Mtskheta Municipality sets an example of sustainable forest management

UNDP and Japan assist the National Forestry Agency to protect forests from illegal logging and wildfire

February 22, 2023
Photo: UNDP/Nino Zedginidze

A new Business Service Yard opened in Jighaura village on 21 February to supply people with sustainably harvested timber. The Business Service Yard sells registered fuelwood to citizens and businesses, ensures that vulnerable families receive a certain amount of timber free of charge, and reinvests the revenues to the National Forestry Agency supporting sustainable forest management in Georgia. It also works to protect a fragile forest ecosystem from wildfire and reduce threats to life and property.

Jighaura, Dzegvi and Qvemo Lisi are three villages in Mtskheta Municipality where Business Service Yards were established by the National Forestry Agency with support from Japan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Japan and UNDP helped the National Forestry Agency to equip Business Service Yards with firefighting tools, solar panels and all-terrain vehicles, train foresters, and organize an information campaign for local communities. In total, these three facilities will provide services to over 43,000 people living in rural areas of Mtskheta Municipality.      

Otar Shamugia, Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia; H.E. Imamura Akira, Ambassador of Japan to Georgia; and Nick Beresford, UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia, visited Jighaura on 21 February to open the Business Service Yard and meet with the local authorities and foresters.

“Business Service Yards are essential for the success of the ongoing forestry reform in Georgia. Our goal is to gradually replace social logging with forest-friendly services and create easy access to sustainably harvested wood resources for citizens and businesses”.
Otar Shamugia, Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia
“Forests are critical for Georgia’s climate-smart development and people’s well-being. Japan is proud to share its decades-long experience in forest management and contribute to the protection and sustainable use of natural resources."
H.E. Imamura Akira, Ambassador of Japan to Georgia
"UNDP supports forest reform in Georgia as a step forward to protecting nature, sustainably managing natural resources and mitigating climate change. With Japan's support, we assist the Government to reduce illegal logging, address wildfires, and promote climate-sensitive approaches to forest management at both national and local levels."
Nick Beresford, UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia

With US$920,000 in funding from Japan, UNDP assists the National Forestry Agency to build, develop and improve Business Service Yards in Mtskheta Municipality and introduce a successful forest management model to be expanded to the other regions of Georgia. This support is part of 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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