RA Minister of Nature Protection Artsvik Minasyan received Michael Sutter, Project Manager of Consortium of EU Member States of European Union Water Initiative for Eastern Partnership Countries (EUWI+ East). Adviser to the Minister of Nature Protection Vahagn Khachatryan, Director of "Environmental Monitoring and Information Centre" SNCO Simon Papyan, Head of Water Resource Management Agency Vahan Davtyan and heads of other subdivisions were actively engaged in the meeting. The objective of the meeting was to discuss the components of the initial EUWI + project.
Addressing the guest and attributing importance to the mission that the latter has arrived to Armenia, Minister of Nature Protection Artsvik Minasyan emphasized that the Government of the Republic of Armenia, especially the RA Ministry of Nature Protection, tries hard to reach the best outcomes in water resource management sector and in this respect underscored the EU's assistance program. The Minister of Nature Protection considered the initial project in the context of signing of EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement in November, which focuses on environmental protection and particularly, efficient water resource management. Minister Artsvik Minasyan noted that other support projects are also implemented in environmental sphere and there is a task to combine them in a single unit in order to benefit from the project fulfillment. Therefore, it is essential to confer upon all the components in the water sector: accounting, evaluation, capacity building for monitoring, well organized development of basin management plans, preservation of the unique and valuable ecosystem of Lake Sevan, the necessity of using 800 million m3 annually for secondary-treated irrigation for breeding enterpreneurship from the underground basin of Ararat Valley, advancement of water systems.
Michael Sutter, extending a vote of thanks for the reception, noticed that the project is conducted within the framework of EU’s Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries and is the continuation of the previous projects. The above programs have been accomplished by international consulting organizations, providing technical assistance, in this case the EU member countries realize them as partner relations between the states. The Project Manager of the EU highly appreciated the level of cooperation with the Armenian side at the preparatory stage, that will make a contribution to the productive fulfillment of the project, adding that the project is flexible in this phase and the budget can be amended according to the state’s requirements.
At the end of the meeting the Minister of Nature Protection stressed that he is interested in the constructive implementation of the project in order to ensure the prolongation of similar projects and be exemplary for other countries.
The project has been administratively operational since September 2016. It focuses on improving the management of water resources and transboundary rivers in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia and Moldova (EaP).
EUWI + project is implemented by the OECD, UNECE, Federal Environment Agency-Austria and International Office for Water-France. A set of a plan of actions was envisaged for 2016-2020.
The following five priority areas (themes) have been identified within the framework of EUWI + cooperation:
The consortium of EU member countries is responsible for the accomplishment of 2-5 areas (themes). The budget of these projects is over € 25 million for 6 countries, which will be funded by the governments of the European Union, Austria and France. Approximately 1/6 of the budget will be allocated to the Republic of Armenia.
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