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Levan Davitashvili chairs the UNESCAP Forum in New York

The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Levan Davitashvili is participating in the 6th Forum of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).The report on behalf of the ESCAP Group was presented by Levan Davitashvili, who also stressed the importance of regional cooperation for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, and reaffirmed the key role of ESCAP in coordinating and supporting regional actions.The Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture has been focused on the sustainable management of water resources in Georgia, thereby, he highlighted issues related to the policy on forestry and biodiversity and measures planned by the Georgian Government against air pollution. Levan Davitashvili stated, that Georgian government has created the Coordination Council and established an electronic monitoring system to implement the sustainable development indicators in compliance with the national legislation.The high-level political forum on sustainable development is held at UN Headquarter, New York, on July 16-18. 25 different thematic events will be held under the frame of the forum, where the participants are provided with an opportunity to share experiences of their countries and attitudes towards achieving sustainable development goals.The Permanent Representative of Georgia to the United Nations, Kakha Imnadze along with the Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili attended the meeting. 
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Levan Davitashvili attends a High-Level Political Forum in New York, US

The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Levan Davitashvili is attending a high level political forum in the United Nations headquarter in New York, US. The representatives of different countries are focused on measurable results and highlight issues related to the implementation of sustainable development goals  SDGs and the role they can play in achieving these objectives.80 Ministers of 120 countries attend the Ministerial meeting held within the framework of the High-Level Political Forum 2018 "Transformation Towards Sustainable and Resilient Societies’’. The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture Levan Davitashvili will deliver the report at the forum, which includes numerous panel and roundtables on the theme and on the SDGs under review.According to Levan Davitashvili, a similar level platform allows countries to highlight issues related to achievements, ways to achieve progress and numerous challenges faced by their countries.At the Forum, the Ministers have underlined the six targets from 17 sustainable goals with the particular focus on: to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns, protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.Within the framework of the forum, 47 countries represent the nationalization of sustainable development goals. The participants will jointly discuss the specific goals to achieve by the year 2030. At the end of the forum, Ministers will adopt a ministerial declaration.
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Municipalities should be engaged in climate change mitigation activities

The Conference addressed to "Open Government Initiative on Climate Change" was held at the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia. The participants discussed how scale up cooperation between the central and local authorities and tackle challenges related to climate change.The importance to engage municipalities in climate change mitigation activities has been stressed by the Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Nino Tandilashvili at the conference.The number of subscribers on the EU initiative “Covenant of Mayors’’ is increasing daily. At present, 23 municipalities of Georgia are members of this agreement. The representatives of the municipality wish to join the decision made by the central government and contribute through their actions to fulfil the commitment under the frame of the Paris Agreement. "said Nino Tandilashvili.Public engagement is critical in climate change matters- was noted the representative of the World Resources Institute, Mark Robinson."In terms of climate change and sustainable development, it is very important to share experiences of other countries. The involvement of local authorities as well as cooperation with civil society organizations, which are accountable for climate change matters is of utmost importance. Today, under the framework of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), we had an opportunity to learn more about Georgia's experience on climate change "said Mark Robinson.The representatives of different countries discussed challenges faced by local municipalities and the need to introduce a more rational system of catastrophe risk assessment.The representatives of international organizations, private and public sector attended the conference, which was organized by the World Resources Institute.
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Candidate for the Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili delivers a speech in the Parliament of Georgia

