Georgia, a small country in the U.S., is one of the richest in terms of natural resources and green surroundings. Nevertheless, the environmental issues in Georgia have been a concern since the Soviet period. Rapid industrialization was the main cause that gave rise to serious pollution.
Now Georgia suffers from three main problems, which have become pressing problems in the country.
What Are The Main Environmental Issues In Georgia?
One of the leading concerns for the citizens is the poor air quality. According to a survey by the National Democratic Institute in 2019, 57% of the participants said air pollution is the problem of all environmental issues in Georgia.
Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital city, has the poorest air quality, which is around 2.9 times more than the normal AQI value. This is the main reason for more than 3000 deaths annually in the city, as per WHO.
Main Cause Of Air Pollution
- Emission from vehicles are clogging up the air and filling the space with dark-colored fumes
- Power stations fuelled with non-renewable energy sources
- Lack of open green spaces
- Old vehicles with no filtration technology
- Industrial emissions
These are the reasons for the degraded health of people in Georgia. It majorly impacts children and affects their cognitive and motor skills. The government has set up air quality monitoring systems to reduce the air pollutants and bring the air quality to the prescribed level.
UNDP is also supporting the country’s monitoring system and has funded the project. This will help financially to install monitoring systems across the country.
Georgia has not only poor air but also contaminated water. Lack of waste treatment facilities has given rise to this environmental issue. More than 170 million people reside around the major water areas of the country who contribute to this pollution.
Along with this, waste collected from different sectors such as health, agricultural production, and municipalities adds to it. As a result, the concentration of heavy metals, ammonia, and BOD3 have increased.
One of the biggest contributors to the water pollution in Georgia is the improper use of Landfills. The country has more than 60 landfills, and most of them do not have a proper waste collection system.
In addition to this, these landfills are not supervised by the government. Only big cities and districts have a standard waste management system. Small villages and areas lack this system, and residents dump the waste either onto the road or nearby rivers. This is the reason why the morbidity rate in Georgia is gradually on the rise.
Respiratory problems, neurological disorders, and other health issues are the results of these environmental issues in Georgia. And not just humans, animals, and biological resources are getting negatively impacted.
The country is facing severe biodiversity loss, and a few flora and fauna species are about to go extinct. According to the UN convention, increased grazing activity, contaminated water, and timber logging are the main causes of reduced habitat.
Moreover, these environmental issues are bringing faster climate change in Georgia than in other parts of the globe. It is receiving a 10-15 % increase in precipitation at ground level and up to 20% in the mountain areas.