World Environment Day was celebrated in Borjomi, on June 7 by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
World Environment Day
By Tatia Megeneishvili
Thursday, June 12
Minister of Environment, Khatuna Gogaladze; Head of the UNDP, Niels Scott; representatives of the Agency for Protected Areas, National Forestry Agency, Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia and the Borjomi municipality attended the events throughout a day.
A bicycle rally, open-air exhibitions and youth events are being held as part of the Green campaign My Environment organized by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia and the UNDP.
The guests visited the forest restoration work in the village of Daba where the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia, the UNDP and the Government of Finland worked together to bring back to life 60 acres of forest destroyed by fire in the August 2008 conflict.
A donor conference was held in 2009, and then the government of Finland expressed their wish to help the Georgian government in restoring of the eco-system. For a while the project was suspended owing to certain changes. In 2013, Deputy Minister of Environment Nino Sharashidze contacted us and asked us to continue the project. We have already planted 16 acres of forest in autumn of 2013. We added 40 more acres in 2014, and we are undertaking the preparation work before planting the trees, Lali Meskhi, Project Manager at UNDP stated.
Scott said that changing the public view to positive in terms of nature is as important as the forestation process.
One of our main goals is for people to appreciate nature and care about it. We will plant trees, but the locals must keep it for the future. Of course we will monitor the area, but much is dependent on the people living in the area, stated Scott.
All workers are locals. They state that their major activity until the August War in 2008 was chopping and selling trees.
It is the merit of the UNDP that our attitude has significantly changed concerning nature. I do not expect any of us to do the same again, one of the workers told The Messenger.
The people that gathered in Borjomi also met the representatives of the local municipality, youth eco-clubs and local residents, took part in the bicycle rally in the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park.
Gogaladze congratulated the winners.
I am very happy that the young generation is interested in the development of the environment. Of course, not all of these kids will work in the fields when they grow up, but the point is that all of them will know the value of nature and a healthy lifestyle, stated Gogaladze.