On the occasion of World Environment Day celebrated on June 5, the United Nations Country Team released a written message, calling for bold steps and practical measures aimed at preserving fragile ecosystems and protecting people and the planet from the adverse effects of climate change.
“As we celebrate World Environment Day, the flagship day of the United Nations for promoting worldwide awareness and action for the environment, the UN family in Georgia joins hands to call for bold steps and practical measures aimed at preserving fragile ecosystems and at protecting people and the planet from the adverse effects of climate change.
“The United Nations General Assembly has declared the years 2021 through 2030 the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. This theme underlines the urgency of action needed to address multiple harms to the natural environment mainly caused by human activity.
“It also serves as a reminder that our lives, well-being, economy and social development all depend on critical services provided by ecosystems, such as oxygen and freshwater.
“By restoring and preserving ecosystems, conserving biodiversity, protecting the environment and introducing sustainable natural resource management, we can save the planet for future generations and ensure sustainable long-term economic growth that does not destroy our natural habitat.
“These issues will be discussed at the COP26 summit in Glasgow on 1-12 November 2021, when all countries, including Georgia, will present their vision of greener and more sustainable development for the years to come.
“Georgia has taken important steps to fulfill climate commitments undertaken under the EU Association Agreement, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the Paris Agreement and EU Energy Community membership. It has declared to apply eco-friendly principles of sustainable development while transitioning to the green economy and new, innovative solutions for low-emission investments. Georgia is progressing on this pathway as climate policies and strategies, related laws are being elaborated, adopted and applied. As part of nature-based solutions to fight climate change, Georgia is progressing on the ban of harmful single-use plastic, has increased the area of protected territories to conserve its unique biodiversity and has pledged to unconditionally reduce national Green House Gas (GHG) emissions by 35 percent below its 1990 baseline by 2030, to name a few.
“Georgia faces significant environmental challenges caused by both direct human activity and global consequences of climate change.
“To mitigate the impact of climate change by limiting global warming to 1.5°C, we need to decarbonize fossil fuel-based energy system and cut anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by at least 45% by 2030 compared to 2010 levels. However, doing so would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in every sector; devising low carbon supply and value chain models for a sustainable growth; restoration of ecosystems; introducing adaptive measures for changing climate patterns and reduce risk of climate-driven disasters, including use of climate information for forecasting and early warning systems; promotion of healthy, active and safe mobility and transport; healthy urban design; investment in renewable energy; the reduction of pollution by building circular economies that drive down waste; boosting access to sustainable consumption and production; the development of incentive mechanisms for waste prevention, reuse, recycling and recovery; reducing the loss, fragmentation and degradation of the pasturelands and conventional tillage practices; using more organic fertilizers and integrated pest management; and taking stronger steps towards protecting Georgia’s rich and diverse forests, freshwater and sea areas.
“We are confident that Georgia will further address climate change and preserve the environment. Its long-term sustainable environmental management and disaster risk reduction commitments will be matched by climate-sensitive policies and immediate actions aimed at reversing the decline of nature while protecting Georgia’s people, their properties and livelihoods.
“Underlining our shared commitment to a low-carbon, cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable post-pandemic future, we pledge our support to the Government, civil society and other partners in expanding access to green solutions and making environmental issues an integral part of the development, thus fulfilling the UNFCCC Paris agreement targets and Sustainable Development Goals by 2030,” reads the statement.