Environment & Energy

Photo: Vladimer Valishvili/UNDP

What we do

UNDP’s programmes in Georgia cover the key areas of environment protection and disaster risk management. We promote the use of renewable energy, conservation of biodiversity, rehabilitation of degraded pastures, effective waste management, sustainable urban development and gradual elimination of harmful substances from the environment. UNDP also supports national policy and practice that counter the risk of natural and man-made disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, landslides, and urban and technological disasters.

Photo: David Khizanishvili/UNDP

Climate-smart investing benefits people and economy

According to national estimates and Georgia’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution to the Paris Agreement, climate hazards without the proper adaptation measures, could cost Georgia between US$10 and $12 billion from 2021 to 2030. The estimated cost of adapting to climate change over the same time-period is significantly lower – between US$1.5 billion and $2 billion. To date, disaster risk management in Georgia has largely been reactive, rather than proactive. This has meant large costs to compensate the victims of floods and other natural hazards, the increased number of ‘eco-migrants’ leaving vulnerable areas, and higher costs for recovery. UNDP has been Georgia’s key partner over the years in building resilience to Climate Change, developing climate-sensitive policies and establishing early warning systems. With the new climate risk information and early warning system project, approved by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in 2018, UNDP is assisting Georgia to make a paradigm shift centred around risk reduction, prevention and preparedness.

Photo: Vladimir Valishvili/UNDP

Don’t e-waste your future!

Georgia is a fast-growing market for electrical and electronic equipment. The consumption reached 14.6 thousand tons in 2016 and will potentially increase to 52 thousand tons by 2027.  For now, Georgia generates four times lower e-waste than the European Union countries, 4.6 kg per inhabitant compared with the EU average of 18.7 kg. However, the country already faces the need to introduce an up-to-date concept of e-waste management to protect people and environment from the risks associated with the inadequate disposal of hazardous substances contained in electrical and electronic equipment. E-waste management is noted in Georgia’s new Waste Management Code, adopted 2014 and coming into force in December 2019. The Code introduces Extended Producers’ Responsibility (EPR) for electrical and electronic equipment, which contributes to the separation and proper disposal of e-waste and creation of jobs and businesses. UNDP and the Government of Sweden assist Georgia to develop the e-waste legislation, pilot different EPR models for specific waste streams and inform all stakeholders, including government, businesses and public, about environmental and health benefits associated with sustainable waste management.

Photo: Agency of Protected Areas

Saving Colchis Forests

Natural reserves in western Georgia and neighboring Turkey together form a chain of four protected areas established to conserve unique Colchis Forests. Rich biodiversity, cultural heritage, stunning mountain views and close vicinity to the touristic sites of the Black Sea coast create exceptional opportunities for environmental tourism. To help preserve this unique natural resource, UNDP and Global Environment Facility (GEF) support sustainable management of the protected areas and cross-border cooperation between Georgia and Turkey. We also promote economic development in the support zone of the Machkhela National Park, assisting local communities to benefit from the sustainable management of natural resources.

Photo: UNDP

Protecting people from floods

Georgia is highly vulnerable to floods, flash floods and other climatic hazards that have become more frequent and intensive over the years. In June 2015, the capital city, Tbilisi, was hit by a major flash flood that took the lives of 19 people, left 280 homeless, and destroyed infrastructure in the central part of the city closest to the flooded Vere River. The basin of the other Georgian river – Rioni, is also known as a flood-risk area, which poses threat to the lives and property of 200 thousand residents. UNDP, with support from the Global Adaptation Fund, developed a flood resistance plan for the Rioni River basin. The programme has resulted in the creation of a modern flood modelling, forecasting and early warning system, building of dikes along the river banks, planting of 12 hectares of forest and a zoning plan to climate-proof buildings and farms.

Photo: Vladimir Valishvili/UNDP

Sustainable cities for sustainable future

More than 50% of Georgians live in the cities according to the 2014 Census. High population density and the increased use of Carbone-intensive cars make sustainable urban development a crucial issue for the country. UNDP and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) assist Georgia to explore green solutions in urban development, more specifically, in the transport sector where greenhouse gas emissions are raising on national and municipal levels. We are piloting sustainable urban transport in Georgia’s major touristic destination – the city of Batumi, aiming to expand this experience to the other municipalities of Ajara Autonomous Republic. With our help, Batumi has already adopted its first Sustainable Transport Strategy and Urban Mobility Plan, the innovative documents that include a new parking system, public transport scenarios, more attractive bicycle network and electric city taxi. The exercise is unique for Georgia and, once completed, will open a whole new prospect to urban transport development.

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