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The child, who will be born in this region after 500 years is also entitled to the Lake Sevan

Making amendments to the draft of the RA law on the additional water outlet from Sevan and the draft of the fishery project through network economy under the name of recovery of endemic species of Sevan had outraged environmentalists, professionals and especially the residents of Lake Sevan basin. The latter sent a letter to the RA President demanding to cease the adoption process of these two programs as well as to be consistent with entering Lake Sevan in the list of natural monuments of the UNESCO.
Not getting desirable solution to concerned them issue or even a step in that direction, civil society expressed its dissatisfaction through the march.

On April 25 the Sevan defenders organized a march. Marching through the city of Sevan they went to the area of “Sevan” HPP chanting “We’ll not give Sevan to oligarchs”, “Save Sevan”. The protest march organizers are convinced that: “If there is no Sevan, than will not be Armenia,” “The child who will be born in this region after 500 years is also entitled to the Lake Sevan.” Before that, on April 11 in the city of Sevan (Agenda, list of participants) and on April 15, in the city of Gavar (Agenda, list of participants),the Ecolur NGO jointly with Gavar Aarhus Center, in the support of the “Regional Development and Research Center” and “BLEJAN” local NGOs, within the frameworks of the initiative “Public campaign for the Protection of the Lake Sevan and the Ararat Valley” had conducted awareness raising meeting-discussions with citizens.

During the meetings the experts presented the public the situation surrounding on the alleged amendments made to the RA law “On state complex program on recovery, preservation, reproduction and natural development and usage of Lake Sevan ecosystem”, human rights violations related to the government decisions regarding Lake Sevan, the expected impact of those decisions on the Lake Sevan ecosystem and water quality.

The participants of discussions unanimously opposed the two projects and decided to fight to the end.
According to L. Galstyan, member of the Pan-Armenian Environmental Front Lake Sevan belongs to the Armenian people and taking any action refer to the Lake, first of all should be taken into account the interests of the people and the nature. During the protest march the latter called Sevan residents to be demanding and not allow making decisions refer to Sevan sitting in cabinets, with no regard for people’s opinion.

A. Shahnazaryan, member of “Save Teghut” Civic Initiative mentioned that as a result of the fisheries program the residents of the basin will not even have the right to throw fishing-rod into the Lake. Therefore, on his prediction is expected not only an ecological catastrophe, but also a social. “They are absolutely monopolizing, making their own fishery pool the most important water resource, which belongs to the people,” said A. Shahnazaryan.

Stopping at Sevan municipality, the protest march participants urged the mayor to join the fight of the public. The protest march participants were welcomed and encouraged passers-by and residents who were unaware of the mentioned projects.

It should be noted that L. Asoyan, coordinator of Gavar Aarhus Center suggested to the authors of the above-mentioned legislative initiatives to organize awareness campaigns, meetings with the public of Lake Sevan basin and expressed willingness to help. However, the proposal did not receive a response.
During the protest march, have been presented the open letter addressed to the newly appointed Prime Minister H. Abrahamyan, under which have signed more than 1000 citizens.

The protest will be continued in Yerevan, on April 28, at 11:00 am, in front of the National Assembly.

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