How much time will it take to restore forests burnt in 2008 war?

A 950-hectare area was damaged, with 250 hectares completely destroyed, during the 2008 Russo-Georgian War. Photo from, 01 May 2017 - 13:03, Tbilisi,Georgia

It will take up to ten years to fully restore the central Georgian forests that were burnt in the 2008 Russia-Georgia armed conflict, says the Georgian Environment Minister.

Gigla Agulashvili estimates that it will take from three to five years to cover the burnt territory with new plants and another three to five years to administer proper care to ensure the trees grow healthily. 

Almost 1,000 hectares of forests were affected by the 2008 war in the Borjomi Gorge – a picturesque canyon of the Mtkvari River in central Georgia. Of these, 250 hectares were completely burnt down while the rest was seriously damaged.

A major portion of the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, one of the largest national parks in Europe, lies within the Borjomi Gorge, which is covered by mixed and coniferous forests made up of oak, maple, beech, spruce, fir, and pine.

Agulashvili said 100 hectares of the burnt forests have already been restored but much is yet to be done.

He added that for the past several years, with the help from several donor organisations, the state had been working hard to bring new life to the burnt forests, and now the state and private sector are teaming up to continue the work together.

Agulashvili said even if the work is going according to plan, "it will take many, many years to bring the Borjomi ecosystem to the condition that was before the war”.