Georgia announces mountain development strategy for 2019-2023
A total of 66 million GEL (about $24.84m/€21.90m) will be spent on developing mountainous regions in Georgia, to improve infrastructure and conditions for those living there, Trend reports referring to Agenda.ge.
The money is allocated by the National Council for Mountain Development and the Fund for the Development of the Highlands of Georgia will be spent on projects that are included to Georgia’s new mountain development strategy.
The Prime Minister of Georgia Mamuka Bakhtadze presented the ‘Development of High Mountain Regions of Georgia 2019-2023’, which addresses the challenges faced by the highland population of Georgia and promotes local economic development in the mountainous regions.
'We would have liked to have such a strategy since the day of Independence of Georgia. This would have enabled us to solve many problems that the Georgian mountain areas face earlier. But I am sure this strategy will enable us to solve all major problems in the shortest period of time”, said Bakhtadze.
Bakhtadze stated that one of the priorities of the strategy is the sustainable development of Georgia’s highlands, supporting small and medium sized business there, farming and cooperative development, promotion and production of demanded agricultural products.
Development of road infrastructure will continue, new roads will be built along with repair of the old ones that will enable us fully to use highland region’s economic and tourism potential. 4-season tourism infrastructure and services will be developed in mountainous areas and renovation of cultural monuments will be continued there”, said Bakhtadze.
Bakhtadze highlighted the importance of the Mountain Law that came into force in July 2015 and since than 1,730 villages have been recognised as high-mountainous settlements in Georgia, where over 300,000 residents benefit from the law, “which is almost 10% of Georgia’s population”.
The event was held within the International Mountain Day which Georgia marks for the first time today. ‘MountainsMatter’ is the theme chosen for this year’s celebration of International Mountain Day that has been marked worldwide on December 11 since 2003.
Today symbolic awards were given to people who contributed to the development of Georgia’s mountains, people who live and work in the country’s highland areas.
Within the celebration of the International Mountain Day a fair of goods produced in the highlands was also held.
Bakhtadze initiated the establishment of a local celebration of ‘Mountain Week’, which will symbolically be held in Georgia on the day of the issuance of the ‘Mountain Law’ of Georgia – July 16.
Also a faculty of the Sustainable Development of Mountains will be created at the Georgian Technical University.