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Illegal cutting down of trees amid large-scale fires

By Messenger Staff
Monday, September 4
The officers of Samtskhe-Javakheti and Patrol Police Departments uncovered 38 incidents of the illegal cutting of bushes, plants and trees, as well as transportation without legal documents, Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs has announced.

This happened amid large-scale fires in the country.

The Ministry stressed that from the vehicles of the accused persons law enforcers seized illegally cut wood without official documentation and illegally cut wood stumps from Borjomi.

Policemen also seized illegally cut tree stumps from wood processing mills located in Akhaltsiskhe and Borjomi.

Forests occupy 38percent of the whole territory of Georgia, and 95-98percent of the tress are naturally grown and mostly on hillsides.

From 2010 to 2015, 15, 132 incidents of the illegal cutting of trees was registered, the IDFI says.

Of these, 13, 125 were administrative offenses, while the remaining 2007 were criminal offences.

Georgian legislation sets criminal responsibility for the illegal cutting of trees only in case if the damage to the ecosystem is significant.

Such a crime results in either fines or imprisonment for three years.

Georgia is a mountainous country and there is an especially big necessity to care about its forests in order to feel safer from landslides and similar disasters.

Illegally cutting down trees must be very strongly administered and punished by the government.

Illegal acts of cutting down trees must not be protected by state officials, and the law must be even harsher to any officials involved.