With EU and Government support, over the last three months three two-day workshops were held in Kakheti, Borjomi and Adjara for over 100 media representatives on waste management issues in Georgia. Discussions focused on planned and implemented actions in the field and share the best experience by national and international experts.
Specifically, the following issues were addressed:
"The EU is aware that good environmental conditions are fundamental to ensuring health and a proper quality of life. For this reason, over 10% of our programmes in Georgia are focused on environmental issues. For example, in the area of waste management, we are helping to establish official landfills and waste-processing plants, and to develop laws that make companies responsible for the waste management of their products, in line with European best practices. But these efforts will only be fully effective if the public is properly informed about these issues, and agrees to play its part and to get engaged. In this regard, media is a crucial partner in communicating to the public, and we are happy to be working together on this to make a difference", noted Carl Hartzell, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia.
“Increased public awareness and engagement is a key for effective waste management. In this regard media can play a crucial role. However, to ensure in-depth coverage and quality reporting on waste management related issues, the awareness of media representatives in the relevant sector should be raised. Such information meetings help media representatives get informed about the subject, as well as about implemented, on-going and planned activities in the sector, the best international practice and other issues of their interest”, noted Levan Davitashvili, Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, assessing the project and its current awareness raising activities.
The two-day meetings were initiated within the framework of the project “Technical Assistance for awareness and communication to improve waste management practices in Georgia and the visibility of EU support to the sector”, being implemented in Georgia with the financial support of the European Union in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia and its LEPL Environmental Information and Education Center (EIEC), as well as the Solid Waste Management Company (under the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure).
The primary purpose of the activities is to increase the awareness on waste related issues, including national policy and legal framework, enforcement, sources of information, health and environment effects, fines, EPR new concept, etc; encourage media professionals to participate in the environmental activities; improve the quality and quantity of coverage of environmental/waste related issues; as well as in long-term perspective, enhance awareness among the general public, business and governmental circles on relevant issues.