A leopard family in the Arevik National Park in the south of Armenia has given birth to two cubs, Head of WWF Armenia Karen Manvelyan told journalists on Thursday.
Armenia's Nature Protection Minister, Aramais Grigoryan, accompanied by the governor of Syunik region, Vahe Hakopyan, and other officials visited today the tailing dumps of Zangezur copper and molybdenum plant, "Dundee Precious Metals Kapan" and Agarak copper and molybdenum plant.
The hunting season in Armenia traditionally opens in August. In the meantime, the environmentalists do not cease claiming that the lack of proper control along with the hunters' incompetence may endanger the Red Book bird species.
In early July "The Sydney Morning Herald" published an article about thousands of great apes, which are killed or trafficked into "slavery" each year in a multi-million dollar illegal trade. "Organised criminal networks, involving corrupt government officials, threaten great apes with extinction by trafficking them to be used as performers or pets," said Daniel Stiles, from the Project to End Great Ape Slavery (Pegas), a campaign group launched to raise awareness of their plight.
The confrontation of ecologists and Melik village residents against "Mega gold" company, which was going to build the third tailing dump, seems to end. As the head of the "Centre for birds lovers", Silva Adamyan, told Arminfo correspondent, Armenia's Nature Protection Ministry declined the project, as it would negatively affect the environment.
She said that the situation on the lake keeps deteriorating under the impact of external factors. On the one hand, the shores, which have not been cleared from trees and bushes but have found themselves under water due to the project on raising the water level of Lake Sevan, lead to bogging of the lake. On the other hand, 60% of the water is polluted and endangers the ichthyofauna. Adamyan added that the temperature of the lake water is rising, which is also a negative factor.
The decision to increase the water release from Lake Sevan to 270 mln cu m is a shady transaction, Head of the Green Union of Armenia Hakob Sanasaryan has told ArmInfo.
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.