At the joint sitting of the five parliamentary committee, the key directions that facilitate the development of the agricultural sector has been brought forward by the candidate for the Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili.Activities undertaken to promote market diversification have significantly contributed to the overall export growthMarket diversification has generated a positive impact on the overall export performance. According to the 2017 data, Georgia exported 777 million US dollars worth of agro products, which is 12% higher than the export figure in 2016 and 52.2% more than the same figure given in 2012. According to the forecasts of the Ministry, this figure ($ 777 million) will reach the billion by the end of this year.A number of activities were implemented in order to reduce the negative trade balance in the agricultural sector and facilitate the further growth of export of agricultural products, including introduction of international quality standards. At present, all enterprises sponsored within the "Unified Agro Project", which use the co-financing program for agro processing and storage enterprises, are obliged to introduce the ISO-22000 or HACCP international standards.In 2017, due to a deliberate policy pursued by the state, an unprecedented amount of wine in the history of independent Georgia was exported in different countriesThe state has developed a marketing strategic plan for promoting Georgian vine and wine, purposing to create Georgian wine as a competitive category, promoting establishment of target markets and boosting export led growth.In 2017 an unprecedented amount of wine in the history of independent Georgia is exported. In 2017, 76.7 million bottles (0.75 l) is exported in 54 countries of the world, which is 54% higher than the same figure in 2016. In total $ 170 million worth of wine is exported, which is 49% higher than the reported data in 2016.Implementation of berry crops development project has already been launchedThe berry fruit cultivation development project will be launched to increase the export potential of the berry-fruit industry in the country. As a result: new berries gardens are planted in 900 hectares, in 18 municipalities (50 hectares in each municipality. As for the berry development phases, the production will reach up to 6 900 tons for the 4th year of fruit bearing, which will amount to 28,480,000 GEL.The modern gardens are currently cultivated on 5,400 hectares under the program "Plant the Future", which continues to promote the cultivation of perennial gardens. Implementation of the Farmers Registry Program is underwayThe measures will be implemented in the field of farming registry and geo information system for sustainable land use to promote the rational management of agricultural land fund, agricultural land market development and targeted use of agriculture land.Over the last four years, the number of greenhouses almost doubled in the countryState support for greenhouse farming contributes to the maximum utilization of the export potential as well as the replacement of non-seasonal import with local products.The project "Imereti Agro zona" aims to stimulate the maximum utilization of the traditional export sector in the west part of Georgia, particularly to promote greenhouse sector (green herbs and greenhouse vegetables), and to increase earnings from export. As a result, in 2-3 years the production in Imereti region will be doubled;Irrigated land areas are annually increasedDue to the state irrigation programs, the irrigated and drained areas are annually increased, developed and improved in the country. The modern irrigation systems are gradually introduced. For 2020, hydro-ameliorated areas will be increased by 15-20%;Young entrepreneurs' support program "Young Entrepreneur" has already been launchedThe main goal of the program is to provide financial and technical assistance to the young people, promote economic growth in the regions and reduce rural poverty. 250 young entrepreneurs will be financed within 2 years, the total budget amounts to 9.5 million GEL. 57 business plans were approved and 18 agreements were signed according to the data presented on May 30, 2018." Increasing private sector capacity is envisaged in our policy’’- Levan Davitashvili saidAccording to the Candidate for the Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, one of the most important issues is to fulfil the needs of farmers and increase their access to agricultural equipment. Therefore, due to the amendments introduced in the preferential agro credit project, the sub-component have been added to the preferential agro credit components, including: preferential agro-credit financial resources to purchase agricultural machinery and agro leasing, which aims to provide preferential agro-leasing to finance agricultural machinery;"The project includes a new component, which practically meets the demand of the whole country. Our policy is targeted at promoting the competitiveness of entrepreneurs, private sector, farmers and increase their access to the agricultural technical equipment - Levan Davitashvili said.                     
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A number of priority directions were presented by Levan Davitashvili at the joint session of five committees

