Sustainable Heating Solutions Empower Communities in Georgia

UNDP and GEF Small Grants Programme Drive Energy-Efficient Initiatives in Dusheti Municipality

February 29, 2024
Promoting Energy-Efficient Solutions in Georgia
Photo: UNDP Georgia/Giorgi Shengelia

UNDP is actively engaged across Georgia, working with local communities to tackle pressing environmental challenges while building partnerships with public institutions, municipalities, civil society, and the private sector to advance climate action at the grassroots level.

Central to these efforts is the partnership between UNDP and the Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP), driving various local community projects aimed at addressing biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, and promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency, and environment-friendly entrepreneurship. These initiatives not only yield environmental benefits but also contribute to poverty reduction and gender equality, benefiting thousands of people in all regions of Georgia.

Since its inception in Georgia in 2012, the UNDP-led GEF Small Grants Programme has supported over 90 local initiatives, totalling more than US$2 million. In its current phase covering 2019-2024, the programme directs US$750,000 towards initiatives spanning various regions, including the Greater and Lesser Caucasus Mountains, the Black Sea coast, and semi-arid areas of the country.

Energy-Efficient Technologies in Dusheti Municipality

One such site is Dusheti Municipality, where UNDP-led GEF SGP, in partnership with the Biomass Association of Georgia, the Rural Development Agency, and Dusheti Municipality, is promoting the community's use of energy-efficient technologies. The partnership focuses on distributing locally produced solid biomass stoves to communities facing energy challenges, particularly those in the highlands lacking access to natural gas. 

Overall, up to 40 households will benefit from this aid which offers a clean, efficient, and cost-effective heating alternative and enhances indoor air quality and thermal comfort for residents.

A key element of the project is the introduction of an ‘Energy Bus’, a mobile education unit visiting up to 50 communities, raising awareness about renewable energy, demonstrating its benefits, and guiding on sustainable energy practices. Initially focused on Dusheti Municipality, this educational campaign now extends to other targeted communities in the Ajara Autonomous Republic and the Racha-Lechkhumi, Samegrelo, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Meskheti, Mtianeti, and Zemo Svaneti regions.

Tangible outcomes of the project were showcased during an official visit to Chanadirtkari village by representatives of the Government, local authorities, and UNDP. The delegation included Otar Shamugia, Minister of the Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia; Anna Chernyshova, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Georgia; Davit Nozadze, State Representative of Mtskheta-Mtianeti Region; and Matsatso Narimanidze, Dusheti Mayor. 

"The Government of Georgia prioritizes sustainable forest management on state-managed forest lands. In light of this commitment, the adoption of energy-efficient technologies and alternative fuels is crucial. By reducing unsustainable firewood consumption in rural areas, we can significantly mitigate forest degradation, leading to improvements in both the quantity and quality of our forests."
Otar Shamugia, Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia
“Living in a healthy environment is a fundamental human right recognized by the UN General Assembly. Providing a clean and efficient heating alternative offers a lifeline to better health for communities in remote areas and a step forward to mitigating carbon emissions and combatting deforestation.”
Anna Chernyshova, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Georgia

The UNDP-led GEF Small Grants Programme will continue through 2024 nurturing climate champions, driving positive change, and fostering environmental responsibility among Georgian communities.

About GEF Small Grants Programme:

The Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) provides financial and technical support to civil society organizations and local communities around the world fostering activities that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing people's well-being and livelihoods.

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