«a small impact on the system can have large and unpredictable consequences, including in a completely different place»
Since 2012, environmental scientists have recorded the appearance of new species of insects on the territory of Sochi, Adjara, and then Abkhazia. The invasive pests entered the region from Turkey on the one hand and, on the other hand, together with imported plants intended for landscaping of Olympic facilities in Sochi. The insects spread instantly, having no natural enemies in their new habitat.
The epidemic resulted in 95% destruction of relic boxwood groves, affected chestnut trees, palm trees and all agricultural crops in the region. For agrarian Abkhazia, this invasion was an environmental and economic problem. Abkhaz rural communities traditionally live a large economy — they grow mandarin and persimmon orchards, peaches, nut trees, vegetables and corn, are engaged in cattle breeding and poultry raising. This is what the country's economy is built on. Now farmers are forced to treat orchards, cereals, and vegetable plantations twice a year with chemicals to save their crops.
In 2021 on the basis of the Institute of Ecology of Abkhazia, with the support of the European Union and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, a laboratory of bioindication and mycology, whose tasks include saving boxwoods and chestnuts. The Institute of Ecology organizes the work of volunteers and cooperates with environmental organizations, together with the Ministry of Agriculture is engaged in the control of agricultural pests. The boxwood groves were destroyed in just one year by the pest moth, and it will take 600 years to restore them.