Impacting the Influence of Youth on the Local Environmental Agenda in Georgia & Ukraine

The EU-funded regional project 'More Influence of Youth on the Local Environmental Agenda in Georgia and Ukraine,' implemented by Eastern Partnership Civil Society Facility (EaP) Fellows, is ending this September. From January through September 2020, the regional team implemented research, educational, civic engagement, community outreach and awareness-raising activities. The project engaged more than 120 young people in the Georgian cities of Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Batumi, and in the Ukrainian cities of Kyiv, Lviv and Krivyi Rig.

The project team includes three EaP Fellows: Mariam Khuroshvili, Regional Project Coordinator; Bogdan Dyachenko, Coordinator in Ukraine; and Tea Turashvili, Digital Support Specialist. The project engaged with a number of local researchers, trainers and experts, who shared their experience and expertise with the project beneficiaries. H.E. Carl Hartzell, Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia, and H.E. Arad Benkoe, former Austrian Ambassador to Georgia, joined the EU Delegation representatives in promoting the project activities. In addition, EaP Fellows, EaP European School students, Young European Ambassadors, researchers, local students and environmental enthusiasts actively participated in each phase of project development.

To learn more about the project and its goals, GEORGIA TODAY talked to Mariam Khuroshvili.


The project aims to involve young people in monitoring municipality budget execution and program implementation, improving the advocacy capacity and skills of young activists, raising public awareness of local environmental issues, and promoting youth-led initiatives and campaigns.


With this project, we have worked with more than 60 young people in Georgia. Through a range of mechanisms, such as research, online webinars, social media campaigns, collaborative round-tables and environmental campaigns, we were able to advance social cohesion and generate tangible benefits. The project managed to raise the awareness of youth in respect of environmental issues at the local level, elaborate a budget monitoring and policy research paper on environmental agenda in all target municipalities, and enhance dialogue between youth and the local authorities through communication platforms and roundtables. As a result, the participants were able to develop environmental initiatives and organize environmental campaigns.

The project was implemented in two phases. The first phase resulted in the implementation of municipality and budget monitoring activities related to local environmental priorities in the six target cities, as well as the development of a policy paper with a list of recommendations. The second phase focused on online training sessions and webinars (such as a two-week summer school ‘To Be or not to be ECO-logical,’ regional webinars, and the launch of a high-profile regional project). The Georgian participants were actively involved in a social media campaign #beecological, promoting eco-friendly behavior within their communities. The project conducted two clean-up and greenery campaigns in Georgia, including a maple-tree planting activity in Batumi Central Park.


I am tremendously excited to see a positive impact on the target audience, despite the COVID-related modifications. The key achievements of the project include:

- Raising public awareness of the European green deal and the importance of waste management, global and local environmental policy, youth participation and civic engagement mechanisms. Drawing on international case studies and research into local environmental issues, the project beneficiaries became more aware of both the global and local challenges and developed solutions to address these challenges, which they shared with the local authorities and other decision-makers.

- The regional study focused on local environmental policy and youth engagement.

- The round-tables in Kutaisi and Batumi enhanced dialogue between youth groups and the local decision-makers.

- The Online Summer School, social media campaigns and other community outreach activities raised public awareness of local environmental issues.

- The project produced the Budget Monitoring and Policy Research Paper on the municipal environmental agenda in Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Batumi.

- Youth empowerment was achieved through a communication platform for sharing, planning and implementing the initiatives of project beneficiaries.

- Two regional webinars were organized for Georgian and Ukrainian beneficiaries.

- The project enhanced dialogue between young activists and the local authorities.

- It promoted a positive image of the EU in Georgian society.


The greenery campaign at Batumi Central Park. Davit Diasamidze, Head of the Greenery and Landscape Planning Department of Batumi, made it possible to organize a tree-planting activity in Batumi Central Park, which is frequented by nearly every visitor to the city. We all planted trees individually and joint forces to plant the ‘Most EU Trees of Batumi.’ Thus, we were able to promote a positive image of the EU in the local community.


I always remember June 17, 2015, when I met Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary-General of the UN, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. I was attending the panel on ‘Youth and Peacebuilding’ along with 75 young leaders from around the world. I was extremely impressed and motivated by the degree of cultural diversity that the audience represented. It was at that very moment that I realized the importance of prompting positive social change in the world! This statement made back then has stuck with me to this day: “You are the first generation that can end global poverty, and the last generation that can address the impact of climate change.”

As I work on the issues of youth and environment, my goal is to increase the influence of our young fellows, because I believe that by saving the environment, we are saving our planet and our lives. We cannot put this off. Now is the right time to do it. By engaging youth, we lay the foundation for bringing about lasting and far-reaching impact around the world.

I strongly believe that many new actors and stakeholders, along with our partners and friends, will gladly join us in implementing our ambitious and need-driven ideas!

01 October 2020 16:54