia   for   UNESCO was accepted on July 26, 2021. Kolkheti National Park is one of the main parts of this site. The above-mentioned site, which includes 4 protected areas – Mtirala National Park, Kolkheti   National   Park, Kintrishi,   and   Kobuleti   Protected   Areas   –   is presenting   an   important   part   of   the   Caucasus   eco-region   and   the   Black   Sea Basin. The site comprises seven component parts, within an 80km long corridor along   the   warm-temperate   and   extremely   humid   eastern   coast   of   the   Black Sea. The main ecosystems are the ancient deciduous Colchis rain forests and wetlands, which are widely represented in the Kolkheti National Park. The site is home   to   approximately   1,100   species   of   vascular   and   non-vascular   plants, including   44   threatened   vascular   plant   species, and   almost   500   species   of vertebrates, and a high number of invertebrate species. The site also harbors 19   threatened   animal   species   including   sturgeon, notably   the   critically endangered Colchic Sturgeon. It is a key stopover for many globally threatened birds that migrate through the Batumi bottleneck. Granting the status of the World Heritage Site will enhance the recognition of protected   areas   of   Georgia   on   a   national, as   well   as   on   international   level, which   will   ensure   better   conservation   of   these   areas, development   of   eco-tourism   in   selected   areas   which,   as   a   result,   will   be   beneficial   for   improving social-economic conditions of local people living adjacent to protected areas. Kolkheti national park, which is the main part of this site, is also an important part   of   the   project   – “Joint   Monitoring   for   Environmental   Protection   in   BSB countries”- which aims to develop a methodology for identifying and addressing common problems within Protected Areas. The main result of the project will be the creation of an intelligent platform for environmental data collection, processing, and analysis, which will improve the monitoring   and   protection   of   biodiversity   in   protected   areas, including   the   Kolkheti National Park.