||According to Aichi target 11 of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the global network of protected areas (PAs) shall be extended to cover 17% of all terrestrial areas by 2020. Internationally, progress has been achieved, with PAs now covering 12.5% of all terrestrial land. Challenges remain: Notably developing countries still lack both capacity and financial resources to adequately set up and manage PA systems, a gap that requires continuous commitment of international donors (di Minin & Toivonen, 2015). In this regard, approaches that aim to reconcile conservation and poverty reduction have been increasingly common in recent years: Between 1980 and 2008, almost three quarters of the total international aid allocated for biodiversity conservation was targeting “mixed” projects that explicitly addressed both ecological and economic objectives (Miller, 2014). This contribution presents one such project, the Support Programme for Protected Areas in Georgia (SPPA), and introduces the local context and existing challenges.