Maia Bitadze participated in the Ceremony dedicated to the Establishment of the Biosphere Reserves
The Chair of the Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Committee, Maia Bitadze attended the ceremony dedicated to the establishment of the Biosphere Reserves hosted by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture. For the first time in the history of Georgia, UNSECO enrolled two protected areas – “Dedoplistskaro Biosphere Reserve”, and “Three Alazani Biosphere Reserve” in the International List, which is the first precedent throughout the South Caucasus region.
“We have started the development of the respective documents on the establishment of the Biosphere Reserve in Dedoplistskaro Municipality with the EU support; we have held various events. Backed by the German Government, Telavi and Akhmeta Municipalities hosted the similar processes resulting in the historical decision made by UNESCO on June 15”, - the Environmental Minister, Otar Shamugia stated.
According to him, Georgia takes certain steps for the extension of the protected areas, namely with 100 000 hectares scheduled for 2022. New protected areas are being created in Shida Kartli, Imereti, Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti regions.
Maia Bitadze, in her speech, stressed that the enrollment of the biosphere reserves of two protected areas into the International List constitutes a unique advantage for the country to ensure the socio-economic development of the local population, chase the touristic recreational goals, and protect the landscape in general.
“It is a historical moment indeed – a new system has been created in Georgia directed to the environmental protection and preservation of the protected areas, and all the efforts we have started in 2015 led to this tangible outcome. Today, we enjoy the brand new opportunities in the form of the biosphere reserve – a territory to be protected not only within our national legislation but the international law and I am extremely proud that besides the RAMSAR site, also under the protection of the international law and covering West Georgia, we already apply a protection regime of a new type within UNSECO. I congratulate you all. It is the greatest chance for Georgia in terms of the attraction of the tourists, preservation of our biodiversity and first of all, enhancement of the capacity of the local population”, - she stated.
The event was attended by the German Ambassador, H.E. Hubert Knirsch; Heads of the Environmental Ministry units; local authorities of Telavi, Akhmeta and Dedoplistskaro Municipalities; and international organizations.