On February 15, leading Georgian environmental and advocacy CSOs, including Green Alternative, Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA), and Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC) launched the first Civil Society Green Platform in Georgia with the organizational and financial support from EWMI ACCESS.
Amid growing concerns over ecosystem destruction due to large infrastructural projects and its impact on humans, Georgian advocacy and human rights CSOs decided to join efforts with their green counterparts to address these problems through awareness raising and advocacy. The new Platform will facilitate cooperation within civil society to highlight multi-faceted nature of environmental problems (e.g. its impact on human rights, health care, economic development), amplify the voices of green activists, and build on each other’s strengths to increase impact on a policy level.
The founding members of the platform are EWMI ACCESS’ grantees who took part in its “CSO bus tours” organized last year to reach out to and assist the most remote and under-represented communities in Racha-Lechkhumi and Zemo Svaneti. At the open meetings in villages, local community representatives named environmental and social impacts of large infrastructural projects among their top concerns. Apart from addressing environmental issues at the policy level, the Civil Society Green Platform will organize regular field visits to the affected regions to provide local communities with legal and advocacy support, when needed.
The platform is open to all stakeholders, including academia, civic activists and population of the affected regions. Environmental activists and residents of Racha-Lechkhumi, Lower Svaneti and Gudamakari Gorge also attended the meeting and joined the platform.