WHO WE ARE

CHALLENGES CREATE OPPORTUNITIES

SABUKO (Society for Nature Conservation) is a nature conservation organization in Georgia, founded in 2014 as a successor of the GCCW, formerly BirdLife Partner.

Our mission is to promote the conservation of wildlife in Georgia, to increase the valuation of nature by the public and to encourage the sustainable use of natural resources.

Our work currently focuses on: biodiversity conservation actions on the ground, monitoring of the state of species and ecosystems, environmental education and awareness raising, conservation science capacity building and support to the protected area system of Georgia.    

Our key fields are: 

  • Surveys, research, monitoring and analyses;
  • Conservation programme design, formulation and implementation strategy development;
  • Education and awarenes;
  • Engagement and support of local communities; 
  • Eco-tourism product development and implementation;
  • Etc.

BATUMI BIRDING LLC

In 2014 SABUKO has created Batumi Birding LLC, which is sub-sister company owned by the organization. It provides birdwatching tours in Caucasus and aims to generate sustainable funding for nature conservation in Georgia. During your trip with Batumi Birding, you will get a firsthand experience of the conservation work of SABUKO and its partners. 


ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

GOVERNANCE

GENERAL MEETING

General Meeting (is composed by members of the organization) and it is a highest governing autority of the entity which holds at least once a year or by initiative of the executive board.

  • Approves, changes or renovates charter of the organization
  • Determinates number of members in the executive board, as well as selects its members based on majority of votes
  • Approves inclusion or exclusion of new members of the organization
  • Approves organization’s budget and activities implementation plan0
  • Considers activity’s implementation and financial report
  • Considers and approves general directions and priorities of the organization
  • Decides about self-liquidation of the organization.

Member of the General Meeting is authorized: 

  • To participate in work process of General Meeting
  • To elect and to be elected in governing party of the organization
  • To participate in organization’s activities based on knowledge and skills
  • To be involved in meetings of the Executive Board
  • To have all necessary information from governing parties or governing individuals of the organization concerning organization’s activities
  • To have an opportunity to use all kind of information, as well as technical resources of the organization to achieve goals of the organization
  • To use organization’s emblem.

Member of the General Meeting is obligated:

  • To follow content of charter of the organization, internal regulations and decisions made by governing parties of the organization
  • To care about dignity, image and resources of the organization
  • To participate in organizational activities based on his/her skills and field of interests
  • In professional activities to operate according goals and ethical rules of the organization

EXECUTIVE BOARD

  • Initiates and provides general meeting
  • Elaborates and presents strategic direction of organizational activities to the General Meeting
  • Approves and presents organization’s financial and activities report to the General Meeting
  • Approves strategic development plan and budget parameters of the organization
  • Hairs/Fairs director from his/her position bases on open balloting and majority of votes
  • Makes decisions on other issues that are not mentioned in duties of governance of this charter
  • The board makes decisions based on majority of votes, but with presense of not les than half of its representatives.
  • Makes decisions on all other issues that are not belonging to the General Meeting or other organs based on this statute.
  • The board is elected for a period of 1 year and its continues till the selection of the new board.
  • The board reports to the General Meeting.

MANAGEMENT

DIRECTOR:

  • Implements organization’s activities to achieve goals of this charter
  • Leads the work of the board and chairs its meetings
  • Represents the organization in relations with third parties
  • Makes decision on involvement of the organization third coalitions with specified goals and informs board members about it
  • Supervises and manages organization’s financial resources and other property
  • Operates financial and other property resources and responsible for its proper use
  • Signs official and financial documentations
  • Establishes resolutions and other legal documentations
  • Leads working process of the organization according internal regulations of the board
  • Approves organizational structure and salary rates
  • Implements other functions according to this charter
  • Implements other duties based on this charter
  • Reports to the Executive Board

MEMBERSHIP

  • Member of SABUKO can be any physical or juridical person, citizen of Georgia nor country from abroad who supports goals and objectives of the organization and annual provides membership fee
  • Potential member should proceed with filled out membership application form
  • After submitting filled out membership application form and annual fee, person/entity automatically/immediately receives a status of member
  • Member is authorised to participate in organization’s work and governance, as well as in implementation of organization’s activities based on his/her skills and intellectual backroung

