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Empowering Georgian Youth to Protect the Black Sea

Empowering Georgian Youth to Protect the Black Sea


High school students from seven public schools across Batumi, Bobokvati, Gonio, Kobuleti, and Poti gathered at Batumi State University for an immersive educational experience aimed at understanding and safeguarding the fragile Black Sea ecosystem.

Young advocates of the Black Sea engaged in insightful discussions with esteemed researchers, exploring the wonders of marine biodiversity, the pressing threats to the ecosystem, and actionable steps for conservation.

Motivated students will be offered a chance to engage in dolphin monitoring effectively becoming Black Sea researchers themselves. Over the coming months, they will participate in diverse educational and environmental activities, including Clean Beach Days and guided tours of protected areas. The culmination of this educational journey will be marked in October with a celebratory gathering in Batumi for the annual Black Sea Day, uniting Black Sea researchers, environmental activists, and youth.

This exciting educational initiative is organised by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the National Environment Agency of Georgia’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture. It falls under the EU/UNDP regional project ‘European Union for Improving Environmental Monitoring in the Black Sea’ (EU4EMBLAS), a joint initiative with the governments of Georgia and Ukraine.

Between 2014 and 2019, EU4EMBLAS spearheaded regular monitoring surveys, conducted by an international team of researchers, shedding light on the environmental status of the Black Sea.

The last such research released in 2020 revealed environmental challenges, including plastic waste pollution along the Georgian coast (90.5 items per sq. km), microplastics at depths of 2,000 meters, hazardous chemical influxes, and the intrusion of invasive species. Positive biodiversity trends showcased the resilience of certain species sensitive to pollution and the return of the European oyster, previously extinct since the 1940s.

In its current phase, set to continue until the end of 2024, the EU4EMBLAS project remains committed to supporting governments, educational institutions, civil society, and communities in Georgia and Ukraine. The project offers targeted interventions to mitigate pollution and provides policymakers with recommendations to safeguard the Black Sea ecosystem.

About the European Union

For over 30 years, the European Union has built a close partnership with Georgia, supporting its development through knowledge and experience sharing, expertise, innovation, and financial support. The relationship between the EU and Georgia is based on shared values of peace, freedom, democracy, human rights, and inclusive economic growth. More information about the EU’s support in Georgia can be found at https://eu4georgia.eu/the-european-union-in-georgia/

About the EU4EMBLAS Project:

The ‘European Union for Improving Environmental Monitoring in the Black Sea’ (EU4EMBLAS) is the fourth phase of the joint EU/UNDP project, implemented by UNDP in partnership with the governments of Georgia and Ukraine. With its overall goal to improve the Black Sea protection, the project addresses the limitations in the availability of accurate, reliable, and comparable data on the marine environment, building national capacities of both countries to monitor the marine environment in line with the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and Water Framework Directive (WFD). Furthermore, the project assists Georgia and Ukraine in raising public awareness of the Black Sea environmental issues and facilitating engagement in conservation and protection measures. Since its inception in 2013, EU4EMBLAS has received a total EU funding of EUR 6.65 million. For more information, visit: https://emblasproject.org

Media contacts:

●        Olena Marushevska, EU4EMBLAS, bluerivers.ukraine@gmail.com  

●        Sophie Tchitchinadze, UNDP in Georgia, +995 196907, sophie.tchitchinadze@undp.org

●        Ira Sulava, UNDP, +995 599 579105, irine.sulava@undp.org