The leader of Guerrilla Gardening Tbilisi, Nata Peradze, started a hunger strike in front of Tbilisi City Hall yesterday. She and other environmentalists are protesting against the cutting down of healthy trees on 24 Kazbegi Street, where a block of flats is going to be built.
Guerrilla Gardening Tbilisi on hunger strike
By Mariam Chanishvili
Friday, August 19
More than 40 trees have been cut down. Non-governmental organizations, members of Guerrilla Gardening Tbilisi and the ex-head of the Pardon Commission of Georgia and an independent deputy of Tbilisi City Council, Aleko Elisashvili, also joined the protest.
Guerrilla Gardening Tbilisi made a statement about their hunger strike in front of City Hall.
Nata Peradze said the hunger strike would continue until the Ecology and Landscaping Service department personnel are dismissed and replaced with qualified staff. She requests that an investigation be initiated regarding the recent ecological situation in Tbilisi.
“We demand the resignation of the Head of the Ecology and Landscaping Service, Nino Sulkhanishvili, and her deputy as well,” stated Peradze.
Peradze also noted that her organization has hired their own experts in order to find out if the trees were healthy or not. She emphasized the fact that this protest is not against the concrete building on Kazbegi Street, but the environmental situation in the city as a whole.
According to the Head of the Ecology and Landscaping Service, Nino Sulkhanishvili, an expert opinion by a company called Forest about the condition of the trees located on Kazbegi Street is ready to be checked. She noted that they are getting documents ready and will definitely appeal to the Prosecutor's Office.
“There is some doubt that healthy trees were cut down. There are two versions: one of them is that healthy trees have been cut down and they did not have a permission to do that, and the second version dictates that the expert opinion is problematic,” stated Sulkhanishvili.
Guerrilla Gardening Tbilisi is a movement led by Nata Peradze that started its activities in 2013. Their main goal is to call on society to unite against illegal construction projects and defend one of the few recreation zones left in the capital city. The organization filed a lawsuit against the Ecology and Landscaping Service of Tbilisi, asking the Prosecutor’s Office to start an investigation into the incident.