80 hectares of revived forest, organic farming in the villages, touristic infrastructure and young environmentalists – a post-war assistance to Borjomi Gorge comes to an end with substantial results.
Forest and People
Monday, October 5
Kicked off in 2012, a joint initiative of the Government of Georgia, Government of Finland and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) aimed to bring back to life Borjomi forest heavily damaged by a wildfire in August 2008. The initiative also promoted agriculture, tourism and environmental education to boost economy and improve livelihoods.
Gigla Agulashvili, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia; Rastislav Vrbenski, Manager of the UNDP Regional Hub for Europe and the CIS; and Shombi Sharp, Deputy Head of UNDP in Georgia, visited the village of Daba on 29 September 2015 to see the results of the forest restoration works.
Overall, 80 hectares of the burnt forest have been restored with over 120 thousand seedlings of oak, pine and fir-trees. 60 hectares have been planted with assistance from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia, National Forest Agency, Government of Finland and UNDP, and 20 hectares – with assistance from the Government of Austria. A pilot school nursery has been established to provide seedlings for reforestation and support young foresters.
The Government of Georgia will take a lead in the reforestation works since the completion of the project. The replanted segments of forest will be maintained and safeguarded by the National Forest Agency.