Supporting Georgian National Parks Preservation and Economic Sustainability (October 17)
On October 17, the United States government, through USAID/Georgia, invested $1,600,000 in a five-year program to preserve and protect Georgia’s national parks while generating economic opportunities. The USAID National Parks and Ecotourism Program (NPE) will support Georgia’s Journey to Self-Reliance by transitioning the operation of protected areas away from donor assistance and government subsidies to the Georgian private sector, through the development of eco-tourism and broadening the base of economic activity.
NPE will be implemented by the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI)’s International Technical Assistance Program (DOI-ITAP), in close cooperation with the Georgian Ministries of Environmental Protection and Agriculture; Education, Science, Culture and Sport; and Economy and Sustainable Development. In addition, NPE will work with relevant municipalities, and nonprofit and private organizations, providing technical assistance and training to improve internal capacity and working to promote tourism, support economic development, and build regional employment opportunities.
NPE will provide tools for generating economic development in gateway communities, as well as establish and facilitate sister park relationships through technical exchanges, mentorships, and mutually beneficial study tours.
This new program builds upon the initial assistance that took place from 1999 to 2015 and will focus on activities included in these three categories of organizational capacity, tourism and economic development, and building regional influence, which will tap into the technical capabilities housed within the U.S. Department of the Interior. The program will provide opportunities for job creation and revenue generation, and complement USAID’s economic development work in the country.