The Regional Environmental Center for the Caucasus (RECC), within the framework of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) program, together with Iakob Gogebashvili Telavi State University, is launching a new campaign “Youth Network for Chemicals Management and Sustainable Development Goals”. The aim of this initiative is to create a learning network and ensure the active involvement of youth in waste and chemicals management issues. The first meeting of the network was held on 16 March 2023, at Telavi State University, attended by 30 students of the Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences.
During the meeting, the Head of Waste and Chemicals Management Department of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Mr Alverd Chankseliani, spoke about the activities related to the Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm and Minamata Conventions, the reforms carried out in the country in the waste and chemicals management sector in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Mr Chankseliani presented the National Waste Management Strategy (2020-2030) and Action Plan (2022-2026) and also talked about the extended producer responsibility as a new approach for the implementation of a circular economy.
A discussion was held on the necessity of active involvement of students and the importance of forming a youth learning network. The students, on their part, expressed their interest to be involved in the implementation of the ongoing reforms, programs and projects in the country. Young people talked about the challenges they experience in relation to employment in this sector, discussed ideas and perspectives, and agreed that the youth network which the students of Telavi State University are now a part of will be actively involved in the “Improved capacities and synergies between Basel, Rotterdam, Minamata and Stockholm Conventions for mainstreaming of the sound management of chemicals and wastes in Georgia” project.
In the future, the project will support the activities of the Youth Network for Chemicals Management and Sustainable Development Goals and will support the operation of a practical learning network with the involvement of students from various universities throughout Georgia, and the planning/implementation of awareness-raising activities in the issues of sustainable management of waste and chemicals. The project also aims to support the employment of students in this sector.
The project “Improved capacities and synergies between Basel, Rotterdam, Minamata and Stockholm Conventions for mainstreaming of the sound management of chemicals and wastes in Georgia” is funded by the Special Programme Trust Fund, with its primary beneficiary being the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia (MEPA), and is implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The project is executed by the Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus (RECC).