ECE Environmental Performance Reviews Series

2412-107X (online)
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An Environmental Performance Review (EPR) is an assessment of the progress a country has made in reconciling its environmental and economic targets and in meeting its international environmental commitments. The EPR Programme assists countries to improve their environmental management and performance; promotes information exchange among countries on policies and experiences; helps integrating environmental policies into economic sectors; promotes greater accountability to the public and strengthens cooperation with the international community.
Environmental Performance Reviews: Georgia

Environmental Performance Reviews: Georgia

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31 Mar 2016
9789210576833 (PDF)

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This series assists countries to improve their environmental policies by making concrete recommendations for better policy design and implementation. It helps integrate environmental policies into sector-specific policies such as those in agriculture, energy, transport and health. The present publication contains the third Environmental Performance Review of Georgia. The review takes stock of the progress made by Georgia in the management of its environment since the country was reviewed in 2010 for the second time. It assesses the implementation of the recommendations contained in the second review. It also discusses issues on air protection, water management, including protection of the Black Sea, waste management, biodiversity, forests and protected areas, energy, industry, agriculture, transport, forestry, tourism, health and risk management of natural and technological/anthropogenic hazards.

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  • Foreword
    It is essential to monitor progress towards environmental sustainability and to evaluate how countries reconcile environmental and economic targets and meet their international environmental commitments. Through regular monitoring and evaluation, countries may more effectively stay ahead of emerging environmental issues, improve their environmental performance and be accountable to their citizens. The ECE Environmental Performance Review Programme provides valuable assistance to member States by regularly assessing their environmental performance so that they can take steps to improve their environmental management, integrate environmental considerations into economic sectors, increase the availability of information to the public and promote information exchange with other countries on policies and experiences.
  • Preface
    This third Environmental Performance Review (EPR) of Georgia takes stock of progress made by the country in the management of its environment since it was peer reviewed for the second time in 2010, and assesses the implementation of the recommendations made in the second review. It covers issues of specific importance to the country related to legal and policy frameworks, the financing of environmental expenditures, greening the economy, air protection, water and waste management and biodiversity conservation. It also examines the efforts of Georgia to integrate environmental considerations in its policies in the agriculture, energy, industry, transport, forestry, tourism and health sectors. The review further provides a substantive and policy analysis of the country’s climate change adaptation and mitigation measures, and its participation in international mechanisms.
  • Key abbreviations
  • Signs and measures
  • Executive summary
    The second Environmental Performance Review (EPR) of Georgia was carried out in 2009. This third review intends to assess the progress made by Georgia in managing its environment since the second EPR and in addressing new environmental challenges.
  • Introduction: Environmental conditions and pressures
    Georgia has a land area of 69,700 km2 and is located in the mountainous South Caucasus region of Eurasia, which stretches from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea. The country’s northern border runs roughly along the crest of the Greater Caucasus mountain range. In addition to this mountain range, Georgia is bounded by the Lesser Caucasus mountains to the south, while the Likhi mountain range divides the country into eastern and western halves. The western border of the country is formed by the 315-km-long Black Sea coastline.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Environmental governance and financing

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    • Legal, policy and institutional framework
      The country’s environmental sector underwent a profound reorganization in 2011, which was then reversed in 2013. This reorganization was the origin of a massive washout of capacity at all levels of environmental governance. Institutional instability compounded with the Government’s focus on maximum deregulation affected the pace of planned environmental policy reforms and hindered implementation. The parliamentary elections of 2012 resulted in some refocusing on environmental goals and the launching of some reforms. Simultaneously, public administration has been evolving towards deconcentration of power – both vertically and horizontally. In this very dynamic context, understanding the role and interests of various actors is of capital importance for ensuring the success of reforms in the environmental sector.
    • Economic instruments, environmental expenditures and investments for greening the economy
      Compared with the situation reviewed in 2010, no new environmentally related economic instruments have been introduced. The main legal base for the application of the polluter-pays and user-pays principles has remained the 1996 Law on Environmental Protection.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Media and pollution management

