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7.4. Environment - Immediately after the elections, all mainstream political parties, including the ruling party,...


7.4. Environment



Preparation of Second National Environmental Action Programme



The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Georgia (MoE) started preparation of the second National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP-2) with the support of the project financed by the government of the Netherlands.

NEAP-2 covers activities to be implemented in 2011-2015. The following 11 priority sectors have been identified during consultations with the relevant stakeholders: Climate Change, Waste Management, Water Resources, Ambient Air, Land resources, Nuclear and radiation Safety, Biodiversity (including protected areas), Disasters (hydrometeorology and natural disasters), Mineral Resources, Forestry and the Black Sea.

Working group, consisting of a representative from the relevant unit of MoE, local consultant and international expert has been established for each specific priority sector. NEAP-2 preparation process has been conducted in consultations with the stakeholders. Several stakeholder meetings have been held at a very early stage of the document preparation process. Drafts of the NEAP-2 chapters are available on the web-site of the MoE (moe.gov.ge) for comments and suggestions.

Environmental performance review in Georgia



Following the request of the Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources to the Committee on Environmental Policy (CEP/UNECE), Environmental Performance Review has been carried out by 12 experts hired by the UNECE on the basis of the discussions and consultations with different authorities. The document presented the review of the environmental performance in Georgia, since 2003. It included the overview of the current situation and implemented activities, as well as the recommendations for the further strengthening of environmental governance, based on the identified gaps and problems. The English version of the document was already published.

Preparation of Report on the State of Environment



According to the Georgian Law on Environmental Protection (1996), the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources should prepare the report on the State of Environment

every 3 years to be approved by the President of Georgia.

The EU funded project – ``Support to the Improvement of the Environmental Governance in Georgia`` provides support to the Ministry in preparation of the ``2007-2009 Report on State of Environment.``

The first draft of the document was elaborated that encorporates stakeholders’ comments.

Development of Draft Law on Waste Management



Draft Law On Waste Management has been developed by the Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Resources.

Currently, under the ENP AP, in cooperation with the project administration office (PAO), established within the apparatus of the State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, the TWINNIG project on waste management has been developed. The main objectives of the project are:

The project will be launched in 2011.

Development of Draft Law on Water Resources in compliance with Water Resources Basin Management principle



Under the EU project “ Environmental Collaboration for the Black Sea” work on the development of the new version of Water Law is underway.

The new draft Law on Water resources is being developed under the EU regional project - `Water Governance in East Europe and Caucasus (Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Caucasian Countries). A preliminary version has been drafted.

Preparation of Environmental Code



The draft Environmental Code has been developed by the Ministry with the financial support of the UNDP. The Code unified all the environmental laws and regulations. In the process of the Draft Preparation, the public discussions on the Code has been carried out.

Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes

Following the activities, carried out under the project Identification of the legal and Institutional needs for accession and implementation of the UNECE Water Convention by Georgia and Azerbaijan (ENVSEC project jointly implemented with UNECE and OSCE), the background for the ratification of the convention will be prepared.

For the Implementation of the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Helsinki, 1992) and the strengthening of the transboundary collaboration between Georgia and Azerbaijan, the document, named Identification of the legal and Institutional needs for implementation of UNECE water convention has been prepared in cooperation with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Georgia.

The first draft of the Agreement on `Bilateral Cooperation in the field of Water Management` between Georgia and Azerbaijan has been developed.

Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context

The project proposal “Improvement of Environmental Impact Assessment System” has been developed. It has been submitted to the Government of Netherlands and has been approved and launching of the project is planned in 2011.

The project proposal envisages an improved environmental quality and ecological sustainability; good environmental governance which means well informed, participatory and transparent decision-making, improvement of the living standard of the population and assessment and improvement of EIA legislative basis. The mentioned project is considered to be a preparatory instrument for the ratification of UNECE-Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in Transboundary Context.

Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents

Authentic text of the convention i Georgian has been prepared. Within the framework of the convention the project proposal on “Improvement of legal basis for major hazard prevention in Georgia has been elaborated and submitted to the bureau of the convention in July 2009 but there was a lack of financial support during that period by the Secretariat of the convention. At the Conference of Parties of the Convention (COP6 2010) it was decided to finance the project implementation through the convention’s trust fund. The implementation of the project requires the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Georgia and UNECE, the preparation for which is ongoing.

