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The issue of increasing the fertility of man-made polluted and degraded lands is crucial for Kapan region
On April 21, Kapan Aarhus Center hosted a round table discussion under the theme “Enhancement of man-made polluted and degraded soils fertility and environmentally safe food acquisition technologies”, which was presented on the example of lands of Syunik community. Highlighting the importance and urgency of the problem resolution the Aarhus Centre Coordinator gave the floor to Armen Shahbazyan, coordinator of the OSCE Program Implementation Presence in Syunik. The latter considered necessary to remind about the resolution of a crucial issue of environmental safety in Kapan, Syunik region: renovation of a 4 km long irrigation canal, with the efforts of the OSCE and the UNDP/GEF Small

Grants Programme in 2015, with the support of a local NGO, Syunik regional administration, Achanan and Syunik communities, which enabled the farmers to refrain from the use of polluted water for irrigation purposes. Then the OSCE has planned to support rural communities in Syunik region in management of lands polluted with high amounts of toxic elements. The proposed option will help clean or immobilize heavy metals containing in soils and reduce the negative impact on the plants.

To resolve the above mentioned issues, the OSCE has involved as an expert professor Merujan Galstyan, chair of ANAU agro-ecology. Professor Galstyan presented the participants of the round table organized by the Aarhus Center the analysis of the state of agricultural pollution in Syunik community. According to which, 1905 hectares of agricultural lands in Syunik community (including administrative region) unpolluted and slightly polluted lands comprise 580 hectares, medium contaminated: 15 ha, heavily contaminated: 30 hectares and 5 hectares, which are located near the barrier of the tailing dam and covered with tailings. The agricultural productivity indicators in Syunik community showed that the fertility in uncontaminated soils is 60-100 percent higher.

According to the presented report the heavy metals content is high in the products derived from cultivated agricultural crops in polluted lands of Syunik community (mg / kg, Беляева О.А. 2013). While the use of vegetables, greens, eggplants, beans, cucumber and tomato with high levels of heavy metals and polluted toxic elements is too dangerous.

Professor Galstyan brought simple financial calculation (see attached materials of round table). In conclusion, he said that the matter requires urgent actions and asked Armen Shahbazyan, coordinator of the OSCE Program Implementation Presence in Syunik to take measures in this direction.

The round table discussion was attended by the head of Health and Social Welfare Department of Syunik Regional Administration, an employee of the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection, a doctor-hygienist of Syunik regional IDT, coordinator of the OSCE Office in Syunik region, “DUNDEE PRECIOUS METALS KAPAN” company’s administrative director and public relations officer, inspector and legal advisor of the MNP SEI Inspection Syunik region, president of “Syunik health Care” Foundation, representatives of NGOs and mass media.

Ashot Avagyan
Coordinator of Kapan Aarhus Center
Tell: (+374) 93 79 59 21
E-mail: info_kapan@aarhus.am , kapan.aarhus@mail.ru
Editor: Mari Chakryan
Translator: Anush Beybutyan