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Joint work aimed at growing influence of CSOs in decision-making processes on environmental issues

According to the recent 20 years studies, Armenia’s climate has undergone changes, but those changes are likely to be more in the future. The air temperature will increase, rainfall and river flow will decrease, drought and its related desertification processes will increase…

Therefore, if today will not be launched large-scale climate change adaptation process, the natural environment of Armenia and connected with it the means of livelihood of the population and economy will be heavily damaged.

Taking all this into consideration, in May of this year, with the support of the EU, UNDP and GEF, on the initiative of the Armenian Inter-Church Charitable Round Table Foundation of the World Council of Churches has launched “Churches and CSOs Influence on Decision Making Processes on Environmental Problems in Armenia” project, which main goal is to show opportunities to change the emerged ecological situation, by establishing a precedent. The actions foreseen by the program are mainly directed to the environmental issues, which are emerged or exacerbated by climate change.

Already in the design phase of the project the Armenia’s Aarhus Centers have been involved in the development of the program and recognized as a unique platform at the community level in terms of disseminating and bringing to life opportunities and ideas offered by this program.

The project launched on May 20 via presentation held in Yerevan Aarhus Center, then was outlined the joint actions. The Aarhus Centers have carried out lot of work at a community level aimed at revealing and initially covering the issues put forward under the program.

During the implementation of measures the coordinators of Alaverdi, Ararat, Yerevan, Gavar and Gyumri Aarhus Center have informed about the innovative approaches and financial mechanisms for solving environmental problems proposed by this program.

The communities have demonstrated great interest and expressed a desire to learn more.
Although the program will be implemented only in Aragatsotn, Armavir, Kotayk, Shirak and Lori regions, but through the Aarhus Center have been already received letters from the other regions to be included in the project.

On the evaluation of Gevorg Petrosyan, coordinator of Gyumri Aarhus center the program itself provides an opportunity to effect changes at the community level, formation and development of a sense of ownership among citizens towards the public property, as well as significantly improving the system of local government and making it actually participatory and public.

According to him the establishment of a revolving fund will enable gradually returning natural resources to its real owners and direct the funds received from its utilization to the ecosystems preservation and restoration in the communities.

As assured the members of the program’s initiative group in case of accurate operating this financial mechanism, it will enable to consolidate citizens around the environmental issues and initiate common actions, which are directly linked to the main objectives of the Aarhus Centers.

Mari Chaqryan
Armenian Aarhus Centers Press Officer
Tell: (+374) 93 991212
E-mail: aarhusnews@gmail.com
Translated by Anush Beybutyan