From where I stand: “Women quickly understand the environmental risks”

Eliso Janashia, 50, is a civil activist and the founder of the civil platform “Poti Citizens For Their Rights”. She lives in the coastal town of Poti and works on the reality of sea pollution, the proper use of underwater resources and other environmental issues. Eliso is one of the women who took part in the project “17 Faces of Action” from Georgia.


Eliso Janashia. Photo: UN Women/Leli Blagonravova
Eliso Janashia. Photo: UN Women/Leli Blagonravova

“Poti is known for its industrial and fishing potential; however, these opportunities are accompanied by the problems of sea pollution and the misuse of underwater resources. In 2020, I founded the civil platform ‘Poti Citizens For Their Rights’ to help people understand these issues.

The main efforts of the platform, among other environmental topics, are directed towards the elimination of harmful practices with regard to underwater resources, specifically fishing, proper regulation, control and damage mitigation.

For this purpose, we systematically hold information meetings, tours, film screenings and discussions for the population. We also highlight the existing problems to the local government, and we try to present the threats and mobilize public opinion by raising awareness and expanding the media coverage.

The platform’s work has already produced results: at first, the locals were so skeptical about the initiative that we were happy to have the chance to add at most one or two people to the group, but now the number of followers on the platform exceeds 5,700. The citizens of Poti now pay more attention to the topic, they get involved in the initiatives, and they are interested to know what we think. They see that we protect their interests, and they trust us. We already have our representatives and volunteers in the local communities, and more and more people are expressing their desire to be involved in this work.

Air, soil and sea pollution and the unsustainable use of underwater resources, which pose a great threat, are not just local problems but our global responsibility. There is a series of other issues linked to it. If we do not understand this responsibility, we will all suffer. Women quickly understand the environmental risks, and that is why they are the ones mostly involved in the platform’s work: they participate in all activities and help us a lot with their support, because they understand very well that it concerns their children’s future.”

SDG 14: Life below water

The initiative “17 Faces of Action” serves to promote the contribution of women in the process of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is a project of the United Nations Office at Geneva and its representative, Director-General Tatiana Valovaya, as well as the Association of Swiss Women and Empowerment. In Georgia, the project was implemented in cooperation with the United Nations Country Team and with the technical support of UN Women. Eliso Janashia’s activities make a significant contribution to the achievement of SDG 14, which involves the conservation and sustainable use of ocean, sea and marine resources for sustainable development.