Machakheli Valley Embraces Renewable Energy

UNDP and Japan Introduce Affordable Green Solutions, Impacting 1,200 Lives

March 27, 2024
Solar Panels in Machakheli Valley Villages
Photo: UNDP Georgia/Giorgi Tsetskhladze

Machakheli Valley is undergoing a transformative shift towards renewable energy with support from UNDP and the Government of Japan. Over the past year, seventy-five solar panels and 200 solar water heaters have been installed in the villages, benefitting 1,200 residents and significantly reducing reliance on fuelwood for energy needs.

These initiatives promise tangible benefits for both the local communities and the environment. By transitioning to renewable energy, Machakheli Valley is poised to save up to 900 m3 of fuelwood annually, preserving 300 trees and mitigating 7 tons of CO2 emissions per year.

During a visit to Machakheli Valley on 26 March, Anna Chernyshova, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Georgia, alongside Zaza Shavadze, Minister of Agriculture of the Ajara Autonomous Republic, and Zaza Diasamidze, Mayor of Khelvachauri Municipality, explored various villages within the Machakhela National Park support zone. Engaging directly with residents, they witnessed firsthand the impact of renewable energy solutions on local communities.

"Machakheli Valley is a jewel of Georgia, boasting unique Colchic Forests and breathtaking natural beauty. Yet, it is also a delicate ecosystem that demands our protection. Our collaboration with the Japanese Government aims to safeguard this natural treasure while providing sustainable energy solutions to local communities."
Anna Chernyshova, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Georgia

The UNDP's support in Machakheli Valley draws on a Japan-funded initiative focused on bolstering forest protection measures and promoting renewable energy. This 12-month, US$545,000 project, implemented in partnership with Georgia's Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Ajara Autonomous Republic, and the administration of Khelvachauri Municipality, underscores a steadfast commitment to environmental sustainability.

By engaging with central, regional, and municipal authorities, UNDP and Japan are fostering community ownership and participation in the sustainable management of forest resources. Particularly, efforts are directed towards empowering women and youth to play an active role in environmental conservation.

Moreover, this project aligns with Georgia's commitment to the Paris Agreement, aiming to increase forest carbon-capturing capacity by 10 percent and reduce national greenhouse gas emissions by 30-35 percent by 2030, in comparison to 2015 and 1990 levels respectively.

Background Information:

The UNDP's and Japan's support for sustainable forest management in Georgia echoes the UNDP’s Climate Promise initiative assisting 120 countries and territories worldwide in achieving their climate objectives. Georgia stands as one of 23 countries where Climate Promise is funded by Japan, the largest supporter of this pioneering effort.

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