Tree Planting Counters Landslides and Erosion in Kazbegi

Over 1000 trees were planted on the mountain slopes near Karkucha village  in Kazbegi Municipality to restore degraded land and reduce the risks associated with recurrent landslides. The tree planting and reinforcement works were implemented by the ecological farming association “Sema” with assistance from the Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) Small Grants Program, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Kazbegi Municipality City Hall.

On May 8, representatives of Kazbegi Municipality, Kazbegi National Park Administration, UNDP and the Public School of Sno village visited Karkucha to take part in the ongoing tree planting. Kazbegi is one of Georgia’s unique natural reserves, famous for its stunning mountain views, rich pastures and biodiversity. At the same time, the region is prone to natural disasters, including mudflows and landslides. Excessive use of pastures, illegal tree logging and degradation of coniferous trees over the years resulted in the environmental decline and brought local pastures to the verge of depletion.

In 2017, the ecological farming association “Sema” came up with a plan to address the challenge and bring Karkucha pastures back to life. The initiative was supported by the GEF Small Grants Program with $28,000. Since then, Sema has carried out geo-ecological and hydro-meteorological assessments of the affected territories and has reinforced the most vulnerable slopes against erosion and landslides with rock-filled gabions and trees. In addition to its immediate benefits, this initiative will contribute to restoring natural forest in the selected areas and raising environmental awareness among the municipality residents.

Restoration of Karkucha pastures is one of over 50 local projects funded under the GEF Small Grants Program since 2012. The GEF Small Grants Program is a global environmental action which provides financial and technical support to local community projects that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing people's well-being and livelihoods. In Georgia, the GEF Small Grants Program is being implemented by UNDP in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture.

09 May 2018 11:20