Joint OSCE-UNEP assessment report on environmental impact of recent conflict in Georgia released

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VIENNA, 28 October 2008 - The Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities released on Monday a final report of a joint OSCE-UNEP mission to assess the environmental impacts of the recent conflict in Georgia.

The five-day mission, which took place from 29 September to 3 October, was led by the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities, Bernard Snoy, and the UNEP Regional Director for Europe, Christophe Bouvier.

"The objective of the mission was to listen to the widest possible range of views on the environmental impact of the conflict. The Report provides recommendations to remedy identified environmental issues including possible confidence-building measures," said Snoy.

The OSCE-UNEP mission assessed the damage caused by fire, including in the area of the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park. It also gained access to the so-called "Security Zone" and identified priority environmental issues related to access to and quality of water, availability of firewood or other sources of energy ahead of the winter season, and waste disposal.

The Mission met high-level Georgian government representatives and technical experts from government ministries, international organizations and civil society. The team drew upon the expertise of technical consultants from the United Nations Environmental Programme and of the Director of the Global Fire Monitoring Centre and Co-ordinator of the UN-International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Global Wildland Fire Network.

The full report is available here