On February 19 lawyer of the „Center of Environmental Law” NIkoloz Mzhavanadze and 9 NGO’s held a press conference. They condemned the decision of the Government of Georgia about reorganization of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources. After the press conference, representatives of all ten NGO’s had composed a special statement which was sent to the Parliament of Georgia, to the Government of Georgia and to the President of Georgia.
The Statement of Georgian NGO’s about reorganization of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources
At a Government meeting, held on February 8, 2011 it was decided to reorganize the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources.
Prime Minister declared, that functions of environmental protection will pass to the Office of the State Minister, and functions of natural resources (forests, water, land) and licensaing – to the Ministry of Energy. Department of the Protected Areas (nature reserves, national parks etc.) will join the Ministry of Economy.
Government of Georgia made this decision without regard to anyone: neither Ministry of Environmental protection, nor specialists of this sector. But, according to Aarhus Convention, “The public concerned shall be informed, either by public notice or individually as appropriate, early in an environmental decision-making procedure, and in an adequate, timely and effective manner”.
Although there are strengthening state institutions all over the world against global warming, Government of Georgia is reorganizing the Ministry of Environmental Protection and so leaves the nature of Georgia without protection and disclaims any obligation to solve the problems arisen on this subject.
And all this is done after the promises made by Prezident Mikheil Saakashvili on December 8, 2010 at the Conference dedicated to climate changes, which was held in Mexico. He promised to the international community that Georgia would be the country of environmental prioritetes.
Elimination of the Ministry of Environmental Protection violates a number of laws, legal acts and international agreements.
· There is said in the paragraph 4 of article 37 of the Constitution of Georgia: “With the view of ensuring safe environment, in accordance with ecological and economic interests of society, with due regard to the interests of the current and future generations the state shall guarantee the protection of environment and the rational use of nature”.
· Accordiong to the article 57 of the 1996 agreement between Georgia and European Union, Georgia must strengthen environmental actions and structures.
There happened a lot of negative in the Ministry of Environmental Protection recently: corrupt deals, noisy arrests, trampling the Ministry’s image etc. It,s seen, that if one particular person couldn’t manage this ministry, it must be destroied. We think, that this is a crime, because the Ministry was becoming a single organism all this time and it’s reorganization will cause really serious consequences.
Government of Georgia has a consumer attitude to the environment and we think, that after reorganization of the Ministry entire ecosystem will be facing the real threat.
Based on the foregoing, we, NGOs of Georgia insist:
1. Stop the reorganization of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Nature Resources;
2. Restore functions of the Ministry as it was in 2003, increase it’s rights and funding for being able to solve real problems.
Center of Environmental Law
ELKANA – Biological Farming Association
Ecology of Caucasus
Assotiation of AgroBusiness Consultants of Georgia
Young Greens of Georgia
Integration and Progress
Human Rights Center
Youn Biologists Assotiation “Bio-rhythm”
Voice of the People