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Georgia marks the tenth “Earth Hour”

 “Connect to Earth” – The eleventh “Earth Hour” is celebrated around the world on 24 March 2018. Starting at 20:30 local time, Earth Hour will be celebrated worldwide! This is the largest environmental action in the world where millions of people abstain from using electricity for one hour and choose to support the green and safe future of the planet.Within the initiative of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, a bicycle and pedestrian marathon is held with the support of the Georgian Sports Federation. Professional and amateur cyclists participated in the activities as well. Nino Tandilashvili, Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture awarded first place winners Tinatin Papuashvili and Giorgi Zakrelidze with Ronius Punctua wrist watches and seedlings of threatened species included in red list, while special prizes were given to other winners (3 women, 3 men).The event was organized by Tbilisi City Hall, Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Austrian Cooperation for Development (ADC) and company Wissol Petroleum.The main objective of the event is to provide information about climate change, increase public environmental awareness, increase human liability, and evaluate and improve our behavior in favor of the environment. On this day, the world’s most famous landmarks will once again turn off their lights in recognition of “Earth Hour” and support the campaign in improving climate change worldwide.From 20:30 , the light will be turned off for one our- at the Chancellery of the Government of Georgia, at the Presidential Residence, in the buildings of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture and other Ministries; In the UN House, in the parliament building,Shota Rustaveli Academic Theater, Georgian National Youth Palace, Peace Bridge, Aghmashenebeli Avenue - From Tamar Mepe Avenue to Paster Street, between Kargareteli and Baku Streets, from Marjanishvili Square to Zaar Briuken Square. Marjanishvili Square, nearby Metro Marjanishvili, in the Rose Garden, New Agmashenebeli.The light was switched off in the building of Public Registry, Tbilisi Mosque, Narikala, Patriarchate building, Metekhi bridge, Zemo and Kvemo Bethlehem, Feristsvaleba Church, Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower, Mother of Kartli and Freedom Square, including balneology resort, Red Cross building, the Motherland Garden and other private organizations as well.Under the frame of the action, the Tbilisi TV tower will be illuminated in green all night long. The campaign "within an hour" has already gone beyond the scope aiming to reduce the energy consumption and save electricity in our daily life.  
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"Radioactive waste management in Georgia" - a new project

The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Levan Davitashvili attended the presentation of the project “Radioactive Waste Management in Georgia” held in The National Parliamentary Library of Georgia.The purpose of the project financially supported by the European Union and the Swedish Radiation Safety Center is to improve radioactive waste management, under which the modern infrastructure of radioactive waste management will be established.“Radioactive waste management is an important challenge for our country. The project will enable sustainable management of radioactive waste. As you are informed in 2017 the government approved strategy of radioactive waste management, which is the state policy document. We acknowledge complexity of the issue and challenges. We think with the State involvement and donors’ support we will achieve the important progress in radioactive waste management.” – said Levan DavitashviliThe project is very relevant. We maintain a deep cooperation with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia and I am glad that this cooperation has extended to radioactive waste management’ – said Janos Herman, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia.The representative of the Swedish Radiation Safety Center, Lars van Dassen said that the aim of the project is to integrate radioactive wastes in Georgia and control their security “ I think that, Georgia is especially active in radioactive waste management and makes an important steps.” – mentioned Lars van Dassen.Under the frame of the Project with the budget of 1 200 000 Euro is planned to conduct situational analysis, design and construction of radioactive waste storage facility, which will considerably improve sustainability of radioactive waste management in Georgia.    During the meeting, Vasil Gedevanishvili, head of ANRS provided information about ANRS activities and essence of the project. European Commission representatives, Swedish Embassy in Georgia, SIDA and ANRS staff attended the meeting.  
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The Challenges and solutions facing the agricultural sector

The Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Solomon Pavliashvili visited Samtskhe-Javakheti region, where he met with local governor Akaki Machutadze, representatives of local self-government and Information-Consultation Service. Challenges and solutions in the field of agriculture were discussed at the meeting.The participants have been focused on the planned activities to implement against the Asian stink bug in 2018, all agencies of the Ministry in coordination with the local authorities and regional administration will be engaged in the process. Monitoring systems will be installed and according to the achieved results next steps will be planned to take.
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March 23 is the World Meteorological Day