MEET OUR TEAM

OUR TEAM


Mr Alexander Rukhaia

Director

Mr Rukhaia holds an MSc in International Relations, as well as global academic certificate in International Policy and has acquired extensive experience in organizational and project management, as well as program formulation and strategic planning during his professional engagements with different national and international organizations since 2003. Mr Rukhaia has joined field of conservation in early July 2012, being inspired by the mas migration phenomenon and starting with preservation of birds of prey in Batumi Bottleneck, where thousands of birds got killed every year in spring and autumn. Since this time, Mr. Rukhaia deveeloped his knowledge in topic and became keen conservationists. Since 2013, Mr Rukhaia has actively involved in establishment and further sustainable development of the organization - SABUKO (Society for Nature Conservation), former Bird Conservation Georgia. 

In April 2016 received prestigious Awards (Whitley Awards) by the Whitley Fund for Nature & in May 2016 receives Conservation Leadership Programme Award for Safeguarding Birds of Prey in Batumi Bottleneck. Click here to watch short film about his conservation work in Batumi Flyway.

 

Mr Guillermo Mayor Guijarro

Fiealdwork Coordinator

Mr Gujarro is a Spanish passionate ornithologist and nature lover. He is very interested in bird study and conservation and gained experience in those fields during his school and university years, being involved in several projects. Mr Guijarro just graduated his degree in Biology at the University of Alicante (Spain). During August – October 2014, Mr Gujarro was successfully involved in the project supported by the Champions of the Flyway and BirdLife Israel - Bridging the Gap Between Hunters and Conservationists to Achieve Sustainable Conservation Outcomes as a ringing coordinator and highlighted himself as a professional conservationist. Currently Mr. Mayor is leading the project on conservation of Imperial Eagles population in eastern Georgia (Kakheti Region). 

Currently, Mr. Mayor involved in several ongoing activities:

- Coordinates implementation and establishment of the national atlas in framework of the EBBA2 census (part of the European Breeding Bird Atlas); 

- Supports in implementation of Eastern Imperial Eagle Conservation Programme in Georgia;

- Facilitates bird ID and birdwatching lessons for young ecologists

 

Ms Natia Javakhishvili

Conservation Programme Coordinator

Ms Javakhishvili is doing her bachelor degree in Biology at two universities - at Ivane Javakhishviili Tbilisi State University and at the University of Lodz. She is focused on environmental studies and interested in conservational approaches. As for her professional experience, she was working in young CSOs as a head of environmentalists’ groups, than she founded “Georgian Young Biologists Association”. Natia has an experience of being environmental journalist at youth magazine, she is good at planning and organizing events. Natia Is qualified trainer within experience and knowledge of framework of eco-trainings.

Ms Javakhishvili has been involvement in SABUKO as a volunteer, successfully leading nature camp she has been and at same time she was involved in Illegal Hunting Preassure Monitoring in frame of "Killing Bird is Not Cool" project.

Currently Ms Javakhishvili coordinates Eastern Imperial Eagle Conservation Programme in Georgia supported by the BirdLife.

 

Ms Nino Chkhaberidze 

Education & Awareness 
 
Ms Chkhaberidze is currently doing her bachelor at Social Sciences at Free University of Tbilisi. During several years she has been organizing and coordinating several different events on social involvement and active citizenship. At the same time, being keen nature lover and traveler, now Ms. Chkhaberidze has decided to involve in the field of environmental conservation to give her input for wildlife safety in Georgia.
Ms Chkhaberidze is a new member of our team. She is currently involved in education component and awareness rising implementation with kids and local communities. Her field focuses on one of the biggest nature conservation threat in Georgia - mass illegal killing of birds. Her target destination locates at Batumi Bottleneck - one of the world's biggest bottlenecks for migrating raptors, however over 20.000 birds of prey get shot every year during migration seasons in spring and autumn. 

