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Environmental protection seminar being held in Tbilisi

By Mzia Kupunia
Monday, October 5
Tbilisi is hosting a week-long seminar for experts on Environmental Protection and Resource Management in the South Caucasus as part of the DAAD Summer School. Specialists from Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Iran and Germany gathered at Tbilisi State University on Friday, the first day of the seminar, to discuss environmental problems common to all South Caucasus countries and find the best solutions for them.

Representatives of the Georgian Environment and Education Ministries attended the opening of the seminar. Georgian officials said that the seminar will promote creating “new prospects” for the cooperation of South Caucasus states on environmental issues and help solve “common problems.”

“The seminar is dedicated to very important issues not only in Georgia but in the whole region and it is crucial,” Nugzar Chitaia from the Georgian Education Ministry said. Representative of the Georgian Environment Ministry Vladimer Gegelashvili said that some issues can only be solved through cooperation between the countries of the Caucasus region. “In Soviet times not much attention was given to environmental problems, but the situation is totally different now. Now environment protection has become the top priority of the world’s leading states,” Gegelashvili noted, citing the example of the last session of the UN, where world leaders discussed environmental protection issues. He said the Georgian Government has a “consistent strategy” for environment protection, and “with the help of our European friends these projects will be implemented.”

Experts from other South Caucasus states also noted that cooperation between states is crucial. Amin Babayev from Azerbaijan said that environmental issues are very important. “A lot of catastrophes have been taking place recently and I think that we will draw some interesting conclusions from this seminar,” Babayev noted.

The seminar, which includes field trips to several Georgian regions, will end on October 8 with a closing session at the Goethe Institute which will outline the achievements of the seminar itself and the future tasks which workshops of experts will undertake.