With over 30 attendees, the kick-off meeting marked the official commencement of the GEF funded project “Reduction of industrial persistent organic pollutant chemicals in manufacturing and recycling sectors through lifecycle approaches in Georgia” and focused on fostering engaging consultations and information exchange activities with key stakeholders.
The project aims to address the pressing issue of pollutants originating from industrial activities. By promoting circular economy and lifecycle approaches, the project seeks to mitigate the adverse environmental impacts associated with manufacturing and recycling.
The inception workshop brought together representatives from the public sector, namely the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, the Ministry of IDPs from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, the Department of Environmental Supervision, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development and the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health. Representatives from the private sector included varnish-paint manufacturing companies “GeoColor” and “Reffix”, as well as the waste management company “Eco Service Georgia”. The joint efforts and participation of both sectors will be imperative for the achievement of project goals and the strengthening of the capacity, skills and knowledge of all parties involved in reducing industrial persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the manufacturing and recycling sectors.
“This project is an important initiative towards minimizing the detrimental impact of hazardous chemical emissions on human health and the environment and plays a crucial role in fulfilling our obligations outlined in the EU-Georgia Association Agreement. The Ministry is always ready to cooperate with international organisations on similar projects that help Georgia become a recycling-oriented country with environmental policies and legal frameworks that are based on circular economy principles”, stated Mr. Solomon Pavliashvili, Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia.
“UNIDO’s mission is to assist developing countries and countries in transitional economies to promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development, and I believe this project that we’ve launched today fits perfectly with this mission. Indeed, we are looking forward to seeing how this project will help develop Georgia’s industrial sector through capacity-building and technology transfer in a sustainable and inclusive way”, highlighted Ms. Lamia Benabbas, Industrial Development Officer and Project Manager for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
As a party to the Stockholm Convention, Georgia is required to adopt a range of control measures to reduce and, where feasible, eliminate the release of POPs. The newly-launched project will therefore focus on developing strategies to minimize the import, use, and build-up of POPs in order to optimize their life cycle. The Project Coordinator from The Regional Environmental Center for the Caucasus (REC Caucasus) – Mr. Irakli Legashvili – presented to the stakeholders the detailed work plan for the first year of project implementation and outlined the planned activities. In accordance with the guidelines on Best Available Techniques (BAT) and Best Environmental Practices (BEP), the manufacturing and recycling sectors will receive capacity-building and knowledge-exchange training within the framework of the project. As a result of a review of the national legislation and an extensive gap analysis, a package of legal amendments will be prepared for the integration of the requirements of the Stockholm Convention in relation to the management of POPs in the manufacturing and recycling sectors.
The GEF-funded project “Reduction of industrial persistent organic pollutant chemicals in manufacturing and recycling sectors through lifecycle approaches in Georgia” is being implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in partnership with the Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus (REC Caucasus).