At the joint hearing session of the several parliamentary committees including, Agrarian Committee, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, Sector Economy and Economic Policy Committee, Finance-Budget, Regional Policy and Self-Government Committees,  the Candidate for the Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili presented a number of priority directions.Under the frame of the complex programs special focus was made to an inclusive and green economic growthA complex program defined in two main documents comprises environmental and agricultural development directions: National Environmental Action Program and Rural and Agricultural Development Strategy. These complex documents identify our priorities in two main directions and are focused on building inclusive green economies.A new environmental responsibility system will be introduced in accordance with the polluter pays principle.Systemic reforms are planned for effective implementation of the green economy system and introduction of high environmental standards.The introduction of a new environmental responsibility system is necessary for prevention and mitigation of any damage done to the environment. This will occur in accordance with the polluter pays principle, which is enacted to make the party responsible for paying for the damage done to the natural environment. However, we face an inevitable necessity to introduce strict environmental principles in the society, to impose financial sanctions with a deterrent effect and effective prevention mechanisms. Therefore, without enforcement of environmental law and improvement of surveillance system, it is impossible to ensure environmental standards in the country.Control mechanisms for illegal forest use will be enhanced The forest sector reform will be implemented, which is complex and contains many directions. We will introduce principles of sustainable forest management in the country, which will enable us to protect forest resources and maintain ecological function of the forest and at the same time meet the social demand. Through implementation of the effective supervision / control system the pressure on forest will be reduced and alternative energy sources will be developed.Levan Davitashvili: " Principles of the Water Resources Management will be qualitatively different ‘’ The large-scale reforms in the water resources management system are already planned, which is based on European experience and considers interests of all water users living in the borders of river basins and prevent possible conflicts among them.New regulatory activities to ensure sustainable use of fishery resources and development of fishery and aquaculture sector in the country will be performed on the basis of European experience.The network of protected areas will be expandedIn order to improve the management of protected areas, it is necessary to expand the network of protected areas on the one hand and develop the infrastructure of the protected areas to facilitate the sustainable ecotourism development and protection of environment in the country.Early warning system will be enhanced in the nearest futureImportant and effective measures should be implemented to improve the forecast services and minimize the effects of natural hazards. We plan to expand the earliest warning system, which will allow to protect a large part of population from sudden or recurrent natural hazards.Support is based on three main directions: farmers' cooperatives, small and medium enterprises, large intensive enterprisesThe main task for promoting agricultural development is to provide and implement agrarian policy, which is targeted at increasing competitive production and attracting financial resources in this sector of the economy. In the implementation process of the Association Agreement with the EU, reforms are undertaken in all directions.At present, the demand for high quality agricultural products is increasing. To get closer to Europe, develop transportation links, increase local and regional demand on agro-food products and possibilities to increase existing production make Georgia even more attractive in terms of the agribusiness development.                
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According to the World Health Organization (WHO) report in 2018, Georgia is ranked 70th according to the number of air pollution-related deaths worldwide

Last year, Georgia was ranked 4 th based on inaccurate data analysis and outdated statistics.The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture and other relevant state agencies have been actively communicating with the World Health Organization for the purpose of clarifying this significant margin.The Ministry provided updated and accurate information to WHO about air quality, based on monitoring results; The methodology of calculation of mortality rate caused by air pollution has also specified and Georgia is ranked 70th in the world 2018 rating,” the Ministry said.The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture has reiterated, that air pollution is not at alarming point in Georgia, that is proved by competent international organization as well.It is noteworthy, that the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia is actively working to expand the atmospheric air monitoring network and takes other effective measures to improve the atmospheric composition and air quality in the capital city as well as in various regions of Georgia.
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Levan Davitashvili met with the Swedish Ambassador Martina Quick

The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili held a farewell meeting with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Sweden to Georgia, Martina Quick. The Minister thanked the Ambassador for successfully accomplishing diplomatic mission in Georgia, for support provided by Swedish side and active cooperation in the field of environmental protection.Georgia has a right vision that is reflected in the environmental policy – was noted by Martina Quick at the meeting. The Ambassador expressed willingness on behalf of the Kingdom of Sweden to actively support Georgia and wished the Minister continued success in his future endeavors.The First Deputy Minister, Nodar Kereselidze and Deputy Minister, Nino Tandilashvili attended the meeting held at the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia.