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If the SPANs New Strategy will contribute to the Conservation of Specially Protected Natural Areas
On March 17, public discussion of the draft document of “Strategy of Development of the Specially Protected Natural Areas of the RA and the National Action Program” was held in the Environmental Law Resource Center of the YSU.
Mr. S. Baloyan, Deputy Director of the Environmental project implementation unit of the RA MNP talking about the draft document, noted that unlike the previous program, it contains innovative approaches; it has no defects and shortcomings that were noticed previously and has a logical structure. During the development of the document was also taken into account the strategic plan for 2015-2020 of
biodiversity conservation and sustainable use adopted in the 10th Conference of the parties of Convention on Biological Diversity, in which significant attention was paid to the special protected natural areas (SPANs).

A. Grigoryan, member of the Save Teghut Civic Initiative at first interested about what does make sense to develop a strategy, if it does not work: “For example at this moment we have an actual situation, when actions are taken contrary to the law acting in the SPANs and any state structure doesn’t suspend it”, – marked A. Grigoryan, providing the example of installation Sotq crushing and sorting plant in Sevan Lake basin. Then the latter addressed a question to Mr. V. Martirosyan, PIU director, what is the framework of competency of this structure, how much is the budget and if there any issue that has not been set on any government authority and what loan resources are need for those implementation.

According to him, the functions of the state authorized body, the MNP are transferred to a state institution, about which there is no any information at the MNP’s official website except of the unit’s director photo.
The taxpayers are paying annually for the implementation of the MNP’s obligations, as specified in the Second National Environmental Action Plan. The taxpayers also pay for conducting control over different units assumed commitments. Two MNP departments are directly responsible for the protected areas, there are gathered professionals.
What function has the given PIU, what specialists, what programs have implemented in addition to development of the poverty reduction project received criticisms of the Control Chamber, Sevan cleaning works and development of the repeatedly criticized low on the Special Protection Areas of 3 billion worth.

Mr. V. Martirosyan said that the document should not be connected with the purchasing of resources or loans, adding that this is a document ensuring continuation of the country’s ongoing strategy. To the question of L. Galstyan, representatives of the Armenian Environmental Front, what is preventing the implementation of the strategy in recent years, S. Baloyan responded: “The Legislative gaps”.

L. Galstyan proposed to mark much less as protected areas in the region instead of 13%, because not any reservation has clear boundaries and maintenance mode, yet not issued passports to the monuments of nature and applying this logic is not possible to achieve a positive outcome.

Representatives of the environmental NGOs raised many other issues and the draft document was evaluated as the recurrence of the UN developed National Environmental Action Plan.

Mary Chakryan
PR manager of the Armenian Aarhus Centers
Tell:. 010 551364
E-mail: aarhusnews@gmail.com

Translated by Anush Beybutyan