"RREC provided tangible input towards organization and technical support of the Dialogue on Environment between EU and Russia and successfully implemented coordination of negotiation process"

Ulrich Weins. Head of the Department on Science and Environment, European Comission Delegation to Russia

Sustainable development of Caucasus – Local Agenda 21

The Caucasus mountains are a treasure-trove of biodiversity and natural resources, as well as a place of much unique cultural heritage: the mountain regions are inhabited by a great number of ethnic groups, each of which has preserved its own dialect, traditions, style of life and outlook, as well as its architectural monuments.

The project was initiated and is being implemented by the Regional Environmental Centre for Caucasus (REC Caucasus), and on Russian territory the project is being carried out by the Russian REC.

Financial support for the project is being provided by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, the Protection of Nature and Radiation Information of Germany and the Ministry for the Environment, Land-tenure, Agriculture and Forestry of the Principality of Lichtenstein.

The project has been initiated and implemented by the Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus (REC Caucasus). The project is being carried out in four countries — Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Russia.

In each country two «pilot» mountain settlements have been chosen for the working out and approbation of sustainable development mechanisms.

In Russia the project is being implemented in one settlement in the Republic of North Osetia-Alaniya and one in the Republic of Kabardino-Balkariya.


The elaboration of the Local Agenda 21 (LA 21): elaboration of the proposal in respect of the long-term sustainable development of the mountain regions of Caucasus, based on the principles of efficient, non-exhaustive use of natural resources, preservation of mountain population and its specific ethno-cultural character, and participation of local communities in solving of local problems.


  • To study the situation in selected mountain regions of Caucasus and to define the long-term course of development for these territories;
  • To develop and implement, with the help of local population, socially and economically oriented projects within the framework of the LA 21;
  • To raise awareness amongst local population and to involve it in solving of regional social-economic problems.

Stages of the project
Phase Zero
Period: 2003-2004

  • Evaluation of the situation in the mountainous regions of the Caucasus.
  • Definition of the «pilot» regions and selection of the 8 settlements in these regions for the realization of the project.
  • Preparation of local population and local authorities, as well as the regional authorities, for participation in the project.
  • Selection of priorities for action plan in pilot regions.
  • Creation of a database on state of the selected mountain regions of Caucasus.

First phase
Period: 2005-2006

  • Activation of population; beginning development of LA-21 together with local communities.
  • Realization of pilot projects chosen by local population.
  • Evaluation of the situation by experts with assistance of population; the creation of the «Local Agenda for the 21st Century» for the 8 settlements.
  • Sharing the experiences of the 8 «pilot» settlements with the authorities and inhabitants of other villages and regions.
  • Up-dating the database on the conditions in the region.
  • Putting into effect Phase Zero for an additional 8 settlements in the «pilot» regions.

Second phase
Period: 2006-2007

  • Realization of the short-term goals of the «Local Agenda for the 21st Century» in 8 settlements, which will become the starting point for the sustainable development of the Caucasus region.
  • Up-dating the database on conditions of Caucasus mountain regions.
  • Sharing the experience with other settlements in pilot regions.
  • Development of the «LA for the 21st Century» for pilot regions.

Third phase
Period: 2007

  • Generalization of the experience gained in the previous stages of the project: summing up and evaluation of the results.
  • Up-dating the database on conditions of the Caucasus mountain regions.
  • Completion of the «LA-21» development for pilot regions.
  • Meeting of the project participants from the four countries and summing up at regional level.