Climate Change and Security Issues at the OSCE Initiated Workshop
Representatives of Yerevan, Gavar, Vanadzor, Goris Aarhus Centers participated in the consultative workshop held with the OSCE support on May 12, which aims to reveal the effects threatening the security as a result of climate change in Armenia and to map the most vulnerable geographic areas- the hot spots.
The workshop participants: representatives of the RA ministries, agencies, civil society and experts, as well as the employees of the OSCE Office in Yerevan and the representatives of the “Environment and Security” (ENVSEC) initiative, were gathered to get acquainted with the development trends in Armenia and the last
analysis on the climate’s impact upon them, trying to understand, whether the climate change could be a security risk.
Tomasz Dembski, Economic and Environmental Programme Officer at the OSCE Office in Yerevan cited economists interpretation, according to which at this moment climate change has stopped, as it has taken a nap, which the economists determine by the economic recession and financial crisis, however, according to him the climate change from the environmental problem has become a national and international security issue, for which many governments are concerned and make all possible efforts to find out scientific basis of the issue and to mitigate the climate change. He provided the example of Germany, which until 2020 need to reduce greenhouse gases by 20%, while those emissions are steadily increasing since 2009 in Germany.
V. Asaturyan, head of the UN department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the RA highlighted the efforts of the “Environment and Security» (ENVSEC) initiative for supporting the Armenian measures to face the challenges of climate change, the latter added: “Climate change is a global issue and its prevention, response and adaptation measures require international cooperation. The Climate change, due to seriousness of its consequences, for several years is one of the agenda priorities of the RA government. ”
The results of the similar consultative workshops planned to organize this year in three regions will be included in the “Climate change and security” report.
Presenting that working document E. Ruchevska mentioned that in recent years the desert areas expanded by 9 times in Armenia, focused attention to the infrastructures of hydro-power sector, for the field development stressed importance to consideration quantities of water at present and possible changes in future.
In this regard, the report of D. Harutyunyan, head of the National Climate Centre was not so encouraging, according to him in 1929-2012 the average temperature in summer in Armenia has been risen to 1,1°C , in winter-0.4 °C , while the average for the year 1.01°C.
“In the waterless agricultural zones of Aparan, Amasya, Sevan, Tavush, Idjevan, without irrigation will not be possible to get harvest crops. In highland regions water supply vulnerability will be increased by 30-40 percent,” said the latter.
A. Gabrielyan, National Focal Point of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change considered adaptation to Climate Change in applying ecosystem approaches. According to him it’s necessary to separate the concept “resource” from the ecosystem: “The Natural resource is a component of the natural ecosystem subject to usage by human, therefore, it’s necessary to maintain not the resource, but the natural ecosystem and moderate natural exploitation in a way that the ecosystem will not be damaged,” he marked.
A. Gabrielyan also introduced the Armenian unique approach of solving the problem, which is: creation of a civic “green” revolving fund belonging to the citizens of Armenia and serving it through solving climate change issues. In terms of making decisions towards the discussed issues highlighted the component of creating public awareness.
The speech of L. Asoyan, coordinator of Gavar Aarhus Center was right about that. The Aarhus Centers can assist in making more affordable and accessible the information on the climate change adaptation for the public, promoting the observed climate change issues competently and consistently at the community level, taking into account the principle of decentralization.
PR manager of tha Armenian Aarhus Centers
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Translated by Anush Beybutyan