Presentation of Forest and Land Use Atlas of Georgia

Agriculture

Presentation of Forest and Land Use Atlas of Georgia

18 july 2019

 

On 18 July 2019, the launching conference of the Atlas of Forests and Land Use in Georgia was held. Forests make up 40% of the territory of Georgia, which is why the government has decided that this project should be a priority.

The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Levan Davitashvili, announced that the Atlas is the result of four years of work by the Ministry and its four international partners (GEF, UN Environment World Resources Institute, Global Forest Watch). The Atlas collects data through satellite technologies and artificial intelligence to provide access to information about forest development. This project is particularly important for the government since it positions Georgia as the first country in the Caucasus region with an interactive Atlas. Georgia can therefore position itself as an example for other countries in the region, notably for Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Ms. Catherine Nakashidze, coordinator of Global Forest Watch (GFW) in Georgia, presented the Atlas website . It is freely available both in Georgian and in English. The main objective of the system is to provide society and decision makers with the necessary technology and data on forest and forest landscapes, as well as on land use, as part of a standardized platform with consolidated data and analytical tools.

Through this site, users can see protected territories, real-time fires, the dangers of different forests and the degradation of the land. On the interactive map, users also have access to tourist routes, different mines, etc. In addition, the user can download documents corresponding to certain regions (document in Georgian).

Gigia Aleksidze, GFW's Georgia Manager, mentioned that the Atlas would help protect forests, create new jobs and recover very accurate information.

Mr. Giorgi Mikeladze, expert, commented that the Atlas allows for better analysis and stewardship of forests in Georgia. Indeed, unrestricted use of the forest, illegal logging, havoc and fires are the main causes of forest degradation in Georgia. In addition, the deforestation of Georgian forests is linked to significant costs or difficulties.

This standardized platform is therefore a transparency tool for the government, which allows an active use of data, the facilitation of planning and the implementation of activities related to forests.

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