 

Mr Aslan Bolkvadze

Research & Monitoring

Mr Boklvadze Graduated MSc in biology and biodiversity with minor in ecology. Field of his interest always been the ornithology, preservation of rare birds and conservation. Since 2011 involves in different nature conservation projects and programmes, including marine conservation component. Besides, Mr Bolkvadze has been actively taking part in different fieldwork activities, surveys and specific expeditions all over the Georgia. Since 2013 actively participated in Raptor ID trainings and later has experienced and practicing the count and monitoring of birds of prey in Batumi Flyway. Holds University Award for best scientific publication among students for article “Meaning of Black Sea Coast of Ajara Region for Migratory Birds”. 
Since 2015 provides monitoring, research and intensive case study in high mountainous area of Ajara Region -   surroundings of “Green Lake” for local birds and their habitats, where investigated several facts of illegal killing of endemic species of birds and large mammals, (Snowcock, Brown Bear and Roe Deer) in large numbers.

Currently, Mr Bolkvadze continues his case study at surroundings of “Green Lake” and plans to provide first intermediate results and report in early 2017, which will be base for further design of conservation activities in the area.


OUR BOARD


Mrs Eka Kakabadze

Mrs Kakabadze is a biologist with 17 years of work experience and an additional M.Sc. degree in Environmental Sciences from WURL in the Netherlands. She is conservation specialist with experience in management planning of protected areas (PAs), the assessment of PAs management; consultancy service in environmental and PA policy and related capacity building; and Environmental Impact Assessments. 

Since 2005 she was long term involved in many development cooperation projects in the field of nature conservation as expert, focal point and coordinator (i.a. for UNDP, UNEP, World Bank, GIZ, BMU, BfN, USAID, IUCN).

Between 2009 and 2013 she worked four years as Conservation Officer for the IUCN in the South Caucasus and was responsible for the coordination and implementation of projects in protected areas and related fields in the region.

 

Mr Ramaz Gokhelashvili

Mr Gokhelashvili is a biodiversity conservation specialist and wildlife ecologist, natural resources and environmental manager with 24 years of experience in these fields. He holds a M.Sc. in Wildlife Management from University of Idaho (USA), and a second M.Sc. in Ecology from Tbilisi State University. Mr Gokhelashvili has initiated and managed numerous nature conservation projects and programmes, assessments and studies in Georgia and other countries of the Caucasus region liaising with various donors and partners.

His capacities include: Management planning for protected areas; Institutional capacity building; Outreach and publicity campaigns; Regional and international environmental cooperation; Civil society development and networking; and Coordination and facilitation of workshops, trainings and conferences.

Mr Gokhelashvili has extensive international experience as Project Manager and Team Leader, steering multi-annual and multi-million projects, especially in the Southern Caucasus working with bilateral and multilateral development agencies (UNDP, UNEP, World Bank, ADB, USAID, GIZ) and international organizations (IUCN, WWF, CI, Birdlife International, Wetlands International).

Between 2007 and 2011 he was the Director of the IUCN Program Office in the Southern Caucasus, where he had the responsibility for the strategic organizational planning and management of the IUCN regional programme, coordinating eight permanent staff and guiding approximately 50 national and international consultants.

 

Mr Giorgi Rajebashvili

Mr Rajebashvili is CEO and tour leader at eco-tours Georgia. He has been leading birdwatching tours for a number of years within Georgia, and has traveled throughout Europe and the USA for projects related to bird conservation. 

Mr Rajebashvili has also collaborated in the affixing of transmitters on endangered species within Georgia, and on a 'nesting-box' project for passerines. He finished a master program in Leisure, Tourism and Environment from Wageningen University and started his PHD on Ecology Institute at Ilia State University. Mr Rajebashvili is engaged in few projects related to sustainable tourism development of Georgian mountain regions.

Aside from his bird-related work, Giorgi is a renowned alpinist and mountain climber, having had conquered a number of peaks, including Mount Kazbegi (Georgia, 5,047 m.) many times, Ushba (Georgia, 4,710 m.), and Lenin Peak (Pamir Range, Kyrgyzstan, 7,134 m.). On his time off, Mr Rajebashvili enjoys nature photography, mountain-biking, skiing, and rafting.

