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Georgia's green wealth2013-01-09 17:21
If you look at the Earth from space, it's easy to determine Georgia's location: Georgia, which is one of the most forested countries, is located in place of the concentration of green color between the Black and Caspian seas. In the Georgian forests the largest area is occupied by beech forests as well as by tracts of oak and oak-hornbeam, spruce, fir, pine, chestnut forests. Unfortunately, the use of forest resources is completely irrational.
Forests cover over 40% of the territory of Georgia. However, about 98% of the forests are located in mountainous areas, on the slopes, which only increase their value as soil and water conservator.
The first thing to note is disastrous situation with a unique array of chestnut forests in western Georgia. High demand for chestnut timber abroad has led to over-harvesting of this valuable tree, and under the guise of "thinning" (requires cutting the sick and weakened trees) quite healthy old trees have been cut and exported. As a result, chestnut forests of Georgia have thinned out; and it is seen with naked eye if you look at the slopes of Imereti in the early summer, when the chestnut blossoms. And the remaining chestnuts, as a rule young and low, this is a clear sign that the most valuable trees have long got cut down.
The situation with beech forests is no better. And the sad thing is that, in addition to exports, vast part of this valuable species is used as firewood. Meanwhile, heating the oven with the beech - it's like heating with money bills. Beech is one of the best breeds for the production of high quality furniture. Paradox, but Georgia during the winter burns in the stove thousands of cubic meters of valuable timber, while wealthier citizens buy expensive imported furniture made of low-quality chipboard.
We should tell about another "forest field" popular in Georgia. Past New Year around the world was marked by increased demand for so-called "Danish spruce" - Nordmann fir, in the cultivation of which Denmark specializes. Thousands of hectares of land in the country and neighboring Germany were allocated for cultivation of this species as a New Year fir tree. Unlike the ordinary fir the Nordmann fir does not crumble for months.
Meanwhile, it would be more correct to call the "Danish spruce" "Georgian", since in the past 20 years, nearly 90% of seeds in Denmark for Nordmann fir plantations (or Caucasian fir) come from Georgia. The main center of fir industry in Georgia is located in Racha, primarily in Ambrolauri district.
To grow five thousand "Danish" Christmas trees, you need about 1 kg of seeds pf Nordmann fir, which is obtained from 10 kg of cones. Price of 1 kg of seeds of fir in Denmark is about 100 euros. Having sold Christmas trees grown from these seeds in 5-10 years, for 30-100 euros each (depending on the size and quality) you can gain 150-500 euros. According to some estimates, the total European business with the "Danish spruce" is estimated at 2 billion euros, and the "core" of the business is in Georgian cones.
Collectors in Georgia, who are risking their lives, climbing at a 50-60 meter fir, last season got 5 lari per 10 kg of cones (just over 2 euros). And this is considered almost happiness, given the massive unemployment in the mountains. Therefore, this business gives great income to the companies engaged in collecting and sale of the fir seeds. At the same time, there have been recorded dozens of accidents among the cones collectors in recent years, often fatal, and those who were lucky enough to survive, sometimes become disabled for life ..