Faites une recherche à travers les informations du Centre du patrimoine mondial.

Building the skills to care for Georgia’s Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands

Around 100 people are employed across the parks and protected areas that make up the Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands World Natural Heritage site on Georgia’s eastern coast. They are responsible for caring for the many different natural habitats, and for ensuring visitors are kept safe and well informed. Income received from tourism also helps to support livelihoods among the 5,000 residents who live in the region.

The COVID-19 pandemic severely affected visitor flows and income across the seven parks and protected areas, at a time when the region’s authorities were starting out on their journey to manage a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site – something which had never been done in Georgia.

In response to this, the Development Fund of Protected Areas of Georgia (DFPA) is working in collaboration with the Agency of Protected Areas of Georgia, the management authority of the World Heritage property, as well as other beneficiaries within the local community to implement this sustainable tourism recovery programme, with most activity concentrated between September and December 2022.

© Agency of Protected Areas. Kintrishi Protected Landscape.

© Agency of Protected Areas. Kintrishi Protected Landscape

One of the most transformative aspects of this programme has been a ‘Cash for Work’ programme, designed to support jobs and livelihoods and ensure that eco-tourism services, patrolling and conducting biodiversity monitoring are carried out responsibly. The programme, delivered under the labour laws and policies of Georgia, supported around 20 seasonal workers who included unemployed workers and nature lovers. The programme helped to give participants first-hand experience in nature conservation and visitor management – and will hopefully become year-round positions in the longer-term.

Colchic Rainforest and Wetlands staff on a study tour to learn more about World Heritage management and interpretation at the Wadden Sea World Heritage property, Germany.  © Agency of Protected Areas. Kintrishi Protected Landscape

Training and capacity building for staff is not just concentrated in the local area. Another feature of this programme was the relationships that staff built with similar UNESCO natural World Heritage sites around the world. A study mission took place in the German Wadden Sea National Parks of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, for a select group of World Heritage site managers and visitor service specialists to learn first-hand about responsible management practices. 

Local implementation partner: Development Fund of Protected Areas of Georgia

"I am a student of San Diego State University. Since my early childhood I have actively been involved in Kolkheti National park’s eco educational activities. This program has given me a great opportunity to become a member of Kolkheti National Park’s team with other motivated young people. I actively cooperate with schools in the region, giving students presentations about the Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands. I also spend a lot of time in the Visitor Centre informing visitors about the importance of this World Heritage site. Educating locals about the significance of the regions and the importance of its protection for future generation is a great responsibility for me and I feel honoured to  be part of this program.“

About the Colchic Forests and Wetlands

Stretching along 80 kilometres of Georgia’s eastern Black Sea coast, the Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands was, in 2021, the first Georgian site to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Natural Heritage List. The area contains a hugely rich mix of habitats for plants and animals – many of which are rare or endangered, given that altitudes range from sea level up to 2,500 metres. The World Heritage Property is composed of seven different parts, including the Kolkheti National Park in the Samegrelo and Guria regions as well as the Kobuleti and Kintrishi Protected Areas, together with the Mtirala National Park in the Autonomous Republic of Adjara.

Project background

The ‘Promoting sustainable tourism and private sector engagement for inclusive community development in response to the COVID-19 crisis’ project was developed by UNESCO thanks to support provided by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The project aimed to address some of the immediate socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 on tourism and heritage and was implemented across seven countries and ten World Heritage communities.

Discover more

Discover more about what this programme is delivering on the ground, as well as personal stories from those who have been involved


Bosnia and Herzegovina



Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands




Fort Jesus and Lamu Old Town


Namib Sand Sea and Twyfelfontein


Trang An Landscape Complex and Hoi An Ancient Town

Viet Nam

Promoting sustainable Tourism in response to COVID-19