Tbilisi Ecology Lacks Competence and Policy
30 May, 2013
Tbilisi Ecology Lacks Competence and Policy
The ecological condition of Georgian capital Tbilisi is alarming as the municipality lacks due competence and bases its activity on none-existing strategy for years.

The summer with usual heats is already advancing and the ecological situation of Tbilisi as one of the hottest cities of Georgia, pops up. Environmentalists and non-governmental watchdogs keeping an eye on Tbilisi’s ecological condition say that it is disastrous due to sheer negligence demonstrated by Tbilisi City Hall for years. A group of non-governmental Green
Alternative, Transparency International Georgia (TI Georgia), and Safe Space point on three key problems such as: ecological condition of Tbilisi ranked below the par, alarming green coverage condition of the capital, and problems in green coverage related procurements of the municipality creating unreasonable budgetary spending and high corruption risks. Non-governmental watch-dogs believe the special Ecology and Green Coverage Service of Tbilisi City Hall is incompetent and failed to work out a united policy and conception of green coverage of the capital since its creation day and provides with no reports and researches how things are developing to this end. And since the Ecology and Green Coverage Service of the capital responded to none of the multiple requests of the said non-governmental organizations to work out the due environmental policy and disclose it to the publicity they ask Tbilisi City Hall to fire the head of the service in questions and address to proper solution of the problem in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment Protection and Parliamentary Committee of Environment Protection and Natural Resources.
“There is no strategy and plan of planting and cutting green coverage that must be outlined very precisely. In fact, multi-year old big trees are cut down for unclear reasons and one-year plants and expensive decorative exotic tree planted instead. Take the example of Rustaveli Avenue that was famous for its tall, around 50-year-old, maples, all were cut down and tiny decorative few-year little trees planted instead; they have neither shadow nor potential to compete with the maple by air-filter potential for they grow low and have fine leaves; or the chestnut trees cut out on Baratashvili street, Tbilisi center as well where the dust and ecological pollution level is higher, last year and expensive shadow-less cypresses planted [cost GEL 990 each] while the ordinary maples and chestnut trees, I mean generally big large-leaf and multi-year trees are much cheaper and most recommended to cities like Tbilisi climate zone and ecology. And nobody provided us with reasonable explanation why those trees were cut and new expensive ones planted. The focus should be on preserving of old trees for they are bigger long-lasting filters while new ones need dizens of years to reach their efficacy, ” Erekle Urushadze, Senior Analyst & Project Manager at TI Georgia, said in the interview to Georgian Journal.
Moreover, the City Hall green service gives out permissions on cutting trees in privatized parks and planted areas for payment of special price for each cut tree as the City Hall announcement informs. Urushadze assures that this approach led to devastation of Tbilisi green coverage while municipality has full right to demand detainment of green coverage after privatization but ignores this.
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