Environmental Sustainability of Georgian Economic Policies in 2004-2013

Working Paper

Ia Eradze, July 2014

Georgia has gone through drastic socio-economic and political changes in the last few decades. However, most of the research conducted on Georgia is based on foreign policy issues and reviews the problems and perspectives of the country’s relations with Russia, USA or European Union (Freire, M.R.,/Kanet, R. E., 2012; Darchiashvili, D., 2000). Another well-studied area is security studies (Felberbauer, E. M./Labane, F. eds. 2013; German, T. C., 2008, 2013; De Waal, T., 2010; Boden, D., 2011) and covers the conflicts with Abkhazia and South-Ossetia, as well as the topics of energy security. Security and foreign affair issues have dominated and outweighed the importance of internal problems in academic circles, public discussions, media and political party programs. Especially the questions of economic development in the environmental framework have been more or less left in shade. The academic literature on Georgia in the framework of sustainable development is quite scarce. There are certain organizations and researchers who work on environmental (NGO-Green Alternative, Matcharashvili 2012, Inasaridze 2013) or social aspects (Rekhviashvili  2012) of economic development but still, not in the framework of sustainability. It might sound paradoxical, but even though since 2010 the Georgian ministry of Economic development is called the ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development (there is also a special department for sustainable development), still no official sustainable development strategy exists (Gegeshdize/Gujaraidze 2005:2).