Save The National Park
“A World for a Living Planet” is the main message that Georgian environmental organizations have put into a letter they have decided to send international environmental organizations around the world, including their Russian colleagues.
Georgian environmental organizations gathered on September 8 at World Wildlife Foundation-Georgia (WWF-Georgia) to discuss the environmental consequences in Borjom-Kharagauli National Park resulting from the Russian bombing.
It was the first meeting following the devastation of the park by such organizations as Nacres, CENN, REC-Caucasus, the WWF, and the Horizont Foundation and the radio station “Green Wave”.
The declaration aims to attract international attention to not only Georgian or Caucasian, but worldwide environmental problems, and that effects of the fires in the park are not just local, but affect the entire globe by causing detrimental changes to the atmosphere.
The head of CENN (Caucasus Environmental NGO Network), Nana Janashia, said, “We wanted to have some kind of agreement on a coordinative action plan. Our first step is this declaration. We want all international organizations to have a real understanding as to what had happened there in the unique Borjom-Kharagauli National Park; to show the entire picture of the disaster.”
According to Janashia, the most important thing is to attract the interest of the world concerning this problem and to provide objective information surrounding this misfortune. This appears to be the first step on the way to solving the problem.
The letter is composed by Nana Janashia herself, and was sent to the all the organizations attending the meeting. After everyone has signed the letter it will be published by the media as well as be sent to the international organizations around the world, including Russia.
The first meeting did not result in a more concrete steps, but the organizations present are participating and will use their contacts to disseminate the message. The press-officer of WWF, Tamaz Gamkrelidze, stated, “In the first meeting we didn’t try to ask specialists to come and help us, it’s the prerogative of the Ministry of Environment Protection, but we do all we can.”
The unique ecosystem of the Borjom-Kharagauli National Park, the largest in Europe and one of the nine PAN parks of Europe, burned after Russian military helicopters set fire to it on August 15. The fire lasted 25 days and damaged approximately 1000 hectares of forest, including special varieties of trees and species of animals. Most of the animals listed in the Red Book, a list of endangered animals, have left the territory.
09 September Tue 2008, 18:05:24