The Report is available for the download – Assessment of the Recreational Potential of Georgian Forests
CENN, along with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection, plan to develop the National Forest Agency Development Strategy Project to respond to challenges in the forestry sector and to comply with the Forest Code Project. The field strategy should be based on an objective picture of the situation in the field in Georgia’s forests and should integrate all development directions — taking into account the economic, ecological, and social functions of forests. It is important that once the strategy is developed, the government has a complete picture of the problems in the sector, and perspectives for development. In assessing the potential of Georgia’s forests, first of all it is necessary to analyse the recreational uses that would result in less pressure on forests, more economic benefits, and alternative incomes. It should also be noted that the National Forestry Agency does not have experience managing recreational forests, and there are currently no activities being carried out in this regard. The National Agency of Protected Areas has been successful in management of recreational forests over the past 10 years and represents a great example for the National Forestry Agency. Approximately 75% of protected areas are covered by forest, and forest management is an important part of the management of protected areas. Consequently, it is very important that the Agency of Protected Areas share its experience with developing recreational forest management in Georgia with the National Forestry Agency.
The main purpose of the research is to analyse the practices of the Agency of Protected Areas for its interpretation of Georgian forests. These practices can be successfully utilised in the management of the Georgian Forest Fund, which should facilitate effective management of Georgia’s forests while serving an economic function and developing local economies increasing local incomes. Georgia has the potential to become one of the most attractive countries for tourism development by focusing on forests’ recreational value instead of obtaining timber.