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Unofficial AMR route in Shiraki Pastures Officially Registered

A 22 km  route in Shiraki pastures, Dedoplistskaro municipality has received the status of becoming part of the official Animal Movement Route (AMR) last week. The unofficial route, which had been used for livestock seasonal migration for decades, had not been officially registered as the AMR before. As a result of a joint effort between the  ALCP  the Shepherds Association, The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture (MEPA), the National Agency of State Property and the Ministry of Economy & Sustainable Development, the route  and297 ha land, is now officially registered as the AMR by National Agency of Public Registry of Georgia.

The section of the route is now protected from saleas according current regulations, AMR land  is not allowed to be sold or rented. A water point located in this area will be restored soon as well, within the planned Water Point’s project of the ALCP and MEPA.


OTHER NEWS
12/11/2018
First Commercial Harvesting of Jara honey

For the first time ever, twenty Jara producers have sold their entire crop of Jara to a commercial enterprise. Jara honey will soon be available in shops in Georgia.

See photos below. 

04/10/2018
A New Veterinary Surveillance Point in Bolnisi

The construction of a new Veterinary Surveillance Point has recently started in Bolnisi municipality. The works will be finished in December 2018. The point will be the six and final point in the Veterinary Surveillance network throughout the Animal Movement Route. 

During five transhumance seasons in 2016-2018 total 1.4 million heads of sheep and cattle were treated against ecto-parasites free of charge at all operational Veterinary Surveillance Points in Rustavi, Marneuli, Signagi, Dedoplistskaro and Kvareli municipalities.

04/09/2018
Second Win for Jara

The Georgian documentary Jara was named as the Best Feature Film at the Wolves Independent International Film Festival 2018. Nature, heritage, environment, history, culture, ethnography, adventure, wildlife, indigenous cultures and social issues are the main themes of the festival which takes place in Lithuania.

It is the second award for Jara following Golden Green Award 2018 at the Deauville Green Awards International Film Festival, for the best production in the category of Sustainable Agriculture

Jara was premiered by EcoFilms in Tbilisi in 2017. The main backer of Jara was the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) through the Mercy Corps Georgia implemented Alliances Caucasus Programme (ALCP) within a consortium of public bodies and conservation organizations including World Wildlife Fund and Caucasus Nature Fund.

13/08/2018
The Honey Festival 2018

The annual Honey Festival was opened for the fourth time on August 11th on Batumi Boulevard and closed on August 12th in Batumi Botanical Garden. Up to 45 beekeepers from across Georgia once again presented their honey and by products for the festival visitors. Honey themed activities were held for children’s entertainment; visitors could see the ancient beehive at the special corner for jara beekeepers from Ajara and could taste different kind of honey from different parts of Georgia. Batumi Botanical Garden promoted Goderdzi Alpine Garden; live music kept the celebration spirit all day. 

“Beekeeping is our family business. We started participating in the festival from the very beginning and it became a tradition. Each year we promote our products and each year we find new clients. This annual festival helps us to make our products more visible and popular” - Shorena Kezheradze, Khelvachauri municipality, Ajara.

21/06/2018
Golden Scoop for Sustainable Agriculture in Georgia June 20th 2018

The Georgian documentary Jara has just won the Golden Green Award 2018 at the Deauville Green Awards International Film Festival, for the best production in the category of Sustainable Agriculture, the International jury selected the finalists in fourteen categories  from four hundred and fifteen films produced worldwide. Jara was screened during the festival in Deauville in the presence of the professionals and the press.

The Deauville Green Awards is one of the most prestigious festivals in Green Film Production worldwide launched in 2012. For the last seven years, the festival’s mission has been to enhance information films, spots and documentaries on sustainability, eco-innovations and social responsibility. Furthering public understanding and education. Each year the festival draws five hundred films from five continents, with four hundred professionals of film in attendance.

11/06/2018
Sheep Shearing Festival in Armenia

On Saturday, June 9 representatives of the ALCP team (www.alcp.ge) and a wool processor Tamar Tsikarishvili from Akhaltsikhe, Georgia attended the Sheep

Shearing Festival after being invited by SDC sister project SDA Armenia which took place in Syunik Animal Market, Syunik region. The festival aimed to promote sheep, local produce, traditions and culture of Syunik and Vayots Dzor regions (Please see the Link).