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    • Air protection
      Since 2008, the reported level of total emissions from all sources has fluctuated somewhat (table 3.1). The emission data are based on the national report to the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP). These data are in turn based on emission reports by the operators of installations. Emissions of TSPs decreased after 2008 due to changes in industrial activities, but then started to increase from 2009. This is probably caused by the growth of the national economy.
    • Water management
    • Waste management
    • Biodiversity and protected areas
      The current status of most species is unknown, which makes it difficult to compare trends over time and plan conservation activities. There have been 16,054 fauna species recorded, 758 of which are chordates. In 2005, the Red List was compiled for the first time, resulting in the incorporation of 197 species of which 141 are animal species – 29 species of mammals, 35 birds and 11 reptiles – and 56 are plant species. The Red List is already out of date.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Interaction of environment with selected sectors/issues

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    • Energy and environment
      The main energy sources in Georgia are natural gas, petroleum products, hydropower and biomass. Hydropower dominates Georgia’s electricity generation sector, while the national economy depends on imports for the bulk of its primary energy requirements due to the low level of domestic oil and gas resources and there being only a few coal deposits in the country. The national energy sector is composed of the natural gas transportation and distribution sectors, power generation plants, the Georgian State Electrosystem (GSE), up to 34 natural gas distribution companies and three large power distribution companies. More than 70 per cent of primary energy supply is imported; fossil fuels make up more than 70 per cent of this.
    • Industry and environment
      Georgia’s industrial production increased in the period 2010–2013, after a severe downturn in 2008– 2009 due to the global financial crisis and a political conflict (figure 8.1). Industrial production turnover reached 8 billion lari in 2013, which is 1.7 times more than in 2008. Manufacturing industries accounted for 74.4 per cent of the total value of industrial production in 2013, while mining and quarrying accounted for only 3.6 per cent. In the same year, the share of manufacturing production in total industrial production increased by 12.6 per cent compared with 2008.
    • Agriculture and environment
    • Transport and environment
      Due to the position of Georgia in the Caucasus regions and on the coast of the Black Sea, the development of its transport sector is determined to a large extent by its strategic position for energy imports by the EU from neighbouring Azerbaijan, and for east–west and north–south trade flows. In response to its strategic position as a transit country, Georgia has invested in important infrastructure projects to increase the effectiveness of its transport system. The stated priorities of the Government are to achieve coordinated functioning of transport modes, to modernize its transport infrastructure in accordance with international standards and to harmonize the country’s legislation with international law. As the backdrop to these priorities, the 2014 EU Association Agreement contains a chapter on Transport and is expected to have considerable impact on these priorities in the years to come.
    • Forestry and environment
      Georgia is a country rich in forests, which extend from floodplain forests along the Black Sea coasts to sub-alpine stands. They occupy about 40 per cent of the territory, a total of 2,822,500 ha, with an unequal distribution across the regions. Approximately 97 per cent are located on the slopes of the Greater and Smaller Caucasus mountain ranges; the rest are found in the valleys of east Georgia and the Kolkheti lowlands. Compared to adjacent countries in the Caucasus, Georgia is relatively densely wooded. Forests cover 11 per cent of the territory in Azerbaijan and 10 per cent in Armenia, mainly due to unfavourable natural and soil conditions and scarce rainfall.
    • Tourism and environment
      The Georgian Government has set travel and tourism as one of the key development areas and increased efforts to establish the country as an attractive tourist destination. The Georgian National Tourism Administration (GNTA) has developed promotional campaigns in domestic and international markets and actively participated in international travel fairs. Georgia demonstrated impressive growth in inbound arrivals over the review period.
    • Health and environment
      Overall mortality rates were 10.8 and 11.0 per 1,000 in 2013 and 2012 respectively. In 2012, 48.4 per cent of deaths were of females and 51.6 per cent of males. About 52.3 per cent of deaths occurred in urban populations while 47.7 per cent were in rural populations.
    • Risk management of natural and technological/anthropogenic hazards
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