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Presentation of Research Report Potential and Actual Environmental Migrants in Georgia: Experiences and Self-Assessments

Tbilisi, Georgia – On February 25, 2016, Europe Foundation will be presenting its recent report “Potential and Actual Environmental Migrants in Georgia: Experiences and Self-Assessments.” This event is being held at Radisson Blue Iveria Hotel within the framework of the project: Advocating for the Rights of Eco-Migrants funded by the European Union and through Institute of Democracy.

The report is based on qualitative research conducted in 3 municipalities of Georgia, in order to identify the most pressing issues that are facing potential and actual environmental migrant families, as well as residents of host communities. The event will start with opening remarks from Ms. Keteven Vashakidze, President of Europe Foundation and Mr. Stephen Stork, Deputy Head of Operations Section in the EU Delegation Georgia, followed by a presentation of the report by Dr. Tinatin Zurabishvili. Mr. Genadi Geladze, Head of the Executive Council of Institute of Democracy, will frame the discussion within the larger project implemented with support from the European Union. The audience will have a chance to hear from Mr. Sozar Subari, Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia, who will provide information about the work of the Ministry to address the identified issues of concern.

The research shows that both potential and actual environmental migrant families, as well as their host communities lack information about their rights and responsibilities and feel disenfranchised, as they are unable to participation in decision-making processes relevant to their future (e.g. resettlement). Their situation is exacerbated by deficient legal framework and lack of reliable data about eco-migrants. Some of the recommendations derived from the findings are: (1) to address legal lacunae that preclude relevant stakeholders to move forward with resolving the pending issues, (2) to design and implement information campaigns to increase the target group’s awareness, and (3) to establish easy-to-understand, transparent, and fair procedures for all stages of resettlement.

Europe Foundation (EPF) is a local non-governmental organization with a mission to empower people to effect change for social justice and economic prosperity through hands-on programs, helping them to improve their communities and their own lives. EPF engages citizens in social, economic, and political developments, to effect sustainable positive socio-economic change at the local, regional, and national level through both operational programs and grant making. For additional information about EPF please visit the website www.epfound.ge.

The event will take place on February 25 during 14:00-16:30, at Radisson Blue Iveria Hotel, Ballroom 1, (Address: 1 Rose Revolution Square, Tbilisi)

Contact Person: Natia Berdzenisili, Program Manager, E-mail: nberdzenishvili@epfound.ge, tel: 225-39-42/43

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