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Summary of YSU Center for Sustainable Development first round table materials, 2015

On May 26, 2015, in the conference hall of the YSU Geography and Geology Faculty, the YSU Center for Sustainable Development held a round table on the topic of “The key issues associated with mining in the metal deposits of the RA.”, in the framework of the “Support The Government and The Civil Society in The Processes of Ecological Problem Solving” project carried out by the CSD. The event was attended by the Environmental issues national project manager of the OSCE Yerevan Office Gohar Ghazinyan, “Economic and Legal Analysis Center” NGO’s chief expert, director-coordinator of the experts’ group Gevorg Danielyan and head of the same NGO Hamlet Batikyan,

PR manager of Armenian Aarhus centers Mari Chakryan and head of the Aarhus Center in Gavar Liana Asoyan, representative of the “Save Teghut” NGO Arthur Grigoryan, representative of the “Ecology Academy” NGO Greta Gabrielyan, researcher in the Center for Political, Legal and Economic Research and Forecasting (PLERF) Vahagn Khachaturyan, representative of the “Civil Voice” NGO Babken Harutyunyan, representatives from the “AUA Center for Responsible Mining” Karen Nazaryan and Mary Galstyan, experts from the Center for Sustainable Development, representatives of the YSU Geography and Geology Faculty professorial stuff, students, etc. The event was covered by the YSU Department of Public Relations and Information.

The event was opened by the head of the CSD Ruben Movsesyan. He presented the aim of the meeting and the subjects under discussion. Greeting the participants of the meeting, R. Movsesyan referred first to the results of the activities implemented by the CSD. Suggestions formed on the basis of these results have already been included in the project papers for elaboration of a policy program for natural resource management in Armenia, and for making changes in the RA Natural Resources Code, as well as in the conceptual approaches of corresponding sections of the Armenian National Report for the fulfillment of the decisions of the “Rio+20” Assembly.

The first issue of discussion was devoted to the role and significance of mining industry in the economy of Armenia. This topic was presented by Dean of the YSU Geography and Geology Faculty Marat Grigoryan. He gave the main characteristics of mining activities implemented in Armenia during the recent years and compared the results with the economic rates of exploitation of the Kajaran mine during Soviet years. M. Grigoryan mentioned, “Mining industry cannot play such a small part in the GDP of a country; there must be a management failure in the processes of mine exploitation and mining resource production”.

The key issues concerning metal mining industry in Armenia were presented by Head of the YSU Regional Geology, Petrology and Mineral Deposits department, Geology and Mining PH.D. Shahen Khachatryan. The speaker also referred to such subjects as the accountability and quality of the work of mining complexes, modernity of the applied technological processes, control over the processes of mining and ore enrichment, license provision, labor projects, implementation of backup shift and tailing economies. He drew attention especially to the issue of upgrading the mining complexes, stating that many companies nowadays lack appropriate professional services like mining-geological, mine surveying, etc. Besides, it’s necessary for the employed professionals to attend some trainings and undergo performance appraisal. Next comes the problem of laboratories which fail licensing; hence, their sample tests are not trustworthy.

Main reports were followed by questions and answers that concerned both the main topics and several issues strictly connected with them. The questions mainly concerned such issues as tailing dams and their regulations as wastes in the legislative field, charging for tailing dams, classification of tails as technogenic mines, etc. Several inquiries related to the above mentioned problems were made by lawyer Arthur Grigoryan.

Researcher from the Center for Political, Legal and Economic Research and Forecasting Vahagn Khachaturyan presented in brief numbers the economic rates of industry and its separate branches in the GDP of Armenia, comparing them to the respective rates of more relevant areas of agriculture and economy. He mentioned that those numbers should be paid special attention to and need thorough analysis. He also stated that these are merely preliminary data and further investigations will be carried out in detail.

Summing up the meeting, head of CSD R. Movsesyan thanked all the participants and stated that the questions drawn forward during the discussions will serve a basis for clarification of further directions in the activities the program of CSD involves. He also stated that more attention will be paid to the above mentioned issues.

The program is carried out in the Center for Sustainable Development with the direct support of the OSCE Yerevan Office.


The YSU Center for Sustainable Development