Borjomi national park is one of the largest park in Europe, which has top grade ecological significance. In August 2008 wildfire hits Borjomi forest and 250 ha has been completely burnt. CBW had an interview CEO and Co-founder of Treepex,Bacho Khachidze who shares experience about the project which restored 34 436 trees and combating the progressing ecological disaster. Locals,large companies and individuals are continuously contributing to tree planting which has a healthy affection to ecological system,as well as society’s attitude towards environment. He shares the bigger plans with us:
Who is organising the campaign ‘’Aghadgine’’ ?
The Campaign ‘’Aghadgine’’ is planned and executed by startup Treepex, Business Information Agencyl BIA and National Forestry Agency.We have equally distributed liabilities;BIA provides the involvement of business sector, Startup Treepex technological solution and innovative solutions, To allow the user to plant trees through the easy-to-use online platform with just a few clicks,While the forest agency is preparing a forest restoration plan for the campaign.
As we know, international experts do monitoring, how did the evaluate given situation?
We convened international expert Dieter Müller from Germany for monitoring and recommendations. This year’s spring plantings showed incredibly high survival rate of seedlings,due to the high quality seedling, properly conducted planting works and most importantly the natural environment.
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Do you plant the same species of trees which got destroyed or you add different variety?
The species were selected by the experts of the National Forestry Agency and we therefore follow the plan of recovery. The following trees are planted: mainly Caucasian pine, high mountain oak, high mountain maple and meadow maple.
How do you deal with erosion areas?
Planting trees is one of the most sufficient tools to combat erosion. Cleaning and preparation is underway before planting activities, which usually means arranging platforms.There are some erosion areas where forest expert suggest that such places should be restored naturally. While,more than 200 hectares of forest requires human intevention,otherwise forest won’t restore the initial state and conditions will get worse.
What’s the feedback from local community, how actively involved are they?
We proud of the fact that we fully manage local inhabitants to be involved. 42 people got employed in planting and follow-up maintenance activities. They know that this is not short term action,they understand the meaning and importance of taking care of the seedlings during 5 years,which also will mobilize additional incomes.
How many companies are engaged in this process and how the number is increasing?
At this stage up to 200 companies are involved and this number is constantly growing. ‘Aghadgine’ provides a unique opportunity for companies to express their social responsibility.
Tell us about the success achieved in Barcelona.
‘’The Global Mobile Challenge’’ was quite successful for startup Treepex. We made sure that there are no boundaries in startup world. It doesn’t matter what you represent developed,developing or neverland.The only important factor is how your product works and how the problem is solved by using that.We got in grand final,in top 5 among 4500 other startups created in 2016. We defeated startups from Silicon Valley (USA),Spain,the Netherland and other countries from better developed startup ecosystems.
How big was the interest of foreign media?
We attracted local, as well as international press attention from the very beginning. We were aired in Washington’s television block ‘’Global Business America’’.I’d say media is ready to support innovative startups. Then we had active development stage during what Treepex did not appear in media. We plan presenting new product to the global market,accordingly we’ll get active.
Do you hold press conferences in the framework of the project?
‘’Aghadgine’’ Campaign characterized by great media activity. Of course there are press conferences and various activities in the Internet space.
Which technology do you use to manage the online system?
Treepex is a technology driven startup and we have complex solutions. We created flexible API, which is integrated with electronic payment services, online platform is very convenient, which performs tree planting with just few clicks. We are launching an innovative tracking system for rangers, which digitizes each tree, meaning taking picture, geographical location description and placement on Treepex map.
Do you think similar activities has an affection on society’s attitude towards environment?
I believe that we change society’s knowledge, attitude and action towards environment besides planting a tree. For many years the value of wood was defined as firewood or timber as furniture manufacturing material. Tree has become a symbol of love,future and responsibilty in the framework of project ‘’Aghadgine’’ as statistically users plant trees on behalf their beloved or their children, while business shows the responsibility towards country.
What are the planned activities, do you intend to implement the same project on other sites?
Our team is moving to New York City from September.We aim to offer the innovative and technology service to the global world. Planting trees will be carried out in Africa and Amazon Forest where the Earth has the biggest issue and needs to be saved.
Thank you for sharing your experience!