Batumi’s ecological problems and potential solutions

Experts and NGOs working on ecological problems in Georgia think that today the protection of the environment in our country is not a priority. According to NGO representatives working on ecological issues, this negative tendency is also connected to the gradually diminishing functions of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, which is becoming a weak governmental institution.

At the same time, authorities and civil society activities unanimously agree that natural resources, the landscape and bio-diversity are essential resources of our country.

A public discussion held in Batumi on 4 November 2010 covered the city’s ecological problems.

The following speakers participated in the discussion:

  • Sasha Khorava – Associate Professor, Department of Geography at Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University;
  • Nugzar Gomidze –Professor and Dean, Department of Physics at Batumi Shota Rustaveli State Universuty;
  • Achiko Guchmanidze – Chairman of the Association “Flora and Fauna”;
  • Kakha Bakhtadze – Program Manager, CENN.

Representatives of local NGOs and experts working on ecological and environmental issues, along with lecturers and students from Batumi State University participated in the public discussion.

Due to the present ecological state of the city, the main topic of the discussion was heavy ecological damage along the Black Sea coastline. It is natural that Batumi’s coastline with its port space, old and new boulevards, hotels and parks is the most special part of the city.

A key controversy concerned state or private investors are putting into place infrastructure for tourism development, which on one hand increases the number of visitors to Batumi, but on the other hand influences its ecological conditions.