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On Monday 27th June, CNF’s Executive Director Geof Giacomini, who has recently relocated to Tbilisi, met with the heads of Georgia’s Agency of Protected Areas (APA) and the Georgian National Tourism Administration (GNTA). The meeting brought sitting heads Lasha Moistsrapishvili and Giorgi Chogovadze together in order to discuss how to better coordinate promotional and marketing activities for Georgia’s protected areas between the two administrative bodies. The establishment of a working group to identify common goals and strategies was proposed, and a future meeting date set. A possible memorandum of cooperation between the three organizations, creating a framework for future activities, was also suggested.

While APA is part of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resource Protection, and GNTA part of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, the two administrations share the common goal of developing and promoting tourism in Georgia’s national parks. In addition to its core goal of ensuring the financial sustainability of protected areas systems in the South Caucasus, CNF is also committed to supporting the development of eco-tourism in the region.

According to Geof, CNF is proud to support not only APA, “but any and every agency and organization which works to promote the sustainable use of Georgia’s amazing and unique landscapes – so that nature and people benefit”.

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Joseph Alexander Smith is Communications and Visibility Assistant at CNF. Originally from the United Kingdom, Joseph is a freelance multimedia journalist based in Tbilisi since 2012. He has a weekly show on Radio GIPA 94.3 FM and is actively involved in local environmental and urban issues, as well as other media projects.