The key threat to the country's water resources is the rapid development of the mining industry. "Almost all the tailing dumps of Armenia are in the riverbeds and this contains serious risks. Heavy metals and toxic elements penetrate into the rivers and then into reservoirs and irrigation systems", says Sanasaryan.
Armenia faces the threat of environmental migration due to mining development rates, Karine Danielyan, Head of the Association for Sustainable Human Development, has told ArmInfo.
From 1953 till 2012 the air temperature in Armenia rose by 1.03 degrees, Aram Gabrielyan, National Focal Point of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN FCCC), said at today's workshop.
The environmentalists have repeatedly pointed out that the recultivation of the inactive tailing dumps is not done properly. Along with the lack of isolation of the bottom of the tailing dump, this contributes to penetration of the heavy metals into the groundwater systems. Moreover, the surface dust of the tailing dumps spreads in the environment.
Akhuryan River has almost dried out because of small-scale hydropower plants, says the Pan- Armenian Environmental Front.
The development of small hydropower plants (HPP) may endanger some fish species, including the brook trout. WWF Armenia Head Karen Manvelyan has told ArmInfo that fish simply disappear from some rivers of Armenia, particularly, from the rivers Tsav, Marts, Akhuryan and Yeghegis. Manvelyan thinks that Armenia should toughen the control over construction of small HPPs.
Poaching and growing commercial fishery is causing a serious damage to Sevan fish reserves, Bardukh Gabrielyan, Director of the National Center for Zoology and Hydroecology, National Academy of Science of Armenia, told ArmInfo.
"SOS Sevan" initiative organized a picket in front of the Armenian Parliament earlier today, on 28 April. According to ArmInfo's correspondent on the spot, the picketers demand the Parliament to cancel the Government-submitted bill that called to increase water releases from Lake Sevan.
The fish farms in Sevan should work under tough control, Evelina Ghukasyan, Director of the Ichthyology and Hydroecology Institute, Armenian National Academy of Sciences, has told ArmInfo.
Not one drop of Lake Sevan water goes to Azerbaijan, President Serzh Sargsyan said today at the annual general meeting of the National Academy of science when commenting on the speech of Academician Ruben Jrbashyan.
The decision to raise the maximum admissible level of water release from Lake Sevan will have a negative effect on the lake's ecosystem, Director of the Ichthyology and Hydroecology Institute Evelina Ghukasyan said in an interview to ArmInfo.
A number of environmental NGOs and residents of Gegharkunik, Ararat and Armavir regions have launched a campaign to save Lake Sevan.
In May 2013 a group of environmentalists and journalists visited Lori region and the local Akhtala ore mining company and noticed that the waste of the company's Shamlugh mine was thrown into the nearby gorges, while the area near the Ayrum tailing dump was used for cattle grazing. Khachikyan noted that since the change of the manager in 2013, the company has improved its environmental policy even though the waste in the gorge has not yet been removed and nor have they fenced off the area near the Ayrum tailing dump.
Pan-Armenian Environmental Front (PAEF) has preferred the meeting with the prime minister to radical steps for environmental protection, activist Yeghia Nersisyan told reporters, Thursday.
He said that the mining industry in Armenia seriously damages environment polluting the drinking and irrigation water sources. In the created situation nobody bears responsibility. Moreover, according to the legislation, the mining companies do not pay taxes for wastes.
To recall, on March 25 Head of the Government Staff - Minister Vache Gabrielyan offered the activists to meet with the prime minister after they tried to break the international conference "Establishment of Responsible Mining Industry in Armenia: Opportunities and Challenges."