Amulsar gold mining project problems were raised at the annual meeting of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) held in Cyprus on 9-11 May. Artur Grigoryan, Head of ‘Ecological Right’ NGO and a member of the civil society of EITI multi-stakeholder group presented two main problems to the administration of the bank: “The first one is alternative expert assessment of Amulsar project in regard with which currently a court litigation is in progress in RA Administrative Court and state expert assessment may be recognized as illegitimate and annulled.
The second problem refers to the contradiction of the project to the EBRD performance requirements. In the frames of this project the principles of rule of law has been violated, when the Armenian Government adopted a resolution, which allowed transferring endangered species of biodiversity from Amulsar area to other areas. This is the case when domestic legislation has been made compliant to a private project in contradiction to public interests. The conservation of biodiversity has always been the protection of public interest, while in this particular case public interest has been sacrificed for the sake of business interests. The legislation on biodiversity has been weakened to the extent that it allows individual red-listed species to transfer to other areas and to develop a mine in this area, when legal acts with higher status ban any mining activities in these areas,” Arthur Grigoryan said in his interview with EcoLur.
Reminder: On 31 July 2014 the executive adopted resolution N 781-N, which contradicts to the Armenian legislation. Resolution “On Preservation of Flora in the Republic of Armenia and Setting Procedure for Their Use for the Purpose of Reproduction in Natural Conditions” allows the business entity to change the location of red-listed plant species, if these plant species can’t be preserved in the area of the business activities. It should be mentioned that simultaneously with adopting this decision, Lydian International Company submitted the EIA of Amulsar mining project for the environmental expertise to Nature Protection Ministry, which says that red-listed Potentilla porphyrantha growing in the area of Amulsar project will be transferred from the mine area.
Arthur Grigoryan told that the bank representatives outlined in reply to his questions these are the internal affairs of the country and they can’t interfere. ‘It’s not an internal affair of the country, as one of the most important EBRD principles is violated – rule of law. If those organizations, where the EBRD has a share, implement any project, this project shall be compliant with the domestic legislation of the country,’ Arthur Grigoryan said and outlined, ‘We won’t be satisfied with this and shall raise these question at different levels: I think new communication will be launched with the bank to what extent it’s legal and complaint with the bank standards.”
The EBRD owns 6.9% of the shares of “Lydian International” Company implementing Amulsar project.
15:01 May 19, 2017