Caucasus

Integrated Erosion Control in Mountainous Areas
of the South Caucasus/ Integrated Biodiversity Management,
South Caucasus

The mountainous areas of South Caucasus are among the most bio-diverse regions on earth. But land erosion, degradation and desertification caused by unsustainable use of pastures and forests through multiplication of sheep stocks in the subalpine zones, and abolition of traditional vertical rotation have been continuing apace, resulting in a loss of biodiversity and threats to the livelihoods of local farmers and herders.

The project mainly focused on the Aragatsotn and Shirak provinces in Armenia, on the Ismayilli region in Azerbaijan and on the Tusheti area in Georgia. It helped elaborate concepts for integrated erosion control and have them included in national regulations on sustainable land use and biodiversity conservation. This was effected along four pre-defined core processes:

In selected pilot areas information and data on erosivity and pasture conditions were collected, mapped and suitable erosion control measures identified. Derived from this, specific small-scale afforestation measures, community-based forest management, biological erosion control measures (bioengineering), sustainable pasture management and other elements of integrated erosion control were implemented with different shape and extent in the three countries.

The measures were accompanied by capacity development, training and environmental awareness raising and enriched with suitable incentive systems that included the improvement of pasture quality, agricultural value chains, and the identification of alternative income sources, among others. Regional workshops, seminars, field visits and study tours were organized to enhance the exchange of lessons learnt among the three countries. 

Time span
2013 – 2016      

Commissioning body           
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Cooperation partners
AHT, E.C.O.

Grassroots report

Argishti Stepanyan and Tsovak Sargsyan from the Armenian part of the programme tell about how the project has influenced their lives and why it may make a difference for their generation and those to come. (German) More...