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The Aarhus Centers Support for Sevan

On April 29, the National Assembly on the first reading has adopted the legislative draft on the additional water outlet from Sevan. However, the proposed 5-year term was reduced to 1-year in accordance with the proposal of the Prosperous Armenia Party. This can be considered as a small victory of the Armenia’s civil society, when in conditions of creating proper awareness, scientific arguments, predictions and inquiries, through the consistent struggle of civil society, the legislature made compromises and adopted lesser evil.
Yet in the last year, when the Aarhus Centers were informed “On Making Amendments to RA Law

“On state complex program on the recovery, preservation, reproduction and natural development and usage of Lake Sevan ecosystem”, Gavar Aarhus Center immediately made a request about the matter addressed to the chairman of the State Water Committee. The response was received only after the second request. It was positive. The Center immediately assumed the obligation to inform the public.

In response to the request filed to the regional administration, the regional governor informed that they were unaware of the project, so as the Sevan basin and other communities of the republic.

Another initiative associated with Sevan did not make to wait long: draft project for restoration of trout stock and development of fisheries in Lake Sevan, which the environmentalists qualified as unfair treatment of our natural wealth. The vast majority of the public was unaware of these initiatives.

It was neglected the public participation in the decision-making process regarding the fate of Lake Sevan which has invaluable ecological value for present and future generations. For this reason many NGOs, civic initiatives and active citizens, joined to “SOS Sevan” initiative expressing mistrust decision-makers over Lake Sevan as they were witnesses of dried Artesian Basin of Ararat valley resulted from the careless management. The Aarhus Centers had key role in presentation the issue to general public. Initially to Gavar Center joined Yerevan, as well as the other Aarhus Centers, carrying out awareness raising measures in the spot, calling not to be indifferent to their rights and changes occurring in the environment. It was also great the experts investment because the draft law had serious need of scientific study and justification.

L. Azizyan, head of Hydrology Centre for Hydro Meteorological Service, Ministry of Emergency Situations of the RA informed that in case of 170 million cubic meters of water intake on January 1, 2015 the Lake level is predicted to be 1900.11-1900.16 m, which for the best will correspond to the level of January 1, 2014 or it will be 5-7 cm lower. In case of 240 million cubic meters the natural negative balance will be higher.

At a rough estimate, as the 1 cm layer capacity of Lake Sevan level is about 12.9 million cubic meters, the additional 70 million cubic meters will be about 5.5 cm long layers, in fact, according to the logic of these predictions on January 1, 2015 the level of Lake Sevan will be 10,5-12,5 cm lower compared to 2014.
In accordance with another scientific forecast (is attached), during the years 2015-2019 the changes of Lake Sevan level will be negative -0, 06 m.

Although making decision on reducing the proposed 5-year term to 1-year in the draft of water outlet from Sevan, the Lake Sevan continues to remain under the risk.

Therefore, the civil society will not stop; the Aarhus Centers will continue collecting reliable and accurate information with professionals cooperating with them.

Mari Chakryan
Aarhus Centers PR manager պատասխանատու
Tell: 010 551364
E-mail: aarhusnews@gmail.com
Translated by Anush Beybutyan