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International Atomic Energy Agency Mission visits Georgia

Georgia hosts the International Atomic Energy Agency (Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS)). The First Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Nodar Kereselidze met with the representatives of the IAEA mission. The mission aims to study Georgia's nuclear and radiation safety regulatory system and determine its compliance with international standards.The mission comprises experts from various countries which will get familiar with the activities of different agencies in radiation safety within two weeks, after which the report will be prepared with relevant recommendations. It should be noted, that fulfillment of mission recommendations will be checked by the International Atomic Energy Agency mission "Follow up".The mission of the International Atomic Energy Organization will study atomic and nuclear safety structure and system in Georgia. Our country should have a system that responds to the international requirements, to further promote the positive image of Georgia, and at the same time to ensure nuclear and radiation security in our country, "Nodar Kereselidze said at the meeting.During the preparatory stage, the nuclear and radiation safety specialists carried out self-assessment of the National Nuclear Regulatory Infrastructure for Nuclear and Radiation Safety through SARIS (Self-Assessment Tool) system, which was provided by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The draft action plan was developed as a result of self-assessment analysis.The meeting was attended by the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs and Emergency Situations.    
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Professional training of forest specialists

The vocational school ‘’Opizari’’ in Akhaltsikhe Municipality started teaching forestry specialists with a renewed program. The Deputy Head of National Forestry Agency, Natia Iordanishvili met with the forestry specialists.The program was supported by the German and Austrian governments since 2017 with the support of the National Center for Educational Development, implemented within the frame of the Vocational Education Development Program.The college is equipped with all necessary technical facilities that are essential for effective learning of forestry profession. Planting of trees was also held figuratively near by the college.The Germany's International Cooperation Society "GIZ" Forest expert Mr. Erich Mies and representatives of the Department of Biodiversity and Forest Policy attended the event.   
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Links between the Environment and Health

Under the frame of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development goals, the links between the Environment and Health was discussed at the meeting in "Rooms Hotel Tbilisi". Nino Tandilashvili, Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture addressed the participants. To raise awareness on the environment and health, also to  promote strategic partnership among representatives of various governmental agencies, international and non-governmental organizations was the main goal of the meeting, whereThe participants strived to integrate environment and health related issues and stressed the importance of relevant programs to implement in the country and achieve sustainable development goals at the national level. The health and environment related issues was discussed at the Conference on Environment and Health, at the the 3rd Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-3) held in Ostrava (Czech Republic), where the participants brought forward political, institutional, already implemented and planned activities.The meeting was organized by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and NGO Women Engage for Common Future (WECF) in cooperation with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture.    
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The Government Commission holds a meeting

At the session of the governmental commission, the participants discussed  " Measures taken against the Asian Stink Bug ". The commission comprising of the representatives of the different Ministries, Autonomous Republics of Adjara and Abkhazia, as well as Chairmen of Parliamentary Committees, Heads of Academies of national and agricultural sciences approved the 2018 plan against the Asian stink bug.  The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili provided the Commission with the current situation and undertaken activities.Davitashvili spoke about the necessity of involvement of state agencies and underlined the importance of state in the fight against the Asian stink bug. "The measures have already been planned and functions are already assigned to the agencies of the governmental commission. The Commission will work throughout the year and will monitor the implementation of the strategy, against the Asian bug in 2018 " - the Minister said.The Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure will coordinate the tasks to the local self-government bodies and mobilize appropriate equipment and human resources throughout the country.The Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia will provide residents with the information on how to combat the pest in their households and will prepare relevant informational booklets.The Ministry of Education will work with the scientific circles and the Ministry of Finance will strengthen the phytosanitary regime at the border areas.Local authorities in the regions were ordered to coordinate the creation of volunteer groups. Together with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, the relevant plan and timetable must be prepared to provide treatment activities in squares, gardens, state buildings and surrounding areas. As was mentioned at the Commission sitting, all government agencies will carry out chemical and mechanical activities in the buildings which are under their own balance.The governmental commission was created on January 30, 2018. Commission members will gather systematically.   
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Georgian protected areas to be announced among UNESCO World Heritage sites

Kolkheti National Park and wetland areas has been named among the Georgian areas that will be listed in the UNESCO World Heritage list. The Georgian Agency of Protected Areas (APA), together with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is now working to promote the following Georgian national parks and areas: Machakhela, Mtirala and Colchian National Parks; Kintrishi and Kobuleti protected areas.The project has been implemented by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Agency of Protected Areas and WWF Caucasian Representatives since 2017. The project is being co-financed by the Federal Ministry of Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety of Germany and WWF.The Chairman of the Agency of Protected Areas, David Markozashvili underlined the importance of the project. The meeting was held under the frame of the " Georgian protected areas Kolkheti Forests and Wetlands to be announced among UNESCO World Heritage sites", which was attended by independent experts, local self-government and NGO representatives.    
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"Extended producer responsibility " to introduce

The introduction of the "Extended producer responsibility was discussed at the hotel "Holiday Inn". The Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Solomon Pavliashvili has been focused on issues related to the management of waste electronic and electrical equipment, manufacturer's liability law, funding mechanisms, schemes and monitoring system.The Chairman of the Committee on Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, Kakhaber Kuchava addressed the participants.The waste management code was adopted in 2014, which imposes new obligations to both public and private sector representatives, including introduction of the "Extended producer responsibility" principle in Georgia.According to the Code, from December 2019, the producers and marketers of the product should reduce waste production and its negative impact on the environment, they have taken the responsibility for waste recovery and disposal as well.This is the new principle and approach in Georgia. Its implementation requires not only the development of the relevant legislative base, but also raising of awareness and capacity building both in the state structures and private sector as well.The project is initiated by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture and is implemented by the UNDP, Swedish Government and organization "Georgia's Environmental Outlook" - GEO.The meeting was attended by more than 70 representatives of Georgian government, local self-governments, business companies, associations and trade chambers, NGOs and relevant projects.    
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Solomon Pavliashvili met with the representative of the World Bank

The Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Solomon Pavliashvili  met with the Head of Forestry Projects in the World Bank Agriculture and Environmental Services Department, Tuukka Castrén,.The sides discussed issues related to the improvement of governance in the forestry sector. Tuukka Castrén brought forward World Bank position and perspectives in the Forestry sector. He noted, that, there are opportunities to initiate and implement new programs in the forestry sector.In 2013-2017, with the financial support of the EU and World Bank, the project ENPI FLEG II, (ENPI East) «Forest Law Enforcement and Governance in the forest sector through European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument-2 in East Countries» aiming to promote sustainable management and protection of forests was implemented.The main directions of the program included the improvement of forest legislation and policy, sustainable use of forest resources, support forest inventory, forestry demonstration studies and capacity building.