STRATEGY 2016

(Based on Strategy Document for 2014-2020)


MISSION & AIMS

MISSION:

  • To promote the conservation of wildlife in Georgia;
  • To increase the valuation of nature by the public and to encourage the sustainable use of natural resources

AIMS:

  • To protect wild birds and their habitats, and;
  • To raise awareness about the value of nature and the importance of its protection;

We intend to take over the partnership of BirdLife International from the GCCW (Georgian Center for the Conservation of Wildlife - Former BirdLife partner Designate) and have started its process of affiliation

Our work currently focuses on: biodiversity conservation actions on the ground, monitoring of the state of species and ecosystems, environmental education and awareness raising, conservation science capacity building and support to the protected area system of Georgia.


STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES (priorities)

A. PROGRAM PRIORITIES

Three main programmatic directions are chosen to achieve the stated mission of SABUKO and long-term goal of nature conservation in Georgia:
I. Species Conservation;
II. Sites Conservation; and
III. Public Awareness and Environmental Education.

The priority actions for 2016 are described below under each programme. The indicators (targets) and success criteria have to be developed for each priority action to monitor strategy implementation.

I. Species Conservation

1. Monitor and ensure effective conservation of globally and nationally endangered species and their habitats in Georgia

  • Conduct population and threat assessment (SABUKO expeditions), develop of species conservation plans for Imperial Eagle and Egyptian Vulture; plan and initiate applied conservation measures for Imperial Eagle, for which a population assessment has been conducted in 2014;
  • Monitor legal and illegal hunting pressure in the Batumi bottleneck and potential new threats to migratory raptors;
  • Reduce mortality of migratory raptors in the Batumi bottleneck through engagement with falconers and hunters;
  • Support MoE in the development and enforcement of appropriate license systems, quota and seasonal restrictions for legal hunting.

2. Contribute to the Global, European and Regional species monitoring and conservation programs

  • Active involvement in relevant BirdLife/IUCN and AEWA species international working groups
  • European Breeding Bird Atlas – data provision on Georgia breeding birds
  • Establish Georgia bird ringing program and inclusion in Euring (continued support to the ringing project in Chorokhi delta)
  • Initiate and engage in regional species conservation programs in partnership with the Caucasus, Central Asia, Middle East and Eastern European partners – focus on Imperial Eagle and Egyptian Vulture
  • Engage in flyway conservation programs in cooperation with other BirdLife partners and other relevant stakeholders
  • Build partnership and cooperation with international conventions and agreements (CBD, Ramsar, CITES, AEWA, etc.)

3. Support to the national biodiversity monitoring programme in Georgia

  • Provide survey data of selected species to the national biodiversity monitoring system
  • Support the capacity building of national institutions responsible for biodiversity monitoring

II. Sites Conservation

1. Implement Important Bird Areas (IBAs) program in Georgia

  • Document and publicize the Chorokhi delta as a key site for migratory birds; monitor hunting, pollution and development threats and advocate the establishment of a protected area
  • Engage with other sectors in order to ensure sustainable use and protection of IBAs where opportunities arise
  • Promote IBA concept at national and local levels (inclusion of IBAs in the NBSAP, awareness rising campaigns at national, regional and municipality levels, visitor information centres at priority IBAs, etc.)

2. Support the National System of Protected Areas

  • This part contains strategic activities for further years till 2020.

III. Public Awareness and Environmental Education

1. Public Awareness 

Conservation through awareness-raising in the Batumi bottleneck

  • Nature clubs for high school children in hotspots of illegal hunting
  • Nature camps for children and youngsters
  • Promote raptor migration as valuable natural heritage
  • Run a scientific ringing scheme with falconers
  • Establish a network of caretakers who promote raptor migration in villages

Involvement and training of young people

  • International youth exchanges about environmental issues and nature conservation
  • Bird ringing camps in Batumi Bottleneck for Green Club pupils and Students
  • Involvement of Georgian and international volunteers in SABUKO projects

Promotion of Birdwatching

  • Hour of Garden Birds
  • Regular excursions and bird-watching activities for youngsters
  • Promote the Batumi bottleneck internationally as a birdwatching hotspot through: Bird Fairs, Batumi Birding map, articles in magazines and on line, presentations
  • Promote SABUKO expeditions as a way to explore Georgia and surrounding countries while contributing to data collection for conservation purposes

Public outreach

  • Creation of a small visitor center at the raptor watchpoint in the village Sakhalvasho
  • Production of a booklet presenting SABUKO’s work
  • Explore outsourcing of PR and public/corporate partnerships to external company – e.g. GEPRA
  • Support initiatives to promote nature among the general public: e.g. documentaries, magazines, etc.