Preparatory activities for the accession to 1984 Protocol on Long-term Financing of the Cooperative Programme for Monitoring and Evaluation of the Long-range Transmission of Air Pollutants in Europe (EMEP) of United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution has started.

Presently the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources is in the process of developing the following documents: Environmental Performance Review, National Environmental Action Plan; State of Environment Report. These documents can serve as a solid ground during the process of elaboration of the Strategy of Sustainable Development.

7.5. Education and Science



Higher Education



Reforms



In 2010, Legal Entity of Public Law National Centre for Educational Quality Enhancement (NCEQE) was established on the basis of former National Centre for Educational Accreditation. According to the amendments introduced to the law on Professional Education, NCEQE is responsible for developing qualification system and enhancing education quality. Under the umbrella of the NCEQE, a sectoral council is functioning which was formed in the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia in 2009 and consists of employers, trade unions, public institutions, higher educational institutions, scientific research institutions and professional educational institutions. .

Professional Qualification Framework, Professional Qualification List and other important documents were elaborated with the active involvement of this sectoral council.

Meetings, consultations and academic summits were arranged for the discussion of the draft Higher Education Qualifications Framework and the List of Qualifications. On 21 October, 2010, the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia and the NCEQE held joint presentation of the National Qualifications Framework. The draft Framework is published on the NCEQE web-page - www.nea.ge

Intensive work is underway for the approval of professional and sectoral standards. Tens of draft professional standards are published on the NCEQE webpage (www.nea.ge) for public discussion.

According to the changes introduced to the Georgian Law on Professional Education, National Centre for Educational Quality Enhancement is accountable for continuation of work on elaborating professional standards. Sectoral Council members, field experts and other stakeholders are actively involved in the process of developing professional standards. Up to 80 professional standards drafts have been elaborated. These documents are posted on the website: www.nea.ge. Public Discussions are regularly held. On December 10, 2010, the Qualification Framework was adopted.

Contacts between higher educational institutions of Georgia and EU were strengthened through different activities implemented within the framework of Twinning Project: two study visits to France were carried out for the representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia (MES) and NCEQE in order to share European experience in higher education system. Throughout 2010, NCEQE and representatives of Georgian institutions of higher learning had permanent meetings with French and German experts with the purpose of further enhancing the direct contacts between European and Georgian institutions.

Bilingual web-page (www.nea.ge) of the NCEQE . which serves both informative and communication purposes is being updated on a regular basis.

Academic summits, seminars and trainings for higher education institutions were arranged under the aegis of the NCEQE within the framework of Twinning Project. The recommendations and draft manuals were elaborated.

NCEQE arranged public discussions with the stakeholders for the purpose of drafting of new legal acts in relation with legislative amendments of 21 July in the laws on higher and professional education.

In 2010 the following activities were conducted within the University Curriculum Development Programme



Guidelines for filling Diploma Supplement and draft of the amendment to the respective order was elaborated – Diploma Supplement is an internationally recognized transparency document prepared by Council of Europe and UNESCO/CEPES. It was approved by the Order No.149 of the Minister of Education and Science of Georgia. Instruction for filling the above mentioned document was translated and adapted and draft of the amendment to the Minister’s respective order was prepared.

Information materials and recommendations on planning of joint programmes and recognition



Joint programmes and degrees have been widely established at the European level. Georgian universities are keen on participating in joint programmes, but as the evidence shows Georgian experience lags behind the practice included in the recommendations proposed by Lisbon Convention. As a Lisbon Convention participating country, Georgia is committed to follow recommendations provided in the Convention. In this regard, a document of recommendation procedures on joint degrees and recognition was prepared to ensure implementation of the recommendations of the Lisbon Convention. Trainings and workshops for HEIs on above-mentioned documents were held – Activities are aimed at facilitating proper implementation of prepared documents in practice. During the seminars attention was drawn to joint programmes and recognition, as well as preparing diploma supplement.

Distance learning implementation document was prepared



In order to introduce distance education to Georgian Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), a document reflecting the main principles of implementation of distance learning and draft amendment to the respective legal acts were prepared.

