Healthy forests for a resilient and prosperous society

UNDP and Japan support sustainable forest management in Georgia

March 16, 2023

Photo: UNDP Georgia/Giorgi Shengelia

Three fully equipped Business Services Yards, trained foresters and informed communities – the forest protection project comes to an end with impressive results.

With over US$920,000 in funding from Japan, Georgia’s National Forestry Agency and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) worked hand in hand to boost forestry reform and protect municipal forests from illegal logging and wildfires. The year-long initiative contributed to Georgia’s climate pledge to unconditionally reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 35 percent below the 1990 baseline level by 2030.

On 15 March, representatives of Georgia’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, the Embassy of Japan to Georgia and UNDP presented the project achievements to the public.

"The ongoing forestry reform is aimed at introducing sustainable forest management and protecting biodiversity while addressing the needs of local communities and ensuring that the forestry sector contributes to economic development. The forestry reform assists Georgia to fulfil its ambitious commitments to the Paris Agreement and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 35 percent below the 1990 baseline level by 2030. We welcome cooperation with international partners in introducing sustainable forest management and promoting environmental awareness and education”.
Kakha Kakabadze, Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia
“The forest protection project benefitted 43,000 people in Mtskheta Municipality and reached out to communities across Georgia with a message of clean energy and sustainable living. We welcome Georgia’s continued cooperation with Japan in building a low-carbon economy and bringing about green economic growth.”
Suzuki Toshiyuki, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Japan to Georgia
“Our joint work in Mtskheta Municipality shows that the responsible use of forest resources benefits people, nature and the economy. I am particularly pleased to note that we engaged and empowered youth to become active participants in environmental conservation and sustainable development.”
Nick Beresford, UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia

Since its launch in April 2022, the partnership between the National Forestry Agency, Japan and UNDP has led to the following achievements:

  • A fully functioning Business Service Yard was constructed in Jighaura village to supply sustainably harvested timber to local communities and protect villages from forest fires.   
  • Three Business Service Yards in Dzegvi, Jighaura and Kvemo Lisi villages were equipped with trucks, all-terrain vehicles (quadricycles), fire-fighting equipment and electricity generators.
  • Business Service Yards’ foresters and staff were trained in sustainable forest management and firefighting.
  • Sixty vulnerable families received energy-efficient stoves for their daily needs.
  • Japanese experts visited Georgia to share their experiences and offer practical recommendations in the fields of forest management and environmental tourism.
  • The information campaign ‘Forest My Friend’ highlighted the urgent need to introduce sustainable forest management and protect Georgia’s forests from illegal logging. Community meetings and information sessions covered all villages in Mtskheta Municipality.  

Even though the information campaign focused on Mtskheta Municipality, it reached out to young people all over Georgia through its signature product – the ‘Forest My Friend’ cartoon created in a classic style of Japanese manga. Over 50 young people took part in a contest for the best sequel idea, organised by UNDP and the Environmental Information and Education Centre. Three winners received awards at the project summary event on 15 March:

  • Barbare Arabuli, 10th-grade student. Lapanaantkari Public School, Dusheti Municipality.
  • Nia Adeishvili and Nutsa Onofrishvili, 6th-grade students. Eco-club AIA.
  • Luka Imerlishvili, Giorgi Odishelidze, Mariam Katsarava, Keti Gulbatashvili, Lizi Mrevlishvili, Mariam Tsiliashvili, 9th-grade students. Eco-club "Chlorophyll", Mtskheta 1st public school.

Support for the forestry reform in Georgia is part of the UNDP’s global Climate Promise effort to assist 120 countries and territories to achieve their climate goals. Georgia is one of 23 countries where Climate Promise is funded by Japan, the largest supporter of this pioneering and groundbreaking initiative.

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