The intensive development of mining remains a cause of great concern for environmentalists. Karine Danielyan, Head of the Association for Sustainable Human Development, has told ArmInfo that the damage inflicted by the mining industry may be much bigger because the country also has illegal mines, which are not registered officially.
One can already find desert plants in the Ararat Valley, Knarik Hovhannisyan, expert on water resources, said at a press conference on March 22.
The Sevan whitefish may be critically endangered again, Bardukh Gabrielyan, the head of the Scientific Center of Zoology and Hydroecology of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences, told reporters. "During the period of collapse of the Soviet Union, the whitefish was one of the few foodstuffs in Armenia and this resulted in almost full extinction of the species. The same may happen now and we should be ready to prevent that threat to the biodiversity of the unique Sevan basin," the expert said.
Red Book bird species are leaving Armenia due to development of the mining industry. Head of the Bird Lovers' Center Silva Adamyan has told ArmInfo that the mining industry in the republic does not meet the environmental standards adopted in developed countries. The situation deteriorates even more because the mining companies are exempted from taxes for tails (mining waste) and tailing dumps.
80% of small-scale HPPs of Armenia operate on outdated machinery, Head of EcoLur NGO Inga Zarafyan has told ArmInfo, referring to the data of the project supporting the reforms in the sector of small-scale HPPs.
Bardukh Gabrielyan, Head of the Scientific Center of Zoology and Hydroecology, National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, has told ArmInfo that the condition of the rivers running into the Sevan leaves much to be desired. For instance, the river Masrik is polluted with mining waste. Such factors as pollution with household and organic waste also have a negative impact on the water resources.
The activity of Sevan National Park undergoes criticism again. Earlier in an interview with ArmInfo, WWF-Armenia Head Karen Manvelyan pointed out the need to change the approach to the Sevan National Park. "Perhaps, we need a special protected area rather than a national park.
The licensed system of fishery in Lake Sevan has undermined the stocks of almost all fish species, Bardukh Gabrielyan, Head of the Scientific Center of Zoology and Hydroecology, National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, said at a press conference on March 10.
On December 15, the first results of the project entitled "Support to the Reforms of SHPPs through a Dialogue between the Public and the Ministry of Nature Protection of the RA for the Purpose of River Ecosystem Use" were publicized in Yerevan.
WWF Armenia and "ArmForest" SNCO are implementing a joint project to improve the management of Ijevan partial reserve. WWF Armenia Head Karen Manvelyan has told ArmInfo that the boundaries will be optimized and a management plan will be worked out. "We are going to merge two partial reserves - Ijevan and Gandzakar, as well as to optimize the boundaries and study the importance of territories in terms of biodiversity.
Bardukh Gabrielyan, Director of the Scientific Center of Zoology and Hydroecology, National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, said at a press conference on December 11 that by the data of 2005 the whitefish reserve in Lake Sevan made up 400-450 tons. Last year that indicator was about 300 tons. The expert hopes that if the population keeps growing, it will be possible to lift the ban on whitefish fishing in the Sevan in several years. The minimum whitefish reserve is 1 thsd tons.
On November 30, in Paris President Serzh Sargsyan participated at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Conference, which is presided over by France, is attended by the Heads of state and government from 150 countries and by thousands of delegates, the president's press-office said.
Armenian Minister of Nature Protection Aramais Grigoryan met with representatives of a number of diplomatic missions in Armenia, as well as the EU Delegation to Armenia.