Concerns over the possibility of destroying a virgin forest and posing a threat to the adjacent settlements within the next 30-40 years were confirmed several days ago as the government of the Republic of Armenia conceded to the Teghut Copper-molybdenum mine in the province of Lori for exploitation.According to the working plan by Armenian Copper Program (ACP) the exploitation of the ore mine demands logging 357.16 hectares of wood, where the volume of timber will make 57,700 cubic meters.Environmentalists say 170,833 trees will be logged for the exploitation, including rare sorts of walnut, oak, apple and pear trees. In the Teghut woods 55,000 rare and 45,000 valuable trees grow, as well as plants and animal species included in the Red Data List that will likely vanish when the mine is exploited.“Our estimates show about 2,000 hectares of forests will be destroyed for exploitation, creation of the tailing and communication infrastructure. As a result Teghut will become a landslide zone,” says economist Razmik Terteryan.The fuss kicked up by environmentalists somewhat delayed the government’s decision. However, the new Minister of Environmental Protection Aram Harutyunyan, came up with a hasty positive conclusion to the examination set for the issue, thus continuing the work his predecessor Vardan Aivazyan began, despite the minister’s statement for holding another examination within the next one month.The work by the former and the present ministers was approved by Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan, who visited the mine in the village of Teghut several days ago to attend the set up of the ore mine. According to the PM any kind of mine exploitation would affect the environment, but the company has taken an obligation [to minimize the negative impact]. “I think there is no need to worry, because the RA government clearly defines the rules of the game and we, as the government, will constantly be supervising the second party of the process,” Sargsyan stated.
Read the rest of ArmeniaNow article.
It’s sad, very sad. It’s actually on the verge of fantastic: one can easily count the number of trees existing in Armenia, yet these people still want to destroy a virgin forest, not enough, huh? While environmental NGOs seem to point to the problem and all, showing only their external concern and not taking any steps to stop it from happening.
A group of young people is trying to take some actions to prevent this disaster. Please, see www.bnamard.blogspot.com , as it covers everything at length.
Here are links to read more on the issue:
Mining Discontent: Environmentalists unhappy with Teghut decision
Վաղը Թեղուտ եւ Շնող չի լինելու… (there will be no Teghut and Shnox tomorrow…)
Copper Mine Menaces Armenia’s Teghut Forest
ACTION ALERT: SAVE TEGHUT FORESThttp://www.armeniatree.org/alert_teghut.htm
You can read Hakob Sanasaryan’s analysis of this issue in the following texts:
And more links here.
There is also a notification that a working group is going to be organized and people ready to participate are welcomed to join.
You can also join facebook group SAVE TEGHUT FOREST and make some suggestions.