In the present era of environmental and industrial change, maintaining biodiversity is essential. Doing so not only protects species and habitats, but also brings benefits for society in the form of resulting ecosystem services. In order to conserve biodiversity and fulfill the obligations defined by various international conventions and the Association Agreement (AA), the Georgian Ministry of Environment and Natural Resource Protection (MoENRP) initiated the Law on Biodiversity in 2015. The preparation process for that law first started in 2013.

After the draft version of the Law on Biodiversity became available in June 2017, the MoENRP initiated a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) in order to analyze the major positive and negative impacts the new legislation might have in relation to its objectives. In undertaking this effort, the MoENRP was supported by the German Cooperation (GIZ). The results of this RIA are presented in this report.

The agricultural cooperative movement started a few years ago in Georgia and the registered farmer groups are currently still at the embryonic stage of development. The Soviet legacy and rather negative attitude towards earlier forms of cooperation (Kolkoz and Sovkhoz) has gradually faded among farmers, and today more than 1,400 cooperatives are registered with the Agricultural Cooperative Development Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia.

It might be the case that most registered because of the favorable programs and projects directed at cooperatives coming from donor organizations and the Government of Georgia. The main program that supported cooperative development in Georgia, is the European Neighborhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD). Consortia of the following organizations implemented ENPARD’s cooperation development component: CARE, Oxfam, Mercy Corps, People in Need and UNDP Georgia. In a 4-year period of operation, the program directly supported more than 280 cooperatives by purchasing assets (mainly fixed assets) and providing intensive technical support via training sessions, bringing experts
to the field, building market linkages and providing day-to-day support in many other directions.

MOLI stands for “Market Opportunities for Livelihood Improvement” in Kakheti. The project started in autumn 2012 and initially focused on milk and meat producers in the eastern part of the Kakheti region. It now operates in all eight municipalities of the region. In the second phase of the project, MOLI aims to reduce poverty in the Kakheti region while facilitating improved access to milk, beef and pork markets, and easing farmers’ access to inputs and services. Furthermore, MOLI focuses on cultivating a business enabling environment with the conviction that sustainability can only be achieved when the conditions for doing business are conducive, foresighted, and agreed upon by all stakeholders.

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