Georgia to give forest management a boost

With new climate financing support from Japan, UNDP will assist Georgia to protect forests, reduce emissions and explore environment-friendly solutions for creating sustainable livelihoods

Posted April 7, 2022

Photo: Leli Blagonravova/UNDP

Japan made a new contribution of over US$920,000 to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Georgia to fund the implementation of the country's climate action plans.

Japan’s contribution will support UNDP’s work on the transition to sustainable and climate-friendly forest management, aiming to protect forests from degradation and unsustainable lodging, and increase their capacity to capture greenhouse gas emissions.

UNDP will also implement a pilot initiative in the Mtskheta-Mtianeti region to engage local communities in sustainable forest management, create easy access to renewable energy sources, and assist 43,000 people to explore environment-friendly solutions that boost employment and create sustainable livelihoods.

The new partnership for climate action was launched today by visiting UN Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP Assistant Administrator, Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS (RBEC) Mirjana Špoljarić Egger, Ambassador of Japan to Georgia Imamura Akira and Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture Nino Tandilashvili.

“Sustainable development is built on sustainable livelihoods. It offers people a means of making a living that does not lead to environmental degradation. Georgia is one of 23 countries and territories worldwide to join a UNDP-Japan partnership that contributes to our ambitious Climate Promise initiative and helps translate national climate pledges into high-impact action on the ground,” Špoljarić Egger said.

“Japan has set out an ambitious plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. As we pursue our national decarbonization goals, we also contribute to UNDP’s Climate Promise initiative and support countries to build low-carbon economies and bring about green economic growth,” Ambassador Imamura remarked. “The unique and rich forests of Georgia are vital, for environmental disaster prevention, apart from the economic development. At the same time, forests have a deeply meaningful connection to Georgia’s culture. We are happy to further build upon our history of partnership in human security and sustainable development in Georgia, helping safeguard forest ecosystems and assisting 43,000 people to explore green energy solutions for sustainable livelihoods.”

“It is our priority to introduce tools and mechanisms that blend environmental protection with economic benefits, like the increase in employment and incomes,” Deputy Minister Tandilashvili explained. “We thank our international partners for supporting sustainable development in Georgia. We also welcome that Georgia is one of the countries where Japan and UNDP are assisting to introduce sustainable solutions for forest management and protect ecosystems from the adverse effects of climate change. The Government of Georgia made an ambitious pledge to the Paris Agreement. This new initiative contributes to the fulfilment of these international obligations.”

In its revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), Georgia committed to unconditionally reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 35 percent below the 1990 baseline level (an approximately 16 percent per capita reduction) by 2030. Georgia’s National Climate Change Strategy 2030 and its Action Plan 2021-2023, adopted by the Government at the same time as the NDC, outline the concrete actions the country will take to achieve these goals. Introducing sustainable forest management practices to reach a 10 percent increase in forest carbon capture capacity by 2030 from 2015 levels is part of this ambitious agenda.

At COP26, UNDP launched the next phase of the Climate Promise - From Pledge to Impact - scaling up its support to turn NDC targets into concrete action in at least 100 countries. Japan becomes the largest supporter of this phase of the pioneering and groundbreaking initiative, joining the longstanding funding partners Germany, Sweden, EU, Spain, Italy, as well as the new funding partners UK, Belgium, Iceland, and Portugal to accelerate these efforts.

More information about the Climate Promise can be found at climatepromise.undp.org.

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