Save Dighomi Forest Park

22 Sep, 2010

On September 11, 2009 the “Sakrebulo” amended Tbilisi Prospective General Plan  based on the project proposal from Tbilisi City Hall and quite a long list of recreation zones was transformed into public-business and living zones. Dighomi Forest Park, that has a great history and is distinguished for its unique flora, was also assigned the status of public-business zone. Different 7000 plants and 14 plants listed in the Red Book can be found on the territory of the Park.

The problem related to Dighomi Park is unknown to the majority of the society. The campaign, aimed at saving the park, took place on Septemer 23. The representatives from embassies, international organizations, NGOs, City Hall, “Sakrebulo” and media, as well as famous public figures attended the event.

“The main goal of our campaign is to inform the society about the danger faced by Dighomi Park during the last years. Some territories of the park have been gradually privatized and illegal constructions are taking place. Current situation exposes this important zone of greatest ecologic value to danger and I think that each of us must play the role in saving this unique forest” – stated Keti Khutsishvili, the Executive Director of the “Open Society – Georgia” Foundation.

“This place is extremely beautiful. We want the Park to regain its old status and spread the will and opinion of the people gathered here’ – noted Ana Gabriadze, a painter and active citizen, who lives close to the Park and due to her efforts the major part of Dighomi forest is saved now.

The event was organized by the “Open Society Georgia Foundation”, “Caucasus Environmental NGO Network” (CENN), Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, Center for Human Rights and Ana Gabriadze’s Initiative Group.

During the campaign, the studio “Monitor” showed the film that is based on journalistic investigation and that describes the events happening after the amendment of the General Plan by Sakrebulo; the illegal owners of the Park land are also mentioned in the film.

“There are two confronting realities faced by this recreative zone. On one hand, there is still no decision made regarding the returning of the appropriated forest land to the city. On the other hand, the management of the city spends enormous efforts for the maintenance of the park every year. The whole territory of this zone is divided into private land plots and despite the official prohibition still remains to be the subject for sale. The existing problem is even more complicated by the poor sanitary, ecological and structural-functional conditions” – noted Rezo Getiashvili, the representative of the “Caucasus Environmental NGO Network” (CENN).

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