The main branches in Armenia promoting desertification are as follows: agriculture, forestry enterprise, soil and natural resource management and hydropower. Around 50% of Armenia is in desertification process, as “Strategy and National Action Plant To Combat Desertification in the Republic of Armenia” document says, which the executive approved on 27 May.
“Agriculture, where environmental-related problems are as follows: water losses because of ineffective irrigation, soil salination, erosion and pollution with agricultural wastes, which lead to ecosystem degradation.
Forestry enterprise, where tree felling still exceeds natural recovery rate of forests because of different socio-economic problems and high demand for timber. Soil and natural resource management, where thousands ha of land areas in the country are covered with open pits and tailing dumps. According to the land balance of the Republic of Armenia, in 2009 industrial, soil management and other land areas of industrial significance accounted for 29.360 ha, 33.000 ha in 2011, 33,600 ha in 2012, and 34,900 ha in 2014, i.e. the surface of used land areas is gradually increasing, particularly at the expense of soil management land areas. Open pit mining is more worrying, as over 7000 ha of agricultural land areas have been taken out of use.
Hydropower, where the needs of water fauna are not taken into consideration in projecting and operating small hydropower plants (SHPPs), while the impact of shift in the water regime of mountainous rivers on littoral and water ecosystems and biodiversity hasn’t been assessed, moreover, it hasn’t been studied. SHPPs, which don’t have statutory compliant fish pathways and fish-protecting structures, directly jeopardize the existence of mature fish species, which flow up the rivers for spawning. SHPPs don’t adhere to the standards of the environmental flow, which also leads to the degradation of river ecosystems,” the strategy says.
The “EcoLur” Informational NGO is organizing series of events aimed at public involvement and awareness raising targeted to the future climate change policy directions and development of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) of the Republic of Armenia under UN Climate Change Framework Convention (UNFCCC).
The material is prepared by 'EcoLur' Informational NGO under UNDP Climate Change Program, within the framework of ARM-002/2015 Contract. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the United Nations, including UNDP, or the UN Member States.
14:14 June 03, 2015