Association Green Alternative’s Appeal The Oldest National Park in the Caucasus Devastated Under the Russian Military Attacks

Association Green Alternative’s Appeal
The Oldest National Park in the Caucasus Devastated Under the Russian Military Attacks


According to the Georgian Government and eyewitness reports, on August 15 the fires started in numerous places of Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park and its adjacent territories immediately after the Russian military helicopters flew over the forested areas of Borjomi region, suggesting use of some incendiary weapons. On August 18th the BTC pipeline patrol again detected breaking out fire soon after the Russian helicopters flew over the Borjomi Gorge. The fire becomes stronger and spreads as the Russian military forces occupying large part of the country, including major highways, hinder transportation of Georgian fire brigades; in response to the Georgian Government’s appeal for assistance to neighboring countries, Turkey and Ukraine expressed their readiness to provide help but as of August 19, have not been given safe, timely and adequate passage by the Russian military forces.

Since August 8, 2008 the Russia’s military forces invaded Georgia, first the territory of the South Ossetia, than through air attacks and occupying number of the Georgian settlements. The conflict caused hundreds of civilian death, while around 158 000 people have been forced to leave their homes. In addition, due to the forest fires biodiversity of Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park has been seriously damaged, adjacent settlements and resorts, as well as the BTC oil pipeline and the South Caucasus gas pipeline are put at danger.

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Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park is the first national park in the Caucasus established according to IUCN criteria by WWF. In the core zone of the national park the protection regime exists more than a hundred year. The park includes pristine forests, sub-alpine meadows and represents habitat for many endemic, rare and relict species; it is the largest area of endemic oriental spruce.

Setting the fire in the national park and then creation of obstacles to extinguish the fire confirms that the Russian military intervention goes beyond the local military operation and aims at causing maximum damage to the population, economy and nature. It is also important to note that fire bombs attack in Borjomi took place just after the President Medvedev signed the ceasefire agreement.

The Georgian Government and the society are asking for help to convince the Russian military forces to open air and land corridor, which would enable fire fighting aircrafts, fire engines and fire brigades to enter the Borjomi region and to control the fire.

We would also like to ask you in the frame of your capacity to be involved in the assessment of damage to Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park and elimination of the results of forest fire, after the Russian troops leave the country.

Please, write the letter to President Medvedev to demand to stop bombing of Georgia’s territory and give possibility to firemen to control the fire, at:

Please, also cc the text to us at: 

Sincerely Yours,
Association Green Alternative

See also Borjomi Forest Devastated