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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. 
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150 saplings were planted in Kutaisi

Today, on March 21th celebrating the 21 March as the World Down Syndrome Day and the International day of Forests, the children with down syndrome together with the representatives of the National Forestry Agency planted About 150 oak, ash and coniferous saplings on the territory of the 8th kindergarten in Kutaisi. The event was initiated by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia.Local self-government and residents of the city joined the event.March 21 was declared as the International Day of Forests by the General Assembly of the UN, and aims at rising awareness of the importance of all types of woodlands and trees, and celebrate the ways in which they sustain and protect us
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The International Day of Forests is marked on the 21st March

Under the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly, the International Day of Forests is established on the 21st March, aiming to raise public awareness on the importance of forests. To mark the International Day of Forest, Niko Ketskhoveli's final tour and award ceremony was held in the Parliament, Kutaisi.Niko Ketskhoveli Competition is the largest environmental school competition, which was established in 2014, by the Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN) with the financial support of the Austrian Development Agency (ADC) within the project "Forest Sustainable Management". In 2018, from 700 registered schools across Georgia 128 schools moved to the semi-final stage, ultimately, 29 schools were selected for the final stage. The participants of the competition made presentations on environmental issues and on their "green initiatives". School students have been competing against each other throughout the year to popularize environmental education, healthy lifestyle, sustainable tourism and environmental attitudes. 3 winners revealed from 29 finalist schools. The Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Nino Tandilashvili handed over symbolic gifts to public school pupils participating in the final stage. The ceramic miniature illustration of the ‘’Knight in the Panther's Skin’’ was handed to the National Forest Agency favourite- Gori N12 public school. Co-organizers of the competition are the Parliament of Georgia, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture and the Ministry of Education and Science. Together with invited guests, Irakli Kobakhidze, Chairman of Parliament of Georgia and Chairman of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Committee, Kakhaber Kuchava attended the award ceremony.Nico Ketskhoveli winners of 2018: || Place Otobaia School, || Place -Maradisi school, | Place -Laituri School. 
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Levan Davitashvili and Zurab Alavidze held an extended meeting in Samegrelo region

The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili and Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, Zurab Alavidze met with the representatives of 4 regions - Samegrelo, Guria, Imereti and Ajara A / R municipalities and local farmers in Zugdidi.The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture delivered detailed information on the measures taken by the State Strategy for Combating Asian stink bug. Levan Davitashvili spoke about four main directions carried out to combat the invasion of the dangerous pest. These directions include: information campaign, monitoring, pest treatment-control and scientific activities. "We have purchased new techniques to carry out activities against the Asian Stink Bug. We have mobilized more than 150 units this year. Field activities will be conducted according to the monitoring.We should determine the state activities as well as activities taken by local residents, this is the most frequently asked question. we make chemical treatment on state-owned territories; As for the population, here we enter these areas using special technical equipment; We spray thermal fog to fences, plots and surrounding areas, also land plots where we can reduce the population of the invasive pest. If residents are mobilized and took care of their homestead plots of land, we will be able to protect the crops. We will have to fight against the invasive pest for a couple of years, but we must take control and reduce the population of a dangerous pest "said Levan Davitashvili.The activities of the state structures in the fight against the Asian stink bug will be coordinated and consistent, which includes local self-governments as well- was noted by the Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, Zurab Alavidze.  
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The ways of solving the problems related to Asian Stink Bug

The Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Solomon Pavliashvili visited Guria region where he met with the regional governor Merab Chanukvadze, representatives of local self-government and Information-Consultation Service. Challenges and solutions in the field of agriculture were discussed at the meeting.The participants were focused on the planned activities to take against the Asian Stink Bug in 2018. All agencies of the Ministry together with the local authorities and regional administration will be involved in this process. Monitoring systems will be installed and measures will be planned according to the achieved results.The local governance to implement municipal activities on  the 9000 hectare area of Kolkheti National Park, including future prospects of implementation of amelioration works in Lanchkhuti municipality and transfer of self-governance functions for delivery of efficient agricultural extension service was discussed at the meeting.  
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Introduction of Strategic Directions for Rural Development for Media Representatives

