Natia Turnava: Effective and sustainable forest use reform contributes to the development of the energy efficiency and ecotourism in the country

“I, as the Minister of Economy, can assess effective and sustainable forest use reform, as very important in at least two aspects: one, of course, is related to energy efficiency, and the other is related to our tourism, including ecotourism, potential, development,” – Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Natia Turnava declared at the signing ceremony of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) project “Support for Forest Sector Reform in Georgia”.

The document, which aims to support the forestry sector in Georgia, mitigate climate change and contribute to the ongoing forest reform, was signed by the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Natela Turnava, the Minister of Environment and Agriculture, Levan Davitashvili, Head of the GIZ Georgian Office, Carl F. Taestensen and Head of the ECO.Georgia Program, Lutz Jarczynski.

According to Natia Turnava, with the involvement of the Georgian Government and the Ministry of Economy, the level of gasification in the country reaches over 90%, which is unprecedented for a country like Georgia, and this is one of the preconditions for more forest use and less wood for heating.

“Therefore, the complex forestry reform that we are starting now and with the help of the German and Swiss Governments, the GIZ and, of course, first of all, the Green Climate Fund, is very important to develop a new culture, biomass production, relevant technologies, and, at least, we should provide usage of Energy efficient stoves: they should be purchased and distributed among our population,” – the Minister of Economy commented.

The Minister noted that the project is also important in terms of tourism development, because ecotourism is one of the future priorities, which the Government always encourages and which requires a well-maintained, healthy forest with all the necessary infrastructure

For the implementation of the project, the Supervisory Board of the GCF, in August 2020, approved a grant of 33 million euros. A 7-year-long project (2021-2027) is co-funded by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany (EUR 10 000 000 million) and the Government of the Swiss Confederation (EUR 4 090 000 million). The project, through forest restoration, reduction of forest loss, sustainable forest management and conservation, will help increase forest carbon stocks, as well as develop a market for energy efficient and alternative fuels, improve living conditions and increase the role of local self-government in sustainable forest management via forest management improvement and relevant policies and regulations.

Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia. 2021 ©