Joint Press Conference with CENN, the Human Rights Centre and Green Movement of Georgia –Friends of the Earth Georgia
Over the last 5 years, Georgia has lost 12 times more woodland areas than it is to restore under the auspices of the “Paris Agreement” entailing the “renewed Nationally Determined Contribution of Georgia (NDC)” and the 2030 climate change strategy of Georgia.
The results of joint research indicate that more than 18,000 woodland areas were registered to natural persons in violation of the existing legal framework regulating forestry and appropriate policies as well as institutions responsible for management of said areas. According to the gathered facts, felling is persistent in the aforementioned areas. Transactions were also conducted based on the relevant requests from the private sector, the central government, municipalities and the Patriarchate (Georgian Apostolic Autocephalous Orthodox Church). The overall number of registry cases exceeds 25,000.
A joint press conference will be held with CENN, the Human Rights Centre and Green Movement of Georgia – Friends of the Earth Georgia to address this issue.
Date: Friday, November 26
Time: 11:00 AM
Place: Wyndham Grand Tbilisi Hotel
3 Gudiashvili Street, Tbilisi
State-owned property and land registered from the forestry fund and into the ownership of private or natural persons of legal entity, consist mostly of high-conservation-value forest ecosystems with high market prices.
The above-mentioned transactions were conducted without approval of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, as well as the National Forestry Agency, in clear violation of the existing legal framework regulating forestry. The non-systemic and unregulated process resulted in the fragmentation of forest ecosystems, thus, degrading both the natural as well as the cultural landscapes over a large expanse of land.
The registration process is currently ongoing, with the state registry receiving new cases
Apart from harming ecosystems of global value, this is an act of profitless/unproductive squandering of state property, which diminishes the economic potential of the country, damaging zones of international significance in terms of recreation, history and culture, viticulture, agricultural and eco-tourism. Additionally, businesses become weaker, reducing employment opportunities. Rights of local residents are infringed upon, limiting their access to subsistence resources, thus, increasing poverty and decreasing the standard of living. Furthermore, a massive scale of illegally appropriated state-owned property of high market value negatively effects the good local governance index, increasing the risk of corruption.
Specific demands will be addressed to the government of Georgia during the press conference.