The critical environmental and sustainability issues of Georgia:
Lack of accountability of government bodies, especially the police are leading to human rights violations. Georgia does not have an independent mechanism for investigating abuse by various government agencies and officials. This has been reported by the Human Rights Watch organisation. This is followed up in other areas like Privacy challenges, Labour right, Media Freedom, Marriage act, etc. These legal challenges or absence of legal mechanisms to ensure transparent governance in the country is a major challenge the country needs to address.
Within 10 months in 2018, the Public Defender’s office studied 700 cases of violation of child’s rights. Little progress has been achieved since, as the situation of child’s rights remains difficult in Georgia.
The country being a traditional agricultural country ,with half of the population living in rural areas, makes subsistence agriculture the major livelihood. Share of agriculture to GDP has reduced significantly; what was 42% in 1995 has dropped to less than 10% in 2010. Since the share of employment has never declined this creates an employment issue. Poor productivity, land fragmentation, poor technology and market issues have been identified as the major contributors for the current scenario. In the year 2018 agriculture contributed to 7.7% of GDP and 41% of the rural population still depends on it.
- Environmental Degradation
The former USSR member is facing a lot of environmental challenges especially air pollution and hazardous waste. Both of these issues are attributed to the poor economic development and scientific development which has prevented the industries from developing emission free standards and technologies. This is coupled with the rise in plastic waste. All these forms of waste account for approximately 900000 tonnes of waste generation, of which 75% ends up in landfills which is least desirable. Most landfills are poorly managed, thereby causing leakage and toxic waste emission.
This is a key Macroeconomic issue faced by Georgian Population and a major priority. The unemployment rate has been hovering around 11-13% for the past decade. And this doesn’t even give a clear picture. Unemployment is severe in the rural sector and labour market.
Two points to be noted in this segment is incomplete unemployment and seasonal employment. Incomplete employment is defined if the person has worked for 1 hour in the past 7 days. Hence the data which is available does not show the complete picture.
Georgia acts as a transit between Western Asia and Eastern Europe, and hence is a hub for economic development if addressed positively. Several steps and investments have been carried out throughout the year by the ruling government. The road and rail network does not meet the demand of local transport and the rail share of transport is just 1%. Multimodal and intermodal connections are poor and services are unavailable. This lack has been assessed as the major contributor for the unemployment issue of the country.