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The YSU students’ impression of the visit to Yerevan Aarhus Center

The work time has been already finished at the Ministry of Nature Protection, but Yerevan Aarhus Center was still very lively: the Center hosted the 3rd year students of the Faculty of Environmental Journalism of the YSU. The meeting was initiated by the YSU lecturer Arpi Harutyunyan. After the warm reception by Silva Ayvazyan, the only employee of the Center and the students’ placement at the round table was began the acquaintance with the structure and its activities.
The first Aarhus Centre in Armenia was opened in 2002, in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the RA Ministry of Nature Protection and the OSCE Office in Yerevan.

Currently Aarhus Centers are operating in almost all regions of Armenia except Armavir. There are no Aarhus Centers also in NKR, even though there is a need for it. Why there are no centers in the above mentioned areas, Ms. Ayvazyan explained that the problem is political and financial. These centers role is to address environmental issues in providing access to information and draw public attention to the problems of the field.

The centers are also organizing discussions and ensuring stakeholder participation in decision-making. Information requests are directed to the proper authorities on issues of public concern. The structure’s activity is public and available to those interested in the field. This meeting was a unique discussion over the issues of concern to students. As a result of the active questions and answers, has been formed a complete understanding on the Center’s functions among the students.

“The first thing that I learned is the name of the Center and that we have such a structure. I also learned that for writing materials related to the environment I can apply for and receive assistance, which is necessary for me now, “said Araks Arakelyan, student of the group.

Yerevan Aarhus Center Coordinator also offered her support to students of the YSU in covering environmental issues and information gathering process.

During the meeting, the students received books about the researches carried out in the field, which will also help the start-up journalists for competent and accurate media coverage.

Azatuhi Khachatryan
Student at the Faculty of Journalism of the YSU
Translated by Anush Beybutyan