“Elimination of POPs and obsolete pesticide stockpiles, and addressing associated contaminated sites in Armenia within a sound chemical management framework” project document was signed

26-05-2015

The Republic of Armenia ratified “Persistent organic pollutants” (POPs) the Stockholm Convention on October 22, 2003, thus undertaking a number of responsibilities. Accordingly, Armenia must eliminate obsolete pesticide stockpiles; particularly liquidate noxious wastes containing persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in Noubarashen pesticide dump and in other places in Armenia until 2025.

Today, Aramayis Grigoryan, RA Minister of Nature Protection and Bradley Busetto, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia, signed the necessary project documents of “Elimination of POPs and obsolete pesticide stockpiles, and addressing associated contaminated sites in Armenia within a sound chemical management framework.”

RA Minister of Nature Protection Aramayis Grigoryan attaching significance to the signed document, stated: “Despite the fact that the Government of Armenia has regularly funded to ensure the security and conservation works at Noubarashen burial site, it still remains as a hazardous area for the environment and human health. On the one hand, it is located in a landslide area and, on the other, it was built back in 1980s without proper engineering and geological assessments and required technical norms. It’s high time to solve the problem: liquidate noxious wastes containing persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in Noubarashen pesticide dump. It will prevent the undesirable impact of expired pesticide on the environment and human health.”Additionally, the Minister noted, that Armenia suggests expired pesticides to the third country. There will be the carbonization with corresponding techniques.

“With a spirit of partnership and collaboration, among all major actors, including government entities, international organizations and the civil society, we are confident that we can make this important, but difficult project a success. Flexibility and innovation should be the guiding principles for decision making during the project development and implementation,” said Bradley Busetto in his remarks.

The project activities should be accomplished considering the requirements of national legislation, norms ensuring human health and environment security, as well as several multilateral agreement requirements.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) provided 4.7 million USD as a grant to initiate the project within 4 years. Accordingly, co-funding will be provided by the Government of Armenia, international organizations and the private sector in order to successfully accomplish this project’s goals.

Within the framework of the project, a large POPs pesticide burial site in Noubarashen, as well as residual obsolete pesticide stores in 24 locations across the country will be eliminated. In total, approximately 7,100 tons of POPs waste in the form of heavily contaminated soil and 1,050 tons of POPs pesticides and other obsolete pesticides will be recovered, treated and destroyed in an environmentally friendly manner.

During the 2-year preparatory phase, UNDP, in partnership with the Ministries of Nature Protection, Agriculture, Territorial Administration and Emergency Situations, and the OSCE Office in Yerevan, carried out a detailed investigation and feasibility research at Noubarashen burial site.

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