40 journalists of top media outlets of Georgia attended an informational meeting on Strategic Priorities of Georgia's Rural Development and 2018-2020 Strategy and Action Plan, which was held in Kvareli on March 17-18. The meeting was held with the initiative of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia and support of the EU and UNDP."Rural development is a new but strategically important concept for Georgia. Its introduction and implementation will be reflected in a number of key areas, including economics, environmental protection, social issues and agriculture. Open and transparent cooperation with civil society and media is crucial for successful implementation of National Rural Development Strategy and Action Plan"-said Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Levan Davitashvili.The partipants discussed issues related to the implementation of the Rural Development Strategy. The First Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Nodar Kereselidze  drew his attention to the creation and implementation of rural development policies and shared the experience of EU countries and possibilities of using it in Georgian reality. Furthermore, participants made a focus on the implementation of the 2017 Action Plan for Rural Development and brought forward future plans.The meeting included working groups where journalists discussed challenges and possibilities of effective dissemination of information on rural development and presented their own vision of communication materials targeted at various auditories. The first National Strategy and Action Plan of Georgia was adopted in March 2017. The Strategy aims at introduction of the European model of Rural Development and determines the national vision of Georgia in terms of growth and diversification of local economy, development of social and public services, sustainable use of natural resources and engagement of citizen in the development process. The large-scale national discussion with the participation of the Government of Georgia, Parliament, Local Government, Civil Society and Private Sector preceded the adoption of the Strategy.The process of adoption and implementation of the National Rural Development Strategy is supported by the EU (UNDP) within the framework of the EU's Wider Initiative ENPARD.With the help of the ENPARD, the European Union (EU) promotes rural poverty reduction and introduces modern practices in rural development, the European Neighborhood Program for Agriculture and Rural Development in Georgia. The program is implemented by ENPARD since 2013 with the budget amounting to 179 million euros. The first phase of the program was the promotion of agricultural development, while the second phase aims to increase the economic development of rural people. For more information please visit the website: www.enpard.ge.  
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Levan Davitashvili met with the representatives of the EU Mission

The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili met with the EU mission representatives. The European Commission's Directorate General of Agriculture and Rural Development, Head of the Neighborhood and Enlargement Issues, Susana Marazuela Azpiroz  headed the delegation.The Participants discussed agricultural and rural development programs financed by the EU in Georgia, including Wine Sector Reform, supported by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) within the frame of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development in Georgia ‘’ENPARD’’. Levan Davitashvili highlighted rural and agricultural development strategy and underlined the importance of the EU to remain a trustworthy and reliable partner to Georgia. Under the frame of the restructured Ministry, rural and agricultural development continues to be a priority direction in the country-noted the Minister and thanked the EU delegation for their active support and cooperation with Georgian side. At the meeting, the sides discussed EU technical assistance programs implemented by FAO to enhance capacities of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture. At the meeting, the sides were focused on issues regarding reorganization and restructuring of the wine management as well. Susana Marazuela Aspirozi gave a positive evaluation of the work implemented by the Ministry and expressed willingness to continue active cooperation with Georgian side in the agricultural field. It should be noted, that within the visit, the representatives of the European Commission visited local development groups in the regions and got acquainted with the projects implemented by them. The delegation members of the European Union visited National Wine Agency and got acquainted with its activities as well. The meeting was attended by  the Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili, First Deputy Minister Nodar Kereselidze, Head of the Coordination of the European Union Delegation, Vincent Ray and FAO-ENPARD Coordination Officer, Javier Sans Alvarez.It is noteworthy, that since 2013, the European Union financial support for rural and agricultural development projects amounted to 179.5 million euros. The European Union supports agriculture and rural development through ENPARD program in Georgia. The first phase of the program aimed to promote agricultural development, while the second and third phase aimed at creating economic development opportunities for people living in rural areas.