A model for others
Many other countries face similar climate-driven hazards yet remain chained to the reactive approach that Georgia is now working to put behind it. The new programme will provide a tested and ready model that they can replicate in preventing climate-driven disasters.
Moreover, at a time when countries are seeking ways to heed the UN Secretary-General’s admonition that “beautiful speeches are not enough” and that bold actions are vital, Georgia is providing a timely example of how to expand climate resilience at a national level.
Like many of its neighbours, Georgia has only a small role to play in climate mitigation, since the collapse of Soviet-legacy industries in the 1990s already put an abrupt end to most of the country’s pollution-generating factories. Radical reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are just not possible. However, where the country is making its mark is in climate adaptation – an equally pressing need for the world as global temperatures continue their ominous rise.
What’s more, by helping local residents engage directly in reducing the risks they face, Georgia is building a culture of resilience that is a core value of democracy and self-government.
So even a story as tragic as the Tbilisi floods can have a happy end, and not just for Beglar the hippo.