Black Sea Is Damaged by Human Activity, the Environmental Research Reveals

Photo – illustration: Pixabay

Findings of the Black Sea Monitoring Surveys, carried out by the team of Georgian, Ukrainian and European researchers with assistance from the European Union (EU) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), were presented in Tbilisi on May 23, 2017.

The event brought together representatives of the Georgian Government, environmental organizations, research institutions and international agencies.

Gigla Agulashvili, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of Georgia; Tamar Bagratia, Head of the National Environment Agency of Georgia; Niels Scott, Head of UNDP in Georgia; and Vincent Rey, Head of Cooperation Section of the European Union Delegation to Georgia, addressed the participants with welcome remarks.

Jaroslav Slobodnik, Team Leader of the EU / UNDP project “Improving Environmental Monitoring in the Black Sea” (EMBLAS-II), and Archil Guchmanidze, Head of Fisheries and Black Sea Monitoring Department of the National Environment Agency of Georgia, presented the findings of the survey and described key challenges faced by the Black Sea.

The Joint Black Sea Monitoring Surveys have been carried out in 2016-2017 with funds from the European Union and UNDP, in cooperation with the governments and research institutions of Georgia and Ukraine. This unique research was carried out in the territorial waters of Georgia and Ukraine by a team of researchers from both countries and five EU member-states.

The Black Sea Monitoring Surveys examined the environmental status of the Black Sea, screened emerging pollutants, studied marine litter and aquatic life below the oxygen layer, and compiled a photographic identity catalogue of dolphins.

The research identified most pressing challenges faced by the Black Sea in the last 20 years and highlighted the need for coordinated response of the Black Sea countries in line with the European Union water legislation.

The Joint Black Sea Monitoring Surveys contribute to the implementation of Georgia’s and Ukraine’s Association Agreements with the European Union in the field of marine and water strategies, as well as to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 related to the sustainable use of seas and oceans.