What are the benefits of Georgia's accession to the "EU-Georgia Associaion Agreement" for the nature of Georgia

The present policy brief e aims at familiarizing the wider public with important issues related to the nature protection under “EU-Georgia Association Agreement”, independent assessment of existing problems and challenges, identification of ways to address them and advocacy. The studies show that the adoption and implementation of the laws of Georgia “On Biological Diversity” and “Forest Code of Georgia” would contribute significantly to the implementation of commitments under the association agreement, and many other international treaties. However, the above mentioned draft laws need further improvement, and appropriate sub-law regulations need to be developed. The issues of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, provided under these draft laws, shall be integrated in country’s development strategy at the very early stage. It seems quite realistic, that by 2020 about 12% of country’s territory is covered by high status protected areas (nature reserves, national parks, natural monuments, sanctuaries), subject to the principles of spatial planning and sustainable development. And in conjunction with conservation projects implemented with milder protection regime (“emerald network”, protected landscape and multiple-use-areas and biosphere reserves), the acreage of protected areas may reach about 17% of Georgia’s total land area.