Restoring landscapes to reduce poverty gap in Georgia - WB

Restoring landscapes to reduce poverty gap in Georgia - WB

BAKU, Azerbaijan, May 18

Tamilla Mammadova – Trend:

Restoring landscapes is projected to reduce the poverty gap by 6 percent in Georgia, Trend reports via the World Bank report "Georgia: Towards Green and Resilient Growth".

The report estimates losses associated with pollution and degradation of agricultural and forest land and coastal zones.

"The cost of agricultural and forest land degradation, which disproportionately impacts the rural poor who derive their livelihoods from land, was estimated at $128 million", reads the report.

The World Bank says that climate change will further exacerbate environmental degradation, particularly in Georgia’s coastal zones.

"In 2018, climate-driven flooding, erosion, waste, and damage to soil were estimated at 5 percent of coastal zone GDP. The report emphasizes the importance of natural assets for Georgia’s long-term development and outlines how recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity for the country to build back better, fairer, and greener", reads the report.

Annual agricultural land losses are estimated to cost $122 million.

The estimate includes:

- Loss of pasture productivity due to land degradation;
- Loss of electricity generation due to river sedimentation;
- Reduction of irrigated land.

Social impact of land degradation:

- Agriculture and forestry contribute to the economy and job creation and represent about 7 percent of GDP and 42 percent of employment;
- Rural people derive about 47–61 percent of their income from agriculture and forestry.

If landscapes were restored, the poverty gap would be reduced by 6 percent for the poorest 20 percent of Georgia's population

Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, Georgia has pledged to enhance sustainable development and to curb global warming through its recently updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which sets forth specific measures for greenhouse gas emission reductions and climate change adaptation.

As part of its updated NDC, Georgia pledged a 35 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 as compared to 1990. At the Conference of the Parties (COP) in Glasgow, later this year, Georgia and all Paris Agreement signatories will be reporting on the progress made towards these targets.

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