Hydropower is one of the most important causes of mass disturbance of precious river ecosystems. From this viewpoint, Georgia and Armenia have the most worrying situation out of all previous USSR countries. The river ecosystems in Armenia are destroyed under the impact of numerous SHPPs, while in Georgia it happens because of medium and huge HPPs. This opinion was expressed to EcoLur by Yevgeniy Simonov, Coordinator of ‘Rivers without Boundaries Coalition-RwB’ international coalition. This coalition is an international network of organizations and experts dealing with the problems of transboundary river basins and their protection and advancement of the best practices for river management. Yevgeniy Simonov is one of the organizers of “Rivergathering” international conference, which was held in Tbilisi recently and gathered 85 participants from 34 countries worldwide.
Yevgeniy Simonov positively assessed that the government of Armenia has recently focused on the problem of reducing damage from SHPP and pays attention to other alternative sources of energy.
According to his assessment, hydropower sector doesn’t demonstrate essential innovations for many years and doesn’t have any perspectives of development, including because of the deficit of its main resource – freely flowing rivers, which could be killed with buildings dams. What’s the sense to invest into a sector, which is in stagnation? “The selection of obtaining energy is getting wider and wider, while alternative versions are getting cheaper and cheaper,” Yevgeniy Simonov said.
“The biodiversity of freshwater ecosystems and population of freshwater species is decreasing twice faster than any other land or ocean species. Over 70% of migrating fish population are endangered, mostly because of dams (https://www.wwf.de/fileadmin/fm-wwf/Publikationen-PDF/WWF-LivingPlanetReport-2016.pdf ). We shall reach thorough legal protection of still undisturbed river ecosystems, otherwise we shall simply lose all natural river ecosystems,’ Yevgeniy Simonov said.
16:48 April 12, 2017