The government of Georgia has approved a draft law on “Biodiversity” that aims to protect and enhance the country’s rich biological diversity and harmonize its legislation with the European Union’s nature conservation policy.
The draft law was developed by the Ministry of Environment and Agriculture of Georgia, with the support of the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Swedish Agency for Development and Cooperation (SIDA), as part of the state policy of Eurointegration.
The draft law reflects the provisions of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, which requires Georgia to approximate its legislation to 27 environmental regulations of the EU. According to the ministry, legislative approximation has already been implemented to 20 legal acts, and active work is underway to approximate the remaining seven.
The draft law defines the legal framework and principles for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, including the establishment of a national system of protected areas, the regulation of invasive alien species, the prevention of human-wildlife conflict, the development of a national red list of threatened species, and the promotion of public awareness and participation.
The national “Red Bill” will become analogous to the Red Bill of Endangered Species by the World Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Therefore, the “red map” will be a tool for describing and evaluating the situation of all kinds of populations in Georgia.
At the same time, the draft law creates the legal basis for the establishment and management of the emerald network territories in Georgia; it also includes the issues of the establishment and management of a biosphere reserve, establishes the status of international overhead areas of Georgia and also defines the category of territories in the international networks in Georgia – UNESCO Global Issues of establishment and management of a geopark.
The bill includes the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the conditions for accessing and using genetic resources.
The draft law also aims to ensure that biodiversity components are utilized in a way and volume that does not cause long-term loss and helps preserve their potential to perform their ecological, social and economic functions.
The central part of the law is planned to come into force from January 1, 2026, and some norms will come into force in 2027-2029.
The ministry stated that adopting the draft law will contribute to improving the environmental situation in Georgia, fulfilling the country’s international obligations, and integrating Georgia into the European family.