On December 15 RA Minister of Nature Protection Artsvik Minasyan met with the officers of Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Working Group of the United States Forest Service (USFS). The Minister expressed gratitude to the U.S. Government for a rapid response to the urge of the Ministry of Nature Protection of the Republic of Armenia; it was proved by the specialists' visit of United Nations Forest Service conducted to Armenia in September, a short time after the meeting with the U.S Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills. The Minister attributed importance to continuity in the proceedings and the new group's visit, remarkably in the background of violent wildfires in California.
Artsvik Minasyan briefly presented some organizational and structural changes already assumed in specially protected areas of nature (SPAs), stressing the needs for technical upgrade and professional counseling, returned to organizing of activities along with other ministries and the lessons learned from a heavy blow within the period of wildfires.
Fire Management Officer of USFS Jennifer Croft, before making and submitting an in-depth report, briefly illustrated his observations, extending a vote of thanks for his involvement in this important process and the mutually beneficial cooperation. According to the American expert, works must be undertaken in four main directions- communication, which also implies raising the awareness level among public, counseling, planning and developing staff competence.
"During my visit to Armenia this week, I detected that there are numerous components of efficient fire management in a landscape challenge. Today, we present our approaches to developing efficient fire management plans, as well as the possibility of applying the entire set of tools available in the ministries in emergency situations, especially in the case of wildfires. One of the crucial elements of any discussion over wildfire management shall be the integration of long-range planning for management of fires and wildland ": Jennifer Croft said, speaking about setting of works alongside other ministries, establishing emergency response teams in the communities, thus involving volunteers trained in fire extinguishing operations and several other issues.
The specialist highlighted the importance of mapping, staff training and technical upgrading.
The RA Minister of Nature Protection thanked for accomplished researches and stated that they will look forward to the submission of the enhanced report, that will bring about a new mutually beneficial cooperation.
USFS IP Coordinator in South Caucasus Countries Mariam Tevzadze, Rafael Sambu, Economic and Commercial officer at the U.S. Embassy in Armenia, Aleksey Hovakimyan, Economic Specialist of Political and Economics Division of U.S. Embassy in Armenia, officials of the RA Ministry of Nature Protection were engaged in the meeting.
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Environmental Protection and Mining Inspection Body was defined as a subordinate body to the Government by the RA law on “State administration system bodies” adopted on March 23, 2018, thus citizens may send their calls and applications to the Head of the Inspection Body (Address: Koryun 1, 3750009 Yerevan, tel. (+374 15) 48 48 48).