Open Air Discussion “Right to Breathe”
18.09.2013
17:00
There are 522 sources of air pollution only in Yerevan where not only dust is a pollutant but heavy metals are, Lilit Sahakyan, Head of the Center for Ecological-Noosphere Studies of the RA National Academy of Sciences says. The laboratory has throughout years discovered heavy metals of different qualitative and quantitative criteria. Almost all the city is polluted by molybdenum.

The open air discussion initiated by the Media Center in cooperation with the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets was focused on the issue of air pollution in Armenia.

The official data says 50-60 thousand square metres of wood are stored in Armenia yearly. However, Vardan Meliqyan, SEEDS Program Manager at Armenia Tree Project, states there is reason to suggest that the real numbers are about 10 times bigger than the official ones.

“We lose more than one million trees in Armenia, whereas ATP plants only a few hundred thousand. We cannot talk about any balance in this case”, he says.

Lia Asatryan, Environmental Projects Advisor at Green Lane NGO stresses that the lack of proper garbage management in Armenia is another serious reason for the air pollution.

Diana Grigoryan, Senior Specialist of the Nature Protection Department at the Yerevan Municipality, notes the city hall is trying to decrease the level of dust by restoring and creating green zones.

Barbara Siebert, Program Director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets, who has lived in Yerevan for the last few years, says she doesn't see appropriate measures taken by the Yerevan Municipality addressed at planning and controlling the so-called green belts, which is a common practice in Europe.

Armenian Environmental Network Armenia Office Director Armine Sargsyan underlines that Armenia had signed conventions, including the Aarhus convention that actually remain on paper. The major issues are addressed to mostly by activists and no serious steps are taken for their solution.  

Aida Iskoyan, Director of the Environmental Public Advocacy Center does not agree with Sargsyan by stating that Armenia holds the first places among CIS countries by meeting the requirements of the Aarhus convention, especially when it comes to the environmental information provided by respective companies.

Aida Iskoyan thinks that no Minister and Mayor can do what the civil society is capable of doing provided the society is educated and responsible.

On September 18, 17:00 the Media Center in cooperation with the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets initiated an Open Air Discussion “Right to Breathe” and screening of the film “Living with Dust” that took place at the Yerevan Zoo.

The speakers of the discussion included:

-  Barbara Siebert, Program Director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets;

- Diana Grigoryan, Senior Specialist of the Nature Protection Department at the Yerevan Municipality,

- Vardan Melikyan, SEEDS Program Manager at Armenia Tree Project,

- Aida Iskoyan, Director of the Environmental Public Advocacy Center;

- Armine Sargsyan, Armenian Environmental Network Armenia Office Director;

- Lilit Sahakyan, Head of the Center for Ecological-Noosphere Studies NAS RA;

- Lia Asatryan, Environmental Projects Advisor at Green Lane NGO.

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