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Eco-Corridors Fund

© WWF Nika Tsiklauri
What is the issue?

The Eco-Corridor Fund for the Caucasus (ECF) is a financial instrument developed to support biodiversity conservation throughout the South Caucasus. The project promotes the connectivity of landscapes and the active involvement of local populations and communities in the protection of biodiversity ecological integrity in large conservation landscapes. 
 
Biodiversity doesn’t follow political or national boundaries, therefore, in order to maintain or increase biodiversity, key species and their landscapes need to be preserved inside and outside protected areas. The ECF project started in 2015 with a primary focus on supporting biodiversity conservation outside protected areas while maintaining local culture and economy. The ECF is one of the four pillars of the Ecoregional Nature Protection Programme which promotes cooperation in nature protection in the South Caucasus. 
 

ECF OBJECTIVES

The ECF project used the ‘living landscapes’ concept, which focuses on delivering or maintaining environmental, social and economic improvements to an area and managing the landscape on an ecosystem level in order to benefit wildlife, people and the economy. Living landscapes are maintained by local people through active landscape management which includes providing habitats and corridors large enough to sustain healthy populations of plants and animals without impeding local economics and traditional way of life. 
 
The result is an interconnected mosaic of managed and unmanaged habitats under various land categories and management, providing diverse ecosystem services including biodiversity conservation, adaptation to climate change, supply of agricultural and forest products, nature-based tourism, and cultural heritage conservation.

 

© ©Nika Tsiklauri
ECF IN ACTION

By funding ecologically sustainable land-use in selected eco-corridors in the Caucasus, ECF is actively contributing to connecting protected areas and enhancing ecological sustainability while increasing the socio-economic status of the community.  The project uses an approach where biodiversity conservation and rural development are practiced simultaneously as involved and mutually supporting practices, taking the form of long-term “conservation agreements”.
Eco-corridors are created by identifying the geographic and thematic priorities for action, and negotiating the conservation activities and the implementing them. After research, consultation and training, ECF puts local people in control of conservation action promoting sustainability as a part of the culture, economy and decision-making. Using this community-based participatory approach in parallel with landscape models, the actions that preserve nature and local culture over a long-term (up to 10 years) are agreed and funding is to provide local, community-based conservation organisations to sustainably manage their land.

The ECF is financially supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through KfW Development Bank and WWF Germany.

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Eco-Corridor Fund