May 19, 2023

Founders meeting summarises REC Caucasus environmental milestones of 2022

Founders meeting summarises REC Caucasus environmental milestones of 2022

Mr Apolon Kakabadze, Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, opened the Regional Environmental Center for the Caucasus (REC Caucasus) Founders meeting, held under the chairmanship of the European Union.

  • “One of the main priorities for Georgia is general peace and stability in the Caucasus region. The Regional Environmental Center for the Caucasus is an exemplary organization that shows the desire and readiness of countries to actively cooperate and implement regional approaches in environmental issues,” noted Mr Kakabadze.

REC Caucasus has actively demonstrated its important function in the direction of solving environmental problems in the countries of the South Caucasus.

  • “On behalf of the EU delegation, I’d like to express my appreciation for the value of work that has been done so far. It’s clear to us that the Regional Environmental Center for the Caucasus has a vision for tackling environmental challenges over the next upcoming years and plans to further contribute to the protection of the environment in several directions including waste management, circular economy and climate change”, stated Mr Catalin Gherman, the Acting Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Georgia, in his welcome speech.

At the meeting, the parties approved the updated regional strategy of REC Caucasus and supported the strengthening of its role in achieving the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals at the regional and national levels. The countries also agreed that REC Caucasus has the greatest potential to act as a secretariat to work on the Mtkvari river basin issues and ensure the involvement of all three countries in solving the quantitative and qualitative transboundary problems of this unique river basin. It was also mentioned that REC Caucasus is actively working towards the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive. The founders expressed their willingness to work closely with REC Caucasus to improve policy and legislation. They agreed that REC Caucasus has great potential to play the role of facilitator in regional and bilateral negotiations and prepare a concept to attract donor organizations to work on these issues.

In terms of regional cooperation, readiness for cooperation on climate change issues was also expressed, which covers both directions: climate change adaptation and mitigation.