“The demarcation line between the use and abuse of the subsoil is very arbitrary. The waste management sector is doomed to abandonment. The authorities describe the situation as not that serious, but the society believes the entire country is littered and it hinders the development of tourism and agriculture,” said Karine Danielyan, Head of For Sustainable Human Development, NGO.
Danielyan said the Ararat Valley Artesian Basin has got into a critical condition over the past ten years. The Ararat Valley is on the brink of desertification. The Ministry of Nature Protection issued a statement saying that the wells will be closed, but actually people come across quite different reality.
Hakob Sanasaryan, Head of the Greens’ Union, believes the bill on tailing recycling lawmakers are now discussing can have catastrophic consequences on the environment. “It is very important to have tailing recycling, but we are concerned over the project as there have been no hearings. If the bill becomes a law, we will have a large-scale environmental destruction in the country,” Sanasaryan said.
Levon Galstyan, Member of the Pan-Armenian Environmental Front, geography specialist, spoke against metal mining operations. “We are against the opening and exploitation of all types of metal mines as it is fraught with irreversible consequences, which will be felt in 20-30 years.”
Anahit Gevorgyan, head of Women’s Community Council of Martuni, and Satik Badeyan, Head of the Area Development and Research Center, NGO, from Gegharkunik Region shared thoughts on the condition of the Sevan basin.
According to the Government’s plans, Anahit Gevorgyan said, fish breeding network farms are placed in the lake, and it’s done without any public discussion and estimation of potential threats. The Sevan has turned into a fishery, and hydropower plants on the rivers flowing into the lake devastate the fauna. Let’s take the Martuni River. There you cannot find even a frog. We have found fish bones and thorns. The fauna is dead,” Gevorgyan said.
“The nature is exploited, without any scientific explanation or study. All of this is explained by the desire to improve the economic situation in the country but no changes we see,” Satik Badeyan said.
The speakers concluded that it is impossible to achieve a peaceful combination of nature protection and mine exploitation. “It is impossible to find the golden mean in Armenia,” Danielyan said.
Arshaluys Mghdesyan, Editor-Coordinator