Ecology: PACE approved resolution draft on Armenian mines impact on environment

A draft resolution referring to environmental problems of Armenia was approved at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), however only Heritage Party member Zaruhi Postanjyan, the author of the initiative, endorsed the document on behalf of Armenia.

On January 28, 24 PACE delegates endorsed the draft, called ‘On the disastrous impact of developing current and expected mining deposits of Armenia on environment’.

According to the statement, released by Postanjyan, taking into consideration that using safe food and the presence of a safe environment are basic human rights, the PACE must assign an appropriate rapporteur on damages caused to the population and environment by Armenian mining industry and submit a recommendation to the Armenian Government.

Head of Ecolur environmental NGO Inga Zarafyan says that a number of mining deposits operate in the Republic of Armenia with dozens of huge tailing dumps formed due their operation which led to anxious problems for the population on health and their rights to a safe life. Further, in areas where these mines are located disease indicators (cancer, respiratory ailments, abnormal births, sterility and miscarriages) are much higher as compared with the indicators throughout the republic.

According to Zarafyan, violating its domestic legislation and a number of international norms the Armenian Government issued a license for geo-prospecting and developing (for future exploitation) new mines, among which are Shahumyan Mine in Kapan and Teghut Mine.

The ecologists are now especially concerned about the prospecting and development of uranium, and its future exploitation; the uranium works have already launched in Lernadzor Community, Syunik province.

“Now it is very important to voice this issue in the international arena, because the system of health and social maintenance of Armenia is not favorable for continuing the exploitation of the mines in Armenia,” Zarafyan told ArmeniaNow.