On April 1, 2016, at the Holiday Inn Hotel, the USAID funded program the Institutionalization of Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Georgian Regions (ICCAMGR) hosted the National Conference on “Climate Change at the Local Level: Policy and Action”. The National Conference gathered representatives from the national and municipal governments, NGOs, donor agencies and international guests. During the conference, speeches were given by the First Deputy Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources Protection, Mr. Teimuraz Murghulia and First Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, Mr. Tengiz Shergelashvili and Representatives of USAID.
The main purpose of the Conference was to review and officially approve the Road Map on Climate Change Adaptation, a sophisticated tool for supporting national and municipal policy development. This report was created with ICCAMGR’s framework. In addition, participants gained from the international experience of guests from Armenia, France and Austria about practical mechanisms for integrating local authorities into national decision making processes.
The ICCAMGR program promotes integration of environmental and climate change considerations into the agenda of local authorities in Georgia. The program started institutionalizing climate change adaptation practices through establishment of special commissions on climate change and sustainable development within local municipal governments. To-date, ICCAMGR has established 65 municipal-based commissions to serve as critical communications links between the local and national authorities. All commission members have received intensive trainings in relevant fields and gained knowledge and skills to identify and effectively adapt to climate change issues in their municipalities. These commissions, or working groups, work to ensure the effective implementation of a broad range of statutory functions of local authorities related to natural resources management, land use and sustainable development.