SUKHUM / AQW'A ― The public organisation "Abkhaz Desk" recently announced the culmination of its year-long environmental initiative, "Save the World from Garbage." The program, launched last November in Abkhazia, has made notable strides in promoting eco-friendly practices.
A panel discussion was convened in Sukhum on October 25th to discuss fostering an ecological lifestyle in Abkhazia. The session saw participation from prominent environmentalists, eco-activists, and public figures from the republic.
Highlighting their achievements, the Abkhaz Desk team shed light on the success of their environmental endeavours. As an innovative approach, they installed two vending machines in Sukhum, designed to collect plastic bottles. In exchange for the bottles, these machines dispense food for homeless animals. Additionally, in collaboration with the State Committee on Youth and Sports, Abkhaz Desk organised Abkhazia's maiden plugging race on Sinop beach. This event, blending fitness and environmental conservation, had over 100 participants who collectively gathered more than 600 kg of litter.
Throughout the initiative's duration, over a ton of plastic was amassed and sent for recycling. This remarkable feat was made possible with the support of project partner Eco Apsny, an organisation committed to collecting recyclables in Abkhazia and transporting them to recycling facilities in Russia.
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The Abkhaz Desk's green initiative also embraced diverse activities like hosting an environmental film festival, inaugurating a plastic lid art installation titled "Seagull" (crafted by artists Apscha Khagba and Diana Khintba), producing informative videos, and orchestrating open panel discussions centred on ecological issues.
Mramza Lakashia, a representative of Abkhaz Desk, emphasised the importance of such ventures, stating, "These projects spotlight pressing environmental concerns and demonstrate pragmatic ways to reduce waste. We have successfully drawn attention to eco-friendly lifestyles, debunking the myth that society isn't prepared for such transitions. The evolving mindset of the younger generation towards eco-conscious choices is evident, and it's heartening to observe the growing inclination for workshops on sustainable crafts."
Echoing her sentiment, colleague Omar Kharchlaa accentuated the pivotal role of public organisations in addressing environmental challenges. He asserted, "All public bodies must prioritise the environmental aspect in their operations, irrespective of their primary focus. Collaborative efforts with state ecological agencies are paramount, with no scope for any prejudiced approach."
It's noteworthy that the "Save the World from Garbage" campaign by Abkhaz Desk was executed under the auspices of the UN Development Programme and the Swedish International Development Agency's project "Building Resilience to Climate Risks".