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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Wednesday, June 5
Petition for protecting Georgian natural monuments

Netgazeti reports that the environmental NGO– Green Alternative– released a petition for protecting the natural resources that is available for every interested person to sign. According to the petition, at the end of May 2013, construction of the tunnel at Gudauri-Kobi highway damaged one of the most attractive places in Georgia known as the Travertines. Calling it an “act of vandalism” the authors of the petition said it caused great damage to Georgian bio and landscape diversity.

“Unfortunately it is not the first case of damaging natural monuments. In order to carry out various projects, uncorrectable harm was made or may face the mineral lake at Truso gorge and Travertines, Dariali and Khdi gorges, the woods of Goderdzi pass and others. This is all because of the weak legislation on the environment in Georgia, as well as the fact that a lot of natural monuments and places with special bio diversity are not protected under the legal status.”

Green Alternative demands that the government ensure the rapid and effective investigation of the damage of Travertines at Gudauri-Kobi highway and take the relevant measures against the violators. They also addressed the Parliament to adopt the proposed changes to the legislative package on the Creation of Natural Monuments and their Management, which should give the status of natural monuments to 100 objects approved in 2010.

New IDP settlement to be constructed in Tbilisi

Liberali reports that Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili presented a report on the rights of IDPs at Tbilisi's Marriott Hotel. The presentation, which was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees, diplomatic corps and NGOs, referred to the state and conditions of IDPs in 2012 and the state program for solving the problems of IDPs.

The Public Defender said housing remains the main problem for IDPs. Accoridng to Nanuashvili, it is important to elaborate a strategy that will solve the problems in a long-term prospective. The report suggests that a lot of housing objects remain in bad condition and can hardly be saved via the repair activities.

These buildings need to be demolished, thus IDPs should be moved to alternative shelters. Nanuashvili also gave recommendations to the state and NGOs over the bordering villages.

First Deputy Minister of IDPs, Gogi Patsatsia, said the Ministry has a four-year program which considers ensuring the relevant housing to all the IDPs living in Tbilisi and in the regions as well.

Patsatsia said that out of 40, 000 families throughout the country, 20, 000 live in Tbilisi. This is why the Ministry will start construction on the houses in the capital for IDPs this year. According to Deputy Minister, this program will also refer to IDPs who have illegally occupied various buildings.