The festival included guest sheep shearer Danny Wilson from Great Britain who conducted master classes for festival participants and visitors. 



LATEST NEWS
New Beekeeper Info Links Launched
22/05/2020
On the May 20th, 4,400 beekeepers registered in the new GBU database received an SMS notification from the Georgian Beekeepers Union (GBU) on how to treat Varroa, the most common bee disease in Georgia. The GBU will continue informing its members through phone Facebook. And their new official webpage is now online: www.geobeekeepers.ge. Created in 2018, the GBU is an umbrella association uniting ten beekeeping associations and three commercial beekeeping companies.  
Beekeepers Union Keeps Bees Moving
21/05/2020
The Georgian Beekeepers Union (GBU) successfully advocated for permits to be issued for beekeepers allowing them to continue work during the curfew. The Government of Georgia declared the nationwide curfew on March 30th, 2020 to restrict the spread of the COVID-19 virus, prohibiting any movement from 9:00 PM to 06:00 AM. This posed a serious problem for beekeepers who rely on transhumance predominantly at night. In Georgia, bee transhumance allows for beekeepers to place hives at different altitudes to capture the flowering of different plants. Starting from late Spring, Georgian beekeepers start to move apiaries to get different types of honey including Acacia,Chestnut, Alpine, Linden. The transhumance of bees significantly increases their honey productivity. On April 4th, the GBU sent an official letter to the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia (MEPA) asking for the issuing of permission/passes for beekeepers including the guidance it developed for beekeepers during the Covid-19 outbreak. ‘We asked the Minister to mediate with the appropriate agencies to issue special permits, so that beekeepers may access their apiaries and work there, transport beekeeping apiaries for transhumance on pre-determined routes within the curfew conditions.’ – Avksenti Papava, the Director of the GBU. Up to eight hundred beekeepers have already used permits, who are now able to visit apiaries and carry out vital seasonal treatment and maintenance.  Bees are transported at night where possible, because they do not leave a hive during night, which the permit makes possible. ‘I have my apiaries located in the different regions for getting various types of honey. I was very happy to hear about special permit for beekeepers, as it is very active season in beekeeping. I am able to freely move to the locations and do not worry about time limitations’ – Kakhaber Zirakasvili, a beekeeper. Guidance and contact information on getting permits and the Covid-19 recommendations have been shared by the GBU on its facebook page. The Georgian Beekeepers Union (www.geobeekeepers.ge) is an umbrella association uniting ten beekeeping associations and three commercial beekeeping companies with more than four thousand Georgian beekeepers. It was established to represent their interests and to promote the health and development of the honey sector in Georgia with the facilitation of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) project the Mercy Corps Georgia implemented Alliances Caucasus Programme (ALCP).
Kindness is Contagious
19/05/2020
In the midst of anxiety under the COVID-19, some people rise to the occasion when faced with adversity and it is uplifting to hear stories about them. As for many others it has been difficult times for the client businesses of the programme, but they have continued to help people most affected by the current crisis over the past two weeks.   Ten dairy enterprises with the Georgian Milk Mark www.georgianmilk.ge provided cheese for the medical staff of hospitals in the frontline of battling the virus as well as people under quarantine and locals in the lockdown areas in the different regions of Georgia, who have limited access to the markets. ‘It is now important to show support to each other. I was very happy to see reactions from people, who were very surprised and thankful. I think those GMM enterprises set very good example for others.’ – A GMM cheese distributor.   The Georgian Beekeepers Union (www.geobeekeepers.ge), uniting ten beekeeping associations and three commercial beekeeping companies supplied 1.2 tonnes of honey for further distribution among medical staff and vulnerable groups. The Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking group’s (programme facilitated honey aggregator and exporter company) forty-one rooms hotel-complex is being used as a quarantine zone, the company also supplied food to locals over seventy in two regions of Georgia within a social project ‘Care for Each Other’ initiated after the virus outbreak and is now offering online sales and a free home delivery of its products (wine, compotes, jams, including, honey); the company’s webpage Old Kakheti went online to improve online sales. These are a few examples and continuation of the kindness acts that started a month ago.
LATEST PUBLICATIONS
Covid-19 Guidance for Beekeepers
A Pragmatic Approach to Assessing System Change
FAO Bee Disease Guide