Remote Georgian highland area will open as National Park

The new national park will benefit those living in Shatili village and other mountainous villages by increasing tourism and developing infrastructure. Photo by Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia/Facebook., 08 Sep 2015 - 14:00, Tbilisi,Georgia

A historic stone settlement dating back to the 11th Century will soon be at the heart of a new national park in one of Georgia’s most remote mountainous areas.

A new national park and tourist infrastructure will be built in the picturesque Pshav-Khevsureti mountainous region within a new project supported by the Georgian Government and private partners from Germany, officials announced on Monday.

The German Government and the country’s KfW development bank have pledged to finally support the establishment of the new national park, which aimed to increase tourism to the remote area and develop the local population’s living conditions.

Georgia’s Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Protection Gigla Agulashvili visited the highland area yesterday to assess the land earmarked for the new national park.

The historic Shatili village will be at the heart of the new national park; an administrative centre and visitors centre will be built in Shatili, while other infrastructure, such as another visitors centre in Roshka village, will provide visitors with information.

The Pshav-Khevsureti region is a remote area of Georgia that’s located on the northern and southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus mountain range, north of Tbilisi near the Chechnyan border. Villages in the region are characterised with unique architecture dating back to medieval times. Shatili village has been named on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List since 2007.

The Georgian Government said it hoped the project – set to conclude in mid-late 2016 – would benefit regional tourism while supporting the local population.