The Eagle’s Gorge, one of the fabulous biodiversity spots of the Vashlovani Protected Areas, saw a clean-up action on 27 June 2019 organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the local non-governmental organization Centre for the Conservation of Species “NACRES” under the Global Environment Fund (GEF) Small Grants Programme.
The youth eco-camp participants teamed up with representatives of UNDP, administration of the protected areas, local authorities and the residents of the nearby villages to pick up trash left by the tourists and visitors.
This environmental action is part of a wider initiative which aims to involve local communities of the Vashlovani Protected Areas in sustainable waste management.
UNDP and GEF assisted a waste-mapping exercise to identify most common sources of the municipal waste and harmful chemicals, helped develop a draft waste management action plan and carried out information meetings with the local authorities, administration of the Protected Areas, border police, farmers and rangers. They also supported the establishment of a group of volunteers to organise clean-up actions alongside the hiking treks.
The GEF Small Programme (GEF SGP) is a global initiative which supports local environmental projects for the benefit of people and communities. Since its launch in Georgia in 2012, the programme has funded over 50 environmental initiatives for a total value of USD 1.6 million.