If the creation of the protected area in Racha were decided, it would be incompatible with hunting farms, leading to cancelling the license for setting up hunting, Otar Shamugia, the Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture, stated.
The area in question is approximately 97 thousand hectares, where a hunting license has been issued, but the licensee has not fulfilled the specified conditions. Shamugia emphasized the need for concrete benefits to the local population through the creation of protected areas, highlighting the positive impact of ecotourism infrastructure development on the economy and the welfare of local communities.
“We aim to plan specific measures and establish a protected area with the appropriate status. This area will be transferred to the local municipality for management, aligning with our country’s current practices. The local population will derive benefits similar to those offered by other protected areas.
Several instances in the country demonstrate tangible benefits derived from the development of ecotourism infrastructure. For instance, in Racha, we have established a protected area spanning 50 thousand hectares. Funding from both the state budget and a donor has been allocated for infrastructure development and specific grant projects benefiting the population. The ensuing development of ecotourism infrastructure will attract more visitors, stimulating economic growth that primarily benefits the local population,” he said.