“The system should be motivating, fair and savings-oriented”: Karen Karapetyan conducted a visit to Ministry of Nature Protection


During an official visit to the RA Ministry of Nature Protection Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan considered ongoing projects, issues and tasks with the RA MNP Staff.

RA Minister of Nature Protection Artsvik Minasyan reported progress in the implementation of priorities and projected activities under Action Plan of the RA Government for 2017. 25 investment projects were pointed at in nature protection sector, including: 23 grant programs and 2 projects funded from the State budget to a total cost of 184 453.4 thousand USD.

Reflecting upon the steps undertaken towards water stewardship, Deputy Minister of Nature Protection Khachik Hakobyan submitted the activities directed to rehabilitation of underground water resources in Ararat Valley. According to the Deputy Minister, the introduction of automatic centralized management system is envisaged to provide for all fish breeding entrepreneurship, which will result in online monitoring of water use. There has already been installed on an experimental farm; the system is meant to be phased out in 3 stages by 2018.

The Premier emphasized the importance of automatic control systems in terms of ensuring a multiplier effect. “The system should be motivating, fair and savings-oriented. I look forward to a comprehensive solution: what kind of incentives can we ensure, what amendments must we make to the legal framework? You need to engage in dialog with businesses showing maximum respect. Let us set out such rules, thus not causing harm to business activities. Economic entities cannot but accept such a solution, otherwise it would be unacceptable to us”: Karen Karapetyan stated, instructing to present a proposal on the reform of the Water Resources Management Agency.

Afterwards, Karen Karapetyan was briefed on the steps with reference to Lake Sevan. The water level comprises 1900.76m at present, with a positive growth trend provided in accordance with the applicable law. In general, a balanced growth in this field can be noticed in recent years. Due to the approved concept, it envisages that the water level must come up to 1903.5m by 2030, and the proposed target will be met owning to current rate maintained.

“We all care for the Lake, yet everything should be justified. We need to realize that we are going to make a responsible decision and will not place an extra burden on the economy, since I understand very well that this may lead to additional costs - road infrastructure, gas etc. Actually we have to capitalize thereupon by developing a recreation zone in this area with all necessary prerequisites, I look forward to being presented a well-grounded vision,” Karen Karapetyan said.

The Head of Government was also given information about conservation works apropos of the RA specially protected areas of nature, reserves, sanctuaries, national parks as well as nature monuments. Getting familiar with performance and achievements of the prevailing system, the Prime Minister assigned to develop clear guidelines for the development of specially protected areas of nature, which will lead to growth in revenues, ecotourism advance, preservation and efficient management of green areas.

Returning to the problem of preventing illegal tree cutting, Karen Karapetyan told those responsible to be as much intolerant as possible, execute strict supervision and monitoring in order to call offenders to responsibility.

“We are exterminating our forests. You are supposed to protect our resources and, therefore, you should not tolerate instances like that,” the Premier said, instructing to submit recommendations aimed at separating the forest management and control functions, as well as on the reform of the State Environmental Inspectorate.

The Prime Minister was given detailed information on climate change, bowels exploitation, development courses and other measures.

Minister Minasyan illustrated the diagnosed problems: namely the lack of a unified management system and policies, inefficient management in the supply / use of natural resources, lack of an effective system of management of water basins and protected areas, corruption risks, low level of public-private cooperation in the field of environmental protection, absence of a systemic approach in the protection of ecosystems and, finally, absence of a comprehensive system of integrated monitoring of the environment and natural resources, information and accounting / inventory management.

The Prime Minister issued directives to the Minister to submit a package of proposals.