Bordered by imposing Caucasian mountains, the Iori River and associated gallery forest are essential to the fragile Georgian steppe-riverine ecosystem. The Iori River is the region’s sole permanent water source, yet a Soviet-era dam has disrupted natural hydrology. This river also provides a corridor for globally threatened and charismatic wildlife including raptors, wolves, bears and the reintroduced Persian gazelle. Unfortunately, inefficient land-use practices, including logging and unrestricted grazing, have degraded its habitats. This project will revitalise landscapes across 4,500 ha of Chachuna Managed Reserve and private lands. This will encourage and enable local pastoralists to sustainably manage grasslands, and allow floodplain forest to recover.
With the support of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative a unique Endangered Landscapes Programme is being implemented in about 10 countries. SABUKO has a honor to lead a project titled Restoring Gallery Forest and Grasslands in the Iori River Valley in Georgia.
This report reviews all the amazing work done within the frames of the programme.