On June 5, 2020, the EU marks World Environment Day.
“Today we celebrate World Environment Day. Through the European Green Deal and other initiatives, the European Union has made environmental protection and the fight against climate change key priorities, in line with our ambition to be climate neutral by 2050. Here in Georgia our common efforts to protect the environment are advancing year by year, thanks to the realisation of the government, civil society and so many Georgians of the importance of being ambitious in this field.
COVID-19 has brought hardship on us all, and we are now focussing our efforts to assist in a rapid socio-economic recovery. The European Union, its Member States and financial institutions (Team Europe) will be standing by Georgia in this process. There is opportunity in every crisis, and the upcoming recovery period presents a chance to make further changes towards a greener, healthier and more sustainable Georgia. You can count on the EU also in this endeavour, whether to advance our joint efforts for cleaner air and water resources, better waste management, more energy efficiency or the protection of biodiversity.
When speaking about the environment, the main stakeholders are our children and future generations. And the younger generation should see its role as something more than just an audience and passive recipient of the decisions of others. Let me take this opportunity to encourage you to become the shakers and movers when it comes to bringing about the necessary changes, to set the example and to become role models for what a sustainable lifestyle looks like. We need your engagement for a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly Georgia! “- stated Carl Hartzell, EU Ambassador to Georgia.
The day is held within the framework of a Green Week information campaign, held in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia.
“World Environment Day is the most important day for all environmentalists, as it unites the whole world to protect the environment! When we talk about environmental protection, we mean a variety of important issues, but this year the world is paying close attention to the importance of biodiversity, because biodiversity ensures the sustainability of ecosystems and has a vital importance in the formation and development of the environment and natural resources. In order to protect biodiversity, it is crucial to make joint efforts with the involvement of all sectors. It is important to remember that it is our responsibility to preserve and protect the environment for future generations!” – noted Mr. Levan Davitashvili, Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia.
World Environment Day is the most renowned day for environmental action. Since 1974, it has been celebrated every year on 5 June: engaging governments, businesses, celebrities and citizens to focus their efforts on a pressing environmental issue. In 2020, the theme of the day is biodiversity – a concern that is both urgent and existential. The variety of life on Earth, its biological diversity is commonly referred to as biodiversity. Declining biodiversity is a concern for many reasons: the foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the climate that makes our planet habitable all come from nature.
The Green Week information campaign is being conducted from June 2 to June 8. Due to COVID-19-related health and safety recommendations, activities are being implemented solely on social media, traditional media (TV and radio platforms).
This year the main highlight of the campaign is also World Environment Day 2020 (https://youtu.be/Bzm1CWMwbNA ) theme – biodiversity, its importance for the environment and our health. The campaign underlines the key role of each person and the input they can provide to protection of the environment. It centres around 52 tips and little steps that everyone can make throughout the year to protect the environment, eco facts, and information on EU-supported initiatives that are being implemented locally to protection the nature, biodiversity, natural resources of Georgia. A video story is available at https://youtu.be/ppMfF1Rm7uY
A series of information and education activities have been prepared for World Environment day including a webinar on biodiversity, two video lessons for school children – one explaining the biodiversity and its meaning for the existence of humankind, another lesson for the younger children teaching on how to draw various plants and animals and how to protect these species, videos on biodiversity facts and figures, as well as appearances of guest speakers from the European Union Delegation in Georgia and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia in top-rated TV and radio shows,.
Environment represents one of the key priority areas of EU support in Georgia. As part of its co-operation with the EU, Georgia has made commitments to green economy. This is reflected in the Eastern Partnership Summit Declarations and in the Association Agreement with the EU (2014). These commitments will help Georgia to strengthen cooperation with the EU on environmental issues, ensuring sustainable development, greening the country’s economy and better management of natural capital. More resource-efficient approach will make the economy more competitive, and open new employment opportunities.
In recent years a number of measures have been undertaken in the country with the aim of implementing legislation and relevant policy documents, in line with modern standards and EU-Georgia Association Agreement (AA) requirements. Among others, EU-funded projects in Georgia have been working on the development of natural parks, improvement or air quality, unlocking opportunities for greener growth, improving waste management and water infrastructure, and setting mechanisms to better manage environmental risks and impacts. Numerous infrastructure investments have also been made with EU-funding in the sectors of Water Supply and Sanitation, Waste management and development of eco-friendly transports.
All these issues become even more important in post-pandemic recovery period.
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