The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili along with the Deputy Minister Nino Tandilashvili congratulated the National Environmental Agency Hydro Meteorologists on their professional day and awarded dignitaries as most deserving line-level employees.The Meteorological Day has been celebrated in Georgia since 1992, as soon as the country joined the World Meteorological Organization. At the meeting, the Head of the Hydro meteorological Department made a presentation on important projects and highlighted future plans. The meeting was held in the National Environmental Agency.Levan Davitashvili thanked field specialists, provided them with diplomas and wished to stay longer in the service of their country.A number of activities have been implemented to expand meteorological observation network throughout Georgia. Automatically measuring stationary equipment for 50 hydro-meteorological parameters was installed which will help to improve meteorological forecasting. The monitoring is currently underway at 86 Meteorological and 52 Hydrological Observations stations.World Meteorological Day was established on 23 March 1950, to commemorate the entry into the force of the convention under which was created the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).  
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March 22 is the World Water Day

Georgia is rich with water resources, therefore, every citizen should be aware about the importance of water, how much water to conserve or consume.The International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March by the General Assembly of the United Nations, as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.Under the frame of the World Water Day, the Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Nino Tandilashvili together with the specialists of the National Environmental Agency participated in the process of taking samples for water quality at Tbilisi Sea. The specialists defined physical and chemical parameters of water, furthermore, chemical and microbiological studies will be conducted at the National Environmental Laboratory. The results will be known within ten days.National Environmental Agency carries out constant monitoring of surface water throughout Georgia and explores water quality in up to 150 points of rivers and lakes.It is noteworthy that at this stage, Georgia is actively working on a new draft law on water resources management, which envisages harmonization with the EU water legislation. Important works are carried out to provide water resources pool management in Georgia.  
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Solomon Pavliashvili met with the representatives of UNDP and BIOFIN

Under the frame of the Biodiversity Finance Initiative ‘’BIOFIN’’ launched by the UNDP , the Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Solomon Pavliashvili met with financial expert in the Environmental Field, Marko Arlou and Senior Advisor in Technical Issues David Meyer. At the meeting, the sides discussed implementation of the Biodiversity Financial Initiative in Georgia and underlined the importance of donor’s financial support in this regard. The Deputy Minister highlighted issues, regarding  protection, development and conservation of biodiversity in Georgia and stressed the importance of implementation of obligations taken by Georgia in the harmonization process of Georgian legislation with the EU legislation.At the meeting, Solomon Pavliashvili defined protected areas as one of the priority directions in terms of protection and sustainability of biodiversity and ecosystems.The Deputy Minister spoke about the importance of implementation of state policy in the field of environmental protection. The two sides emphasized international financial support, exchange of experience with Georgian partners and expressed their willingness for future cooperation.The importance of results achieved by Georgia within the project was underlined both in local and regional context. At this stage, financial plan related to the biodiversity financial initiative is being prepared, which will include  specific ways to improve biodiversity funding.Georgia's active participation in the Third Global Conference on Biodiversity Financial Initiative,  where high level representatives of 35 countries were informed about challenges facing biodiversity protection in Georgia along with the importance of fulfillment of obligations under the Global Convention on Biodiversity and the role of biopsy in the implementation of these obligations aiming to achieve objectives- was also stressed at the meeting.For more detailed information, the BIOFIN project was launched in Georgia in 2016, aiming to evaluate the cost and needs of biodiversity and develop financial solutions to these needs through specially developed methodology.  
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Levan Davitashvili met with the members of the "Business Association of Georgia"

The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Levan Davitashvili met with the representatives of the organization "Georgian Business Association".Levan Davitashvili introduced participants with the main directions of the state agrarian policy and underlined current achievements and challenges faced by the sector. The Minister stressed, that communication between state and private sector is crucial in effective policy development and planning. Ultimately, decisions should be accepted and shared by business circles.The government is regularly holding meetings with the representatives of the business sector. Communicating with business is an important issue, which plays a decisive role in developing the right state policy " said Levan Davitashvili. The Minister provided representatives of 20 companies with the relevant information about the current situation and future plans and answered all questions posed by them at the meeting.