That topics about the environmental are not very popular in Georgian society became clear during the discussion on the topic “Green activism for the environment”, held by the Boell Foundation. There were 16 discussion participants, who, despite the acuteness of the problem, discussed the reasonability of building waterpower plants in Kazbegi region and generally addressed the problems of recreational zones in Dighomi park land. They also spoke about the society’s role in overcoming environmental issues.
The discussion participants were: Shota Buchukuri, Co-Chairperson of “Stepantsminda”, Ana Gabriadze, Chairperson of “Safe Space”, Manana Kochladze, Chairperson of “Green Alternative”, and Nino Sharashidze, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Environmental Protection of Georgia. Professional environmentalists and citizens, “green activists”, and people interested in these problems presented their views on the subject.
Shota Buchukuri spoke to the audience about the waterpower plants under construction in Kazbegi region, the Dariali and Larsi power plants. He supported his presentation with photo and video materials made on the site of construction of these power plants, which clearly showed the attitude of the local population towards these constructions.
Ana Gabriadze, who has been observing the processes taking place in Dighomi since the ’90s, spoke about the examples of what is happening to the municipal lands in Tbilisi. She addressed the questions of what had been happening in Dighomi until 2006, before it was assigned the status of “Special Green Zone” and the local government set the borders on the territory; who purchased the lands in the area and how; and what remains of the park, the territory of which used to occupy 200 hectares years ago.
The Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Environmental Protection of Georgia, Nino Sharashidze, and the chairperson of the NGO “Green Alternative”, Manana Kochladze, spoke about the following: what is “green activism”, whether the construction of waterpower plants in Kazbegi is vitally important for Georgia, what impact the waterpower plants will have on Dariali Gorge and the Tergi River; and why it was decided to make derivational power plants. They also addressed whether the small capacity of power stations means that they will bring less harm to the environment; why the society is indifferent to environmental problems; and whether the local population is informed about the projects to be implemented. Finally, the Minister and NGO leader talked about why the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources does not support the environmental protection NGOs; the Ministry’s position regarding the power plants under construction, and in which way it has to protect the environment.