The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) have established a strategic partnership to assist the countries from the Southern Caucasus and Central Asia in conserving their rich biodiversity, and more particularly, to create an enabling environment for the sustainable use of its rich wildlife resources for the benefit of the national and local economies.

Wildlife is one of the most valuable renewable natural resources in the region. Its sustainable management can create commercial opportunities and provide sustained economic, social and environmental benefits. The added value through its sustainable use (hunting tourism or other forms of nature tourism) can provide employment and opportunities for income diversification. At the same time it supports biodiversity conservation and other environmental objectives.

In cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic and the Czech Forestry and Game Management Research Institute, FAO and CIC launched back in 2006 a new initiative to assist the countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia regions to strengthen their wildlife sectors and promote responsible and sustainable hunting that contributes to the improvement of rural livelihoods.

This cooperation which started in Prague in 2006 is now known as the “Wildlife Initiative for Central Asia and the Caucasus” (WICAC).