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Ambassador report

Ambassador report

[Ambassador report] [Biodiversity] [Thematic] Biodiversity in Georgia

by Saba Iakobidze | 19-05-2019 21:40 Comments 7 Comments recommendations 0 recommendations



Submitted by Saba Iakobidze, Regional Ambassador in Georgia of the 22nd Eco-generation Program

Tbilisi, Georgia                                                                

Every nation or region is unique, with its own biodiversity. Biodiversity is very important for our society, as it unites different animals, birds and plants that are native to the region.

Today there totally are 35 biodiversity hotspots, places on earth which are suffering natural habitat loss. To qualify as hotspots places, they should contain at least 1,500 species of vascular plants as endemics and it must have lost roughly 70% of its original native habitat. Although there are some speculations, amazon rainforest is not a hotspot; if that would be so, oxygen on planet would become scarcer as amazon is called “lungs of the Earth”. Humanity knows several extinctions over history like dodo, which went extinct in the 17th century. Biodiversity loss is caused by deforestation, by massive projects, also, by introducing new, non-native species to the environment. Biodiversity loss can be addressed by putting more researches into projects and considering ecosystem and microclimate of the region.[1]

It shall to be noted that my country, Georgia is in the list of biodiversity hotspots. Georgia has unique landscape, from broad northern Caucasus Mountains to semi-tropical forests in the western part of the country. Georgia has remarkably rich flora and fauna, with 4,300 species of vascular plants, 600 of which are endemic to the Caucasus region and 300 endemics to the country. There are some 16,054 floral species described to date in Georgia. The vertebrate fauna is presented by 758 species, with 76 mammals, 300 birds, 52 reptiles, 12 amphibians and 84 fish species, including Caucasian endemics.[2] Georgia has many national parks and nature reserves. Lagodekhi and Vashlovani municipalities have some rare species which are unique in the region. 

Science and Medicine students of Ilia State University found endangered sturgeon in the river Rioni. There is one specimen of sturgeon in the river Rioni, Georgia from three sturgeon population on the whole continent; because of that, the “Fauna & Flora International” (FFI) got interested and made several field studies and tests together with master’s degree students of Tbilisi Ilia University. This endemic sturgeon faces risk of extinction, from planned construction activities of Hydro Power Plants (HPP) in the region – mainly Namakhvani HPP. Monitoring of these rare species will be further progressed.[3]

Another good example is Georgian grey honeybee is one of the most unique species of bees in the world because of its productivity, today in Georgia there are over 403 thousand families of these endemic honeybees[4]. Georgian honeybee is the best example of Georgian biodiversity, but it faces many problems because of raising temperatures, which has affected every season in Caucasus[5].

It shall to be noted that Georgia has rich wine culture which is about 8000 years old - seeds of ancient Rkatsiteli grape were found in Georgian clay vessels. Georgia is also called the “cradle of wine”, which has unique methodology of wine making in clay vessels (Kvevri), this reference is correct and it was scientifically approved that Georgia is the ancient country of wine, there are over 500 species of grape in 8 wine regions of Georgia, from which only 30 species are being used for winemaking. [6]

Furthermore, there are many endemic and endangered species in the world, most of them are losing their habitats, endemic, rare and regular species need caring, in order not to destroy our own ecosystem. The problem is that humans are judging from short-term perspective and do not think about future and consequences we may face because of our actions. If people learned to think in long-term perspective, we wouldn’t be facing problems that we see today. Considering today’s global challenges, in this regard, the Georgian Government made some positive changes in close cooperation with different environmental and sustainability NGO’s and Associations; in addition to some new regulations, in May 2019 decision was made to appoint an environmental ombudsman with 28-year experience, who is the former head of the Caucasus Nature Fund (CNF). The institute has been created for the first time in Georgian history.[7]    

                                                                                   

Supporting photos[8]and[9]:



[1] Biodiversity A-Z, www.biodiversitya-z.org/content/biodiversity-hotspots - Access date: May 13, 2019

[2] The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) https://www.iucn.org/content/georgia-%E2%80%93-haven-biodiversity – Access date: May 13, 2019

[3]   http://www.marketer.ge/iliauni-ffi-rioni – Access date: May 16, 2019

[5] agrokavkaz.ge/dargebi/mefutkreoba/qarthuli-phutkari-biomravalpherovnebis-sauketheso-nimushi.html – Access date: May 16, 2019

[7] Agenda.ge, an English-language news platform http://agenda.ge/en/news/2019/1169 - Access date: May 13, 2019

[8] http://biodiversity-georgia.net/ – Access date: May 13, 2019

Endemic Species Old Georgian Statue

7 Comments

Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello saba

    Thank you for your report about biodiversity of Georgia

    Green Cheers from Nepal :)
    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.

    Regards,
    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 17-06-2019 05:31

Wonhee Mentor

  • Wonhee Mentor says :
    Hello Saba

    Thank you for letting us know about the diversity in Georgia and the reason why it should be protected.
    Before I read your article, I didn??t realize that there were so many different kinds of plants and endemic species in Georgia. It is disheartening to hear that such endangered and endemic species in the world are disappearing. As you said, I wish people would realize that protecting biodiversity will be beneficial in long term perspective. I look forward to your next report Saba!

    Wonhee Mentor

    Posted 24-05-2019 00:44

Louis Mentor

  • Louis Mentor says :
    Hi Saba,

    Thank you for writing this great report. I did not know that Georgia has high diversity before I actually read your report. Particularly, in your report, you mentioned that 'The problem is that humans are judging from short-term perspective and do not think about future and consequences we may face because of our actions.', and I totally agree. We should deeply consider sustainable development and respect the natural habitats for our friends - animals. Because without them, we, humans, cannot survive. I really enjoyed reading your report, and please keep up with your great work.

    Louis Mentor
    Posted 23-05-2019 00:12

Elizaveta Zaretskaya

Rosa Domingos

  • Rosa Domingos says :
    Hey there Saba!

    Thank you for your wonderfully written and knowledge-bound report! Georgia has a vast variety of species, I had no idea at all. I am so impressed that Georgian environmental and sustainability NGO??s and Associations decided to appoint an environmental ombudsman, and that too with a whole lot of experience, it just shows you that when you think ahead and take the importance of Nature into regard, anything is possible!

    I look forward to your nest report Saba. Keep up the good work!
    Posted 20-05-2019 16:50

Asmita Gaire

  • Asmita Gaire says :
    Hello Saba
    Honey bees are very important part of ecosystem. Great to know about green honey bee found there and many other features of Georgia.
    Thank you so much for your report.
    These diversity must be conserved.
    Green cheers

    Posted 20-05-2019 10:17

Prashamsa Bhusal

  • Prashamsa Bhusal says :
    Really!The bio-diversity of Georgia and all over the world should be conserved which in result may reduce the list of endangered species.
    Posted 19-05-2019 21:50

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