On March 20-21 an IWC training course was planned by Mr. Irakli Goradze, IWC National Coordinator for Georgia, Mr.Zura Javakhishvili, associate researcher at Ilia state University and Mr. Jimsher Mamuchadze, Director of Board, Environmental Association PSOVI. A total of 9 participants developed skills in bird identification, counting, data collection, reporting and documentation, and participated in field work. Participants were also informed about the IWC capacity development initiative and the process of development of the strategy and action plan, for improvement of waterbird monitoring in the country. All the participants of the training received the Field Guide Birds of Kolkheti Wetlands, kindly provided by the Administration of the Kolkheti National Park free of charge.
The training was an important first step in identifying and bringing together the representatives of local communities from the coastal areas, for their future engagement in the IWC activities as observers. At the same time it was an important team building exercise. Training enabled its participants to receive the basic knowledge and materials about bird identification and counting techniques, however it would be still necessary in future to support the observers in improving their field survey skills, through involvement in training programs or studies.
A full report from the training team is available on the waterbird forum: http://www.wetlands.org/Whatwedo/Savingwaterbirds/WaterbirdForums/tabid/2582/aff/93/aft/92/afv/topic/Default.aspx