UNDP-GEF Kura II: Advancing IWRM Across the Kura River Basin

Online Learning Platform Launch

16 Feb 2021

On February 16th, 2021, virtual Zoom meeting was held on the online meeting to launch the E-learning platform for awareness raising on rational water use for the school students and teachers.

This E-learning platform is available at http://water.envdevelopment.org/ka/home-ge/ in three languages: Georgian, Azerbaijani and English. This Platform was implemented with the support of  UNDP/GEF Kura II Project.

The meeting was led by Ms. Maka Julakidze, UNDP/GEF Kura II Project national coordinator. Nino Tkhilava, the Environment and Climate Change Department head at the Ministry of Environment and Agriculture of Georgia, gave a warm-up introductory speech. 

Opening remarks were done by Nino Kalandadze, the representative of Georgian Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia, Nino Antadze, UNDP CO representative in Georgia and Ahmed Elseoud, UNDP/GEF Kura II Project Chief Technical Advisor. 

"In spite of the challenging times of COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to develop and finish this fascinating project and reach it out for the audiences,” – Tkhilava said. 

“We have to expand and make this educational project more sustainable; it has to be spread throughout Georgia and Azerbaijan,” – Elseoud remarked. 

Kakha Bakhtadze, the program manager at NGO Environment and Development (ED), presented the short history of the project. Bakhtadze helped to expand the project in the regions of Georgia, including the city of Gori, which was selected as a pilot city to introduce the water saving and sustainability subjects in an arid climate which is in an acute need of water during dry periods of the year.  

Bakhtadze said Gori embraced the project with enthusiasm. Many sectors participated: University of Gori, schools in Gori, local government representatives, local water distribution company, teachers and pupils. Awareness raising brochures were also created for pupils of three age category, which became basis for the online platform. 

Shota Murtkvhvaladze and Natia Gabrichidze representatives of the company Mindworks presented the online platform and its technical details. The platform is designed both for teachers and pupils. It helps three age category students to thoroughly understand critical issues related to the sustainable management of water resources: existing problems and challenges, expected outcomes and forecasts, ongoing initiatives and projects.

“It is especially important to develop the knowledge and attitudes of young people so they themselves are able to make real changes around them. Students can take the course from the beginning to the end independently or with an assistant, follow assignments, complete quizzes or watch animated videos and receive valuable information, “- said Natia Gabrichidze, co-creator of the online platform.

The platform has the following modules: Geography of River Basin, Climate Change and Water, Rational Water Use, Life in Water, Water in Ecology and Protection of Water Quality.

Ekaterine Bendeliani, the deputy director at Environment Information and Education Center, said it is important to maintain the sustainability of the website and integrate it into government learning platforms. Bendeliani leads the website http://www.eiec.gov.ge where this new platform could be added as part of vast amount of data about natural resources of Georgia, its principal governing laws and regulations, also conventions Georgia is part of, all the climate data and other useful information collected for decades. 

Marina Makarova, the National Focal Point of the UNDP/GEF Kura II Project and a representative of the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, proceeded with a discussion and follow-up questions with other stakeholders.  

“Learning starts with childhood. I hope this project does not only end up within narrow circle of ours and will expand itself further,” – Makarova said in her closing remarks.