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Water Resources and Waste Management related issues to discuss with the USAID representatives

The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili met with the Director of Economic Growth at USAID, Veronica Lee, Chief of the Party at USAID G4G, Nato Beruashvili and other representatives of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). At the meeting, the sides discussed water resources and waste management related issues. Levan Davitashvili brought forward projects implemented in the field of irrigation. Under the frame of the consolidated Ministry, the Minister prioritized environmental issues and expressed willingness to work closely with the United States Agency for International Development. Nato Beruashvili submitted the reform document for Water resources management, which was elaborated under the frame of the project ‘’Governing for Growth in Georgia’’ (G4G), furthermore, she gave a detailed account of the implemented and planned activities for the effective use of water resources.Involvement of donors is very important for sectoral development was noted by Levan Davitashvili, who thanked the representatives USAID for their active support.Georgia has a healthy vision in terms of the environmental development in the country which is clearly seen by the Association Agreement between Georgia and the European Union was pointed out by Veronika Lee.  Veronika Lee expressed her willingness to continue environmental cooperation with the consolidated Ministry.  
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Caucasus Second Dairy Congress

The benefits of cooperation and opportunities for small and medium-sized dairy enterprises topped the agenda of the Second Caucasus Dairy Congress held in the Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel. The congress was opened by the Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili. As the Minister noted, the development of the dairy industry is one of the top priorities of the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture.Levan Davitashvili spoke about the development of cooperative farms, technical regulations of dairy sector developed by the Ministry and its efficiency, as well as the need to attract investments in the sector, provide food safety and introduce new technologies. The minister thanked the organizers of the congress and noted, that such measures greatly contribute to the development of the sector."I would like to thank donor organizations and the EU for their financial contribution and modernization of our most important sector. We do not have a good condition in the dairy sector, but I think, that dairy sector will be significantly improved by coordinated work of the state and donor organizations. We are ready to encourage the sector with proper regulations "said Levan Davitashvili.The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture stressed the importance of improvement of quality and safety of dairy products as a key factor in increasing efficiency and competitiveness of the sector"After signing the Association Agreement, Georgian farmers can export their products to the EU market. In Georgia, citizens can buy better quality milk products. To this end, milk producers should meet EU standards, and we help them through several projects "said Janos Herman, EU Ambassador to Georgia.According to the EBRD Director for Caucasus, Moldova, Bruno Balvanera EBRD supports the development of the dairy sector in Georgia."Today is a very important event. As you know, the development of a diary sector is an important direction for the EBRD in Georgia. Our main goal is to invest and share knowledge to increase productivity in the diary sector " - said Bruno Balvanera.At the congress, the Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili awarded a group of authors of the book "Modern Technologies of Milk Industry Production and Effective Management of Diary Farm in Georgia".The event was organized by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).Over 200 participants from the Caucasus and Eastern Europe attended the Congress, including commercial dairy farmers, processors, equipment suppliers, industry experts and representatives from the Georgian government.  
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USAID Program will increase knowledge of Georgian Agronoms

The First Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Nodar Kereselidze and USAID's Assistant Administrator for European and Eurasian Issues, Brock Biermen participated in the closing ceremony of the training program. The program included 10 regions of Georgia. 96 theoretical and 60 practical sessions were held in 7 cities with the participation of highly qualified experts. The US is the most important supporting country in rural development –was noted by the Deputy Minister, Nodar Kereselidze. "Development of the extension system is one of the most important components, which contributes to the development of the agricultural sector, through extention we deliver knowledge and information about new agricultural technologies to farmers, we aim to enhance their competitiveness.This certification course project aimed to provide staff of our information-consulting centers (who work with farmers) with new skills, including theoretical and practical knowledge, the project will help them to  deliver their knowledge to farmers " - said Nodar Kereselidze. Accordingly, implemention of similar projects in Georgia is of utmost importance. We think we should educate farmers and provide them with the information that will really benefit them in the future, we give them the opportunity to share their knowledge with others to further promote the development of the agricultural sector "said Brock Bierman.Within the frame of the program, the staff of the Information-Consultation Center has received comprehensive information on practices of agronomists, new agricultural technologies, plant protection integrated system, planting non-traditional crops and new varieties, which will ultimately facilitate the efficiency of the extension service in the regions. Several seminars were conducted in the regional university where participants highlighted pest control activities.The program was implemented by Georgia's Agrarian and three regional Universities, 103 employees of the Information-Consultation Centers across Georgia took part in the training program.  
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The Strategy 2018 to fight against the brown marmorated stink bug

