UNESCO – Natural World Heritage Site in Georgia

The Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands, Georgia

 

In 2021, by the decision at the extended 44th session of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee, “Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands” were added to the World Heritage List. The Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands are located within the boundaries of four protected areas in Georgia: The Kolkheti and Mtirala National Parks and the Kintrishi and Kobuleti Protected Areas. This is the first time in the history of Georgia that the country has gained recognition in the category of Natural World Heritage.

All four protected areas of UNESCO World Heritage Status are an important part of the Caucasus Ecoregion and the Black Sea Basin, with unique ecosystems and rich biodiversity. The status was granted in accordance with the IX and X criteria of UNESCO World Heritage.

In order to be considered of Outstanding Universal Value under World Heritage criterion IX, properties shall “be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals”.

As for compliance with the X criterion, properties shall “contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of Outstanding Universal Value from the point of view of science or conservation”.

The property is situated in Georgia, within the Autonomous Republic of Adjara as well as the regions of Guria and Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti and comprises a series of seven component parts, which are located close to each other within an 80 km long corridor along the warm-temperate and extremely humid eastern coast of the Black Sea. They provide an almost complete altitudinal series of the most typical Colchic ecosystems running from sea level to more than 2,500 m above sea level. The main ecosystems are ancient deciduous Colchic rainforests and wetlands – particularly percolation bogs and other mire types of the Colchic mire region, a distinct mire region within Europe and Eurasia. The property as a whole holds the great majority of the Colchic flora and fauna, and an even greater proportion of the endemic plant species found in the wider region is concentrated here. The World Natural Heritage Site is characterized by a high rate of integrity that is demonstrated in terms of their wholeness, intactness and the absence of significant threats.

Additional information can be found here:

Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands Nomination - Volume 1                    Download (PDF)
Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands Nomination - Volume 2                    Download (PDF)
Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands Nomination - Volume 3                    Download (PDF)
Pictures & Maps                    View



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