Conserving Caucasus and northeast Anatolia temperate forest ecoregion

Local and foreign timber producers are using an uncontrollable situation in Georgia to illegally cut down forests of millions of cubic meters. Government statistics vary widely on the amount of timber cut each year. According to information from the Ministry of Environment, 2,500,000 cubic meters are cut yearly. But according to Department of Forestry statistics only 400,000 cubic meters are logged annually. There is no legislation comparable to world standards regulating the use and export of timber in Georgia. Former Soviet laws with two unimportant amendments regulate this system. The government is in the process of writing a new bill, but in the meantime uncontrolled logging continues. In 1998 Parliament adopted a resolution forbidding commercial cutting and logging in the whole territory of Georgia, before the new Forestry Code is adopted. The resolution is still in effect, but is largely unenforced. The almost complete reduction of timber imports from Russia after 1994 are responsible for the sharply increased logging, because Russian timber once met more then 85 percent of Georgia's requirements.

Excessive logging on steep slopes has contributed to increasing erosion over the last few years. This has resulted in the denudation of mountain slopes and an increase in the volume of surface flowing water, mud flows and landslides, which has not only caused considerable damage to the national economy but has also lead to human victims. More than 1 million cubic metres of arable soils are washed out by mud flows each year.

Type Classification:
E: Emanations of other strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 15: Life on Land