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ENG GEO
ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS

Environmental policy refers to the commitment to the laws, regulations, and other policy mechanisms concerning environmental and sustainable development issues. These issues generally include air and water pollution, solid waste management, biodiversity, ecosystem management, maintenance of biodiversity, the protection of natural resources, wildlife and endangered species. Policies concerning energy or regulation of toxic substances including pesticides and many types of industrial waste are part of the topic of environmental policy. This policy can be deliberately taken to direct and oversee human activities and thereby prevent harmful effects on the biophysical environment and natural resources, as well as to make sure that changes in the environment do not have harmful effects on humans.

The attempts of environmental policy planning in Georgia started already in the 90-ties of last century. It was realized that environmental problems were of comprehensive character, comprising the social dimension (quality of life, health) and an economic dimension (resource management, biodiversity). In 1996 the Law on “Environment Protection” was adopted.  The law provides for the development of sustainable development strategy and entrusts this task to Ministry of Environment. Many laws and by-laws relating to environment protection were passed in Georgia since then. Georgian Constitution, which prevails over all laws, sets up general regulations for environment protection and use of natural resources. The Law “On Environmental Protection” (1996) also creates a general legal framework for environment protection and use of natural resources. Besides, Georgia has assumed international commitments, which also form environmental policy. Georgia is trying to implement international environmental approaches and regulations wherever possible to approach developed international community. According Article 6 of Georgian Constitution “An international treaty or agreement of Georgia unless it contradicts the Constitution of Georgia, the Constitutional Agreement, shall take precedence over domestic normative acts”. However, not all international commitments can be fully implemented. The EU-Georgia neighborhood policy Action Plan, developed on the basis of the EU Neighborhood Policy document, contains strategic objectives of cooperation between Georgia and the EU. The Action Plan was approved in November 2006 by the EU and Georgian governments and its implementation would be an important step forward in terms of Georgia’s integration in European economic and social structures.

The Association Agreement was signed between Georgia and the EU, one of the items of which is environment protection.  The agreement provides for a range of activities in the field of environment protection, implementation of which will support not only the creation of appropriate environment for the humans and ecosystems, but also the enhancement of environment management and efficient decision-making.
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