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U.S. help to restore fire-devastated territory

By Messenger Staff
Monday, September 18
Experts from the US Forest Service arrived in Georgia to support the country restore land affected by a large-scale fire in Borjomi Gorge in August this year.

“We are happy to welcome the US Forest Service team in Georgia. With USAID/Georgia funding this team will help the Georgian Ministry of Environment restore the land affected by the Borjomi fire,” the US Embassy wrote.

“Forest Service experts will assess the damage and implement a rehabilitation plan to prevent soil erosion and land and mudslides, and to keep the soil in place for further re-growth of the forest,” the Embassy added.

US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly stressed that the visit of the two experts could be seen as the continuation of the US support to Georgia which began in 2015 to help the country elaborate a forest fire management plan.

The Ambassador stressed his country has already handed techniques worth 120,000 USD to Georgia.

The Government of Georgia says that the Borjomi fire devastated 200 hectares of forest, near are area in the same gorge which was deliberately burnt by Russians, about 1,000 hectares, during the Russia-Georgia 2008 war.

The opposition claims that recently burnt forest is more than 200 hectares and the government hides real scales of the fire.

From Google maps the burnt territory is really more than 200 hectares.

This year Georgia had to fight more than 60 small and big fires.

Many, even state officials, did not exclude deliberate fires.

Georgia urgently requires an affective forest management plan and what is the most important, an effective enforcement of such a plan.

As a rule Georgia has good laws in many directions, however, their enforcement tend to be poor quite often.