The countries of South Caucasus need new and innovative 'green economy', which can ensure the development of our countries and the adaptation to climate change. Political will is needed for its development in order to overcome problems connected with overexploitation and export of natural resources: moil in Azerbaijan, mining in Armenia and water resources in Georgia, as Manana Kochladze, Regional Coordinator for the Caucasus of CEE Bankwatch Network and Chairman of 'Green Alternative' Environmental Group stated in Tbilisi during the summer session of Green Academy 2016 'Greening Politics and Economics in South Caucasus' in Georgia. The session was organized by the South Caucasus Regional Office of the Heinrich Boell Foundation.
Left - Manana Kochladze
The problem of water resources will very soon become number one for Georgia, as it's planned to construct 114 HPPs. '7 HPPs are huge ones,' Manana Kochladze said, 'the operation of power station already has serious impact on the zone of the Black Sea. The sea occupies resort territories of Batumi and Kobuleti. As our rivers are being site developed, they can't bring sediments from the mountains any more. Each year we load trucks with around 100,000 tons of sediments and bring to Batumi to form shores. The sea has occupied everything possible and it is already threatening the airport in Batumi,' Manana Kochladze said.
The communities also suffer from the SHPPs, which occupy their territories. If the planned construction of HPPs comes true, the people will have to change their settlements. 'Unless we have a government aiming at the use of natural resources, I won't believe that 'green' economy is feasible in our countries,' Manana Kochladze noted.
Georgian 'Green Fist' activist Levan Lortkipanidze said,'Green economy is not post-material value, it's a material value. We, ecosocialists, are convinced that the system of wild capitalism, not only destroys social relationships and causes social injustice, but wild capitalism is the main enemy to our nature. The fight against wild capitalism shall be run not only in social aspect, but also in environmental aspect, i.e. to unite such matters as social injustice and environmental responsibility. I'm sure that the government has measures to protect people from poverty, inequality and injustice,' Levan Lortkipanidze said.
In reply to the question what kind of role the civil society may play in it and whether 'green' economy is feasible in our region, the Georgian activist said, 'I think that green and social economy is the only way to development, justice and equality, while the civil society is the main leverage to reach these changes. If our future is not green and socially just, it will be a disaster.'
Photo by Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung South Caucasus
August 08, 2016 at 17:59