At present, the biggest challenge faced by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, LEPL National Food Agency and for all state structural units of the Georgian Government Commission is to combat the Asian Stink Bug invasion in Georgia.The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture provided journalists with the details of the strategy and action plan against the invasive pest, which has been developed by the Georgian government on the basis of the experience shared by Georgian and foreign scientists and specialists.Levan Davitashvili evaluated the visit of American scientists and specialists in Georgia and noted, that the world’s leading experts together with Georgian scientists discussed the state program at the international symposium. According to the Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, the specialists have positevely evaluated the measures taken by the government in 2017 and 2018 Strategy to combat the Asian Stink Bug.The purpose of the State Strategy is to manage the Asian stink bug, reduce its population and minimize the damage it causes to the agricultural crops."In 2018 our action plan considers four main directions. To reduce the population of the invasive pest might be achieved through engagement and joint efforts made  by Georgian Government together with farmers and local residents. The first task of our strategy is to minimize economic losses, farming activities should be taken under control and perception of agriculture shouldn’t become antiquated and unprofitable" - said Levan Davitashvili.The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture noted that from mid-March the monitoring system will be placed on the whole territory of Georgia and the results of monitoring will be delivered to the population immediately.As the weather has warmed and stink bugs start to emerge from their overwintering locations and getting more active, however, at this stage we have a cold wealther and pest has been wiped out, accordingly, this is the period when we can not take any kind of chemical treatment as far as invasive pests seek shelers in the buildings. Many people are trying to sow the panic, including politicians who unfortunately are making it as a part of their agenda. At the moment, until the end of March, mechanical measures to take against the pest is more effective. Therefore, each citizen must destroy the pest in a mechanical manner in their houses and in their surroundings  as well"- said Levan Davitashvili. 
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Representatives of Georgian scientific circles meet with their US Counterparts

The representatives of the US and Georgian scientific circles discuss issues related to the fight against the Asian stink bug. The scientific workshop on the topic "Asian stink bug- Global Challenge, International Experience and Ways to solve the Problems" with the participation of US leading experts and Georgian scientists is held in Tbilisi. The event is organized by the International Development Agency of Georgia (USAID / REAP) and TRECE Inc (USA). The participants stressed the importance of the invasive pest brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) and noted, that it is a significant challenge not only for Georgia but for other countries across the world. The science plays a leading role in the development and implementation of effective methods of fighting against the dangerous pest was noted at the meeting.  The United States has a long experience of fighting the invasive pests. At the scientific workshop, the leading scientists of the United States will introduce Georgian colleagues with the latest achievements, results of the research and modern technologies. Georgian scientists have the opportunity to present results of their studies, future visions, enhance scientific links and plan joint research projects together with American scientists.The issues related to the pest biology, biodiversity, modern systems of monitoring, biological insecticide as well as pest population management is discussed under the frame of the conference. The Plant Protection Specialists of the National Food Agency will present measures taken during 2016-2017 and strategic vision of 2018. The scientists of the Agricultural Scientific Research Center of the Ministry of Agriculture will discuss the results of tests of biological insecticide. The experts of neighboring countries are attending the event to share their experience. The leading scientists of the US universities and research centers in Georgia, including the the US Department of Agriculture (USDA, ARS), representatives of Virginia Technical University, Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania State Universities attend the workshop which was organized by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID / REAP) and TRECE Inc (USA).The representatives of scientific circles of Georgia, National Academy of Sciences, the Ministry of Agriculture Academy,  Georgian Academy of Medical Science, I. Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, State University of Georgia, Tbilisi State Medical University together with American scientists attended the meeting.  
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Georgia to host Olympic Games was discussed at the meeting

At the meeting with the members of the International Olympic Committee the Minister made a presentation on the geography, landscape, water and other natural resources and biodiversity of Georgia and provided guests with the relevant information. The Minister brought forward Georgia’s wine making tradition and culture counting 8,000 years of continuous history and underlined the internationally recognized slogan ” Georgia is the cradle of wine”.Levan Davitashvili introduced the delegation members with the legislative duties taken by Georgia within the context of the rapprochement and harmonization with the European Union, therefore, he stressed the importance of arranging the infrastructure while considering environmental issues in terms of hosting Olympic Games in the country.The presentation comprising the potential of the country was positively evaluated by the chief expert of the Olympic Games host countries assessment commission."Georgia’s beauty and biodiversity is truly impressive. It is important, that infrastructure development should not have a negative impact on environment. Within the frame of the visit we acknowledge , that all governmental agencies work as a single organism – unit what is the most important factor for any initiatives "Gilbert Fell said.The First Deputy Minister, Nodar Kereselidze and Deputy Minister Nino Tandilashvili attended the meeting held at the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture.The visit of the representatives of the International Olympic Committee was planned during the Prime Minister’s visit to Lozana, where Giorgi Kvirikashvili held a meeting with the Chairman of the Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach and two sides discussed possibilities and prospects for future cooperation.  
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Solomon Pavliashvili participated in the BIOFIN conference

In India, A Global Conference on Biodiversity Initiative (BIOFIN) was held in Senai, which was attended by the Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Solomon Pavliashvili.About 200 representatives from 30 countries took part in the conference. The sides discussed the experience of their countries, existing needs and brought forward specific examples to improve the situation in terms of biodiversity funding.The conference aims to share experiences between countries and conduct technical meetings, discuss results after the implementation of the Biodiversity Financial Initiative and to take joint consultations and discuss ways to find the financial resources for biodiversity.The Deputy Minister addressed the participants at the high level meeting, he underlined the importance of biodiversity and the necessity of mobilizing financial resources from donor and local sources for biodiversity conservation.The project team presented documents " Review the Biodiversity Policy and Institutional Arrangement " and "Biodiversity Financial Plan". Participants of the meeting presented the results achieved within the project, they brought forward existing challenges and planned activities for the future.Biodiversity Financial Initiative project is being implemented and supported by UNDP.