The UNESCO World Natural Heritage List includes over 200 properties and parks whose preservation is of great importance to the biodiversity of a given region. This inventory was expanded in summer 2021 when four of western Georgia’s national reserves - Mtirala and Kolkheti National Parks and Kintrishi and Kobuleti Protected Areas - were added to the list as UNESCO-recognized Georgian rainforests and wetlands, a decision which will bolster local tourism while drawing international attention to each park’s development.
Mtirala National Park
Mtirala National Park, established in 2007 on Kobuleti-Chakvi Ridge near the Black Sea, is known for having the most humid mountain microclimate in all of Georgia and Europe. Constant rainfall in the park has led to a unique biodiversity, including 284 rare endemic plants. Located within Mtirala Park is Mount Mtirala, which at an altitude of 1761 meters remains shrouded in fog year-round.
Kolkheti National Park
Kolkheti National Park was established in 1998 on the Kolkheti Lowlands of Samegrelo. The park, which includes the eastern shore of the Black Sea and the Paliastomi Lake Basin, is home to 16 species of mammals which are native to the region.
Kobuleti Protected Areas
Kobuleti Protected Areas were also established in 1998. The preserve, which is located in Adjara Region and includes a section of the Kobuleti Valley, is distinguished for its diversity of aquatic plants and birds.
Kintrishi Protected Areas
Kintrishi Protected Areas were established in 1959 along the Kintrishi River in mountainous Adjara Region. Numerous plant varieties, including fossils dated to prehistoric times, have been preserved here.
In addition to the UNESCO-recognized Georgian rainforests and wetlands, the country boasts of many historical UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Most notable among these are Gelati Monastery in Imereti Region; Upper Svaneti including the mountainous Ushguli Village; and Jvari Monastery, Svetitskhoveli Cathedral and Samtavro Monastery in Mtskheta.