2. Formal education

  • This part contains strategic activities for further years till 2020.

B. ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PRIORITIES

1. Governance

  • Maintain the effective Board to support strategic aspects of organizational development (strategic and operational planning, fundraising, partnerships) and to provide supervision of the operational management (accountability from the director and approval of annual plans, annual budgets and annual reports)
  • Develop and approve internal policy manuals and strategies in HR management, financial management, communication and public relations, etc.
  • Develop membership base and organize annual meeting where the board is elected.

2. Management

  • Develop the adequate ToR for all staff positions
  • Ensure adequate staffing for effective management of programs and projects. Develop organizational charts (current, mid-term, ideal), identify most urgent staffing requirements and mobilize relevant funding
  • Identify staff training needs and support their professional development through on-the-job trainings and international networks
  • Develop sound financial management system (budgeting, cash flow, etc.)
  • Develop report forms, expense claims forms, evaluation forms, etc.
  • Create volunteer manual
  • Establish representation in Tbilisi with office and head of Tbilisi branch

3. Financial stability

  • Improve cost recovery from projects
  • Ensure financial support through BirdLife partner-to-partner support schemes
  • Increase unrestricted funding from ecotourism managed by company owned by SABUKO
  • Raise unrestricted funds through memberships, donations and product sales

4. Batumi Birding Ltd.

  • Register separate commercial entity owned by SABUKO to generate income from ecotourism activities while reducing risk for SABUKO and eliminating heavy burden on SABUKO management
  • Set up appropriate management structure and proper staffing to ensure sustainable growth
  • Ensure proper control by SABUKO board of activities and management of Ltd.
  • Ensure good coordination of PR activities between LLC and SABUKO

5. Membership

  • Promote membership to increase involvement, to strengthen organization and to raise unrestricted funds
  • Develop and approve membership management and recruitment strategy, including membership categories and relevant fees
  • Stimulate involvement of members in activities and decision-making processes

6. Communications and Public Relations

  • Develop and implement BCG’s communication and Public Relations strategy – objectives, methods, required resources, sources of funds, etc. Ensure linkage with the program priority III. Public Awareness and Environmental education. Explore outsourcing of PR and public/corporate partnerships to external company – e.g. GEPRA

FOR NEW GENERATION OF CONSERVATIONISTS IN GEORGIA

Our merging organization, Georgian Centre for the Conservation of Wildlife: GCCW has been highly succesful investing in giant work, creating intellectual resources for new generation of conservationists and nature lovers in Georgia. We are proud to be its successor and to hold this treasure in our hands which motivates us to continue this crucially important work. 

Among much useful stuff, we would like to highlight a few most important publications: 


RAPTORS & OWLS OF GEORGIA

GLOBALLY IMPORTANT BIRDS OF GEORGIA

A BIRDWATCHING GUIDE TO GEORGIA

  


CAUCASIAN GROUSE

VULTURES OF GEORGIA & CAUCASUS

RAPTORS OF GEORGIA

IBAs OF GEORGIA

   


Thanks to all supporters for involvement and provided input in this giant work and special thanks to national experts and specialists for all data collection and reports.

For the moment we have very limited numbers of these books left which we keep for educational purpose only. We are currently working on fundraising for revision, update and print of two publications - 1:  Raptors and Owls of Georgia, 2: IBAs of Georgia. We will be highly grateful for your willingness to support. 

If you are keen to contribute, please contact us at: office@sabuko.org writing Publication Support in subject line of your e-mail. 

In reward we will highlight all supporters' names in the new publications. 







PARTNERS