Recommendations on institutional accreditation were approved by Order No.51 of the National Centre for Educational Quality Enhancement Director of 24 May 2010.

In compliance with legislative amendments of 21 July 2010, the licensing of educational institutions was substituted by authorisation procedures. Currently, the work is under way for the elaboration of recommendations on authorisation standards.

International Cooperation, conferences and events



June 25, 2010 was the anniversary date since the starting conference of the Twinning/CEIBAL project. During the year the project was implemented towards achieving the 6 main goals aimed at further integration into the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The short term experts from Germany and France provided guidance, consulting, assistance and recommendations on institutional set up and coordination mechanisms of the National Centre for Educational Quality Enhancement, the Accreditation Council and the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia (MoES), on the legislative framework in higher education, national qualifications framework, accreditation procedures, recognition practice etc. Also, various trainings, seminars, roundtables and working group meetings were held for HEIS and the staff of the MoES and the NCEA. Eleven Academic regional summits and trainings were held in June-July, 2010 in Tbilisi, Telavi, Batumi and Gori. The events were jointly organized by the MoES and the NCEA, whilst local universities hosted the events. The topics of the events were: ECTS, Diploma Supplement, Employability and Internationalization. Draft Version of Self-Evaluation guideline and handbook on recognition were developed within the framework of the TWINNING Project.

National Tempus Office (NTO) has organized several local and international seminars on Bologna process carried out by a group of HE experts from EU countries for academic and administrative personnel of HEIs and representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia (MES), different foundations and National Centre for Educational Quality Enhancement.

The National Teams of Higher Education Reform Experts (HERE) provided expertise to promote and enhance the progress towards the Bologna objectives in the light of national needs and aspirations. Experts from Georgian HERE team participated in several international conferences and workshops and conducted dissemination seminars in Georgia. All reports are published on the NTO website. In 2010, the experts participated in the seminar for Bologna experts Recognition of HE – Tallinn, Estonia (7-9.06.2010)

Special cycle of seminars Making sense of the EU for students from regional HEIs had been conducted in collaboration with Internews group and EU Delegation to Georgia. In 2010, the seminars were held in Akhaltsikhe (5.06.2010) and Zugdidi (12.06.2010).

Special attention was paid to the networking with social partners. Representatives from HEIs participated in two international meetings in December 2010 in order to enhance regional and cross-regional coallaboration possibilities of Georgia HEIs under current Tempus.

Two guidelines were developed (in Georgian) and published on-line on the NTO website http://tempus.ge/ge/highereducationreformexpert.html.

Two surveys were conducted (www.tempus.ge):

Institutional mechanisms of QA - The survey was conducted by the group of experts from Tbilisi State University and included seven Georgian HEIs, both public and private from the capital and regions.

HEIs management issues – Role of students in HEIs governance – The survey was conducted by a group of experts from Ilia State University and included 17 public HEIs from the capital and regions.

NTO Georgia organized information campaign - seminars and consultations for Georgian HEIs in order to inform those interested on the new call of proposals under Tempus IV and train potential applicants.

A number of Academic Summits were held by the National Centre for Educational Quality Enhancement. The Purpose of the Academic summits was to provide opportunities for the stakeholders to learn about the new initiatives within the higher education sector and to participate in the discussions at the drafting stage. The academic summits are usually hosted by different public and private institutions and any interested person may participate. In 2010, the following topics were presented and discussed at the Academic Summits:






















Georgian Delegation participated in the Bologna Anniversary Ministerial Conference in Budapest/Vienna on March 11-12, 2010, celebrating launching of the European Higher Education Area. Higher Education Reforms in Georgia were included in the Independent Assessment of the Bologna Process as a separate case study.

On June 28-29, 2010 international conference Bologna Process, European Construction, European Neighbourhood Policies was held in Batumi at Shota Rustaveli State University. The Conference was co-organized by the Institute of European Studies at the Iv. Javakhishvili State University and the Jean Monnet Chair in European Law, University Matej Bel, Banská Bystrica. More than 30 papers were presented by the local and international experts on the implementation of the Bologna Process in Europe and beyond.

The Ministry of Education and Science commissioned the Georgian Adult Education Association to develop Life-Long Education Strategy. An Action Plan is to be elaborated.
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