Massive use of Georgian forests for social purposes over the last 25 years is putting the country at risk of an environmental disaster as well as socio-economic and energy shocks.
In Georgia, firewood is the main source of heating. Its share as a fuel source ranges from 75-96% by region1. The amount of firewood legally provided to the population of Georgia—which is for the most part supplied by means of small-scale logging by private individuals in areas allocated by the National Forestry Agency (following the NFA)—has decreased to a critical point. According to Georgian legislation, the Government of Georgia is obliged to provide firewood resources for its population. Georgian Forest Code2 gives the definition of Social Cutting – in the cases envisaged by the law of Georgia, implementing the relevant activities to provide timber to local population, authorities depended on state budget, Legal Entities of Public Law as well as other authorities determined by the Georgian Government with timber.
Surveys conducted in the forestry and energy sectors have shown a firewood deficit, with a dramatic difference between annual firewood consumption and the amount of firewood officially allocated by the government. Due to the urgency of the problem, in 2014 an obligation to develop a state programme on the provision of the population with fuel resources became part of the environmental component of the implementation of the EU Association Agreement road map.
Download the study report – Assessment of Firewood Consumption and Firewood Production Potential in Georgia