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Georgia: Forest reform draws fire from NGOs and World Bank
For the first time, Georgia has given 20-year concessions to private companies to manage its forests, including those with a high conservation value. This measure was taken after a hasty round of bidding. The World Bank and various NGOs have expressed their concern that the Georgian state is repeating errors committed in other countries and has failed to take all the necessary steps to ensure sustainable forest management, such as an inventory of forests to establish their economic profitability. Consequently, the amount of about $4.5 million earned by the state through the auction is considered low given the ecological and socio-economic value of the forests. The winning companies are little-known and do not provide much guarantee that they will follow a plan to prevent clear-cutting.
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Posted By Anne-Sophie Samjee at 9:15am on May 17, 2007
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