Georgia is a rich forested country (approximately 40% of the area). A massive wildfire was raging in Borjomi - Kharagauli National Park in the summer of 2017. It lasted over a month. The protected territory of Borjomi - Kharagauli is in a central part of the Caucasian throat and includes the eastern part of the Lesser Caucasus mountains. The uncontrolled fires can put such ecological values in danger due to the increased number of visitors.
Short and long-term impacts on the specific values of the protected territories, especially natural fires, forest massif diseases caused by pests and climate change need special attention. Administration of the protected territories should maintain balance and, on the one hand, allow to develop the natural processes to identify the environmental condition of the protected territories and, on the other hand, focus on those specific values the protection, conservation, and maintenance of which is the responsibility of the Agency of Protected Areas, project proponent of this technical assistance.
A site-specific fire monitoring policy will allow local populations with high risks of exposure to forest fire hazards to take appropriate actions to avoid or reduce risks and to prepare effective responses will be redacted, and users and administrators of the future system trained to its functionalities. Preservation of forests contributes to the significant reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) removal towards the improvement of the resilience of ecosystems to climate change while minimizing the impact of extreme weather phenomena such as flooding. Therefore, it is very important to develop a system for early detection of wildfires towards protecting the environment contributing to climate change resiliency.
To benchmark, select, design and test suitable integrated monitoring and early warning forest fire detection system in Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park.
It is expected that the project will enable better management of the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, which is a protected area. This will protect the ecosystems and biodiversity of the National Park. The early warning and integrated monitoring systems will also establish procedures to inform the populations leaving closed by and define an evacuation plan. Finally, it is expected that the early warning system will enable to manage future forest fires more efficiently and avoid the destruction of future forest lands, as well as the emissions of unexpected GHG emissions which result from forest fires.