Georgia faces unique challenges in managing and mitigating disaster risks and disasters due to its diverse landscape and susceptibility to geological hazards such as landslides, mudflows, and earthquakes. Within the efforts of the Global Initiative on Disaster Risk Management (GIDRM) and with the support of National Environmental Agency (NEA), 64 Georgian municipalities were involved in municipal trainings on analysing datasets and technical studies (“MTA-DS”) throughout the summer of 2023.
The trainings covered a wide range of topics crucial for understanding geological hazards and their impact on infrastructure and communities. Some of the most significant topics were:
- Geological activities in Georgia, providing an overview of the geological processes and factors contributing to disasters.
- A review of the annual informational geological bulletin, offering insights into data collected through field surveys and the prevalence of geological hazards.
- A review of the history of disasters caused by geological hazards and statistics of Georgia over the last decade, emphasizing the importance of geological research during extreme events.
The training sessions were conducted in 11 regions of Georgia, including Tbilisi, and saw active participation from municipal mayors’ offices, represented by employees responsible for architectural supervision, infrastructure planning, and regional projects coordination. This diverse group of attendees ensured that a broad geographic spectrum of municipalities had access to essential information related to geological hazards.
Participants actively engaged with the content and sought clarification on many facets of geological risk management throughout the training sessions. Themost important lessons learned were that:
- The distinctive geological characteristics of each location must be taken into account in effective reconstruction procedures.
- Building project supervision and verification are essential, especially in high risk and disaster-prone locations.
- Budget restrictions may make it difficult to put preventative measures into action, calling for wise resource sharing and allocation.
- Data analysis and decision-making are hampered by a lack of geologists and GIS experts in municipal organisations.
- A systematisation of geological report data is necessary for making well-informed decisions.
Trainings have proven instrumental in elevating the expertise and competence of municipal personnel in Georgia regarding geological hazards. By empowering local decision-makers and fostering a shared comprehension of geological risks, these training sessions have paved the way towards enabling risk-informed development. This, in turn, positions municipalities to make risk-informed decisions that enhance safety and promote sustainable growth in the presence of geological challenges.