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Lazika sinks in swamp?2012-06-13 17:55
For today we know not much about the city of Lazika, widely promoted by the government channels. Despite the president's desire to build an ultra-modern city, environmentalists and economists believe this is a disadvantageous project for Georgia. President's dream threatens the existence of a unique Kolkhsky Reserve. First of all, the non-existent city needs House of Justice, which is under construction now, while the master plan of Lazika still does not exist.
Residents of the city of Poti, which is located near the future Lazika, note that the climate has much changed in recent years. "Houses are in the moisture; the walls are covered with the moss. The sea was far away from our house, but it has gradually come nearer to us - now it's in 500 meters", a resident of the city of Poti Nely Koiava said. Dangerous structures need salvation, but this remains unnoticed by the government, since they are building a new city of the 21st century". Lazika is 25 kilometers away from Poti. The first thing they started to build in the future city was House of Justice.
We have talked to Kakha Glonti overseeing the construction project: "They call it this way - House of Justice, but there's still no people in Lazika", Kakha Glonti said laughing. "I do not know, they said this was House of Justice".
"There are police officers everywhere - it is necessary to arrest people even in the non-existant city", residents of Poti say.
Parliament has a bill, initiated by the Government, which shows the approximate location of the future city. Lazika will be constructed between Anaklia and Kulevi. Under the project, a part of Kolkhsky national park will lose this status and won't protect area any more, which allows any activity here, including the construction.
Environmental development of the Kolkhsky Lowland, started 6-7 thousand years ago, has not yet been completed, and the local nature may still expect surprises. And the incompetent decision of the Georgian government may finally destroy this unique reserve.
The region of Anaklia-Churi of Kolkhsky Reserve is located between the rivers of Hobi and Tikori. 773,000 hectares of this area represent a maritime coast and peat bog pool. The function of peatlands is very important: during rainstorms the turf absorbs large amounts of water like a sponge, protecting the area from drying out.
Around the lake Paliastomi, which is also located there, is always full of birds - the geese, ducks, cranes, gulls ... In total - 196 species of birds. Plants that do not exist even in Europe, which was unanimously say environmentalists, are also preserved there.
Such areas are protected by the international Convention for the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Georgia acceded to the Convention in 1992. Kolkhsky Reserve is the object proposed by the government of Georgia as a candidate for entry into the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ramaz Gokhelashvili, expert on Biodiversity and Protected Areas: "This is world-famous reserve. If it is damaged, it damages not only the population of Georgia, but the whole world, since it is natural monument to all mankind".