In the context of the day, we deem it essential to refer to the damage caused to the environment by the use of phosphorus munitions containing elements of chemical weapons in the specially protected areas of nature the Republic of Armenia during the war incited by the Republic of Azerbaijan on September 27, 2020.
Thus, during more than 40 days of the war, more than 1800 hectares of forested areas were destroyed in the territory of the Artsakh Republic due to the anti-environmental strategy adopted by Azerbaijan. Such a working style continues to this day. The Azerbaijani side, which uses forest fires as a means of solving tactical problems, not only violates a number of international conventions, but also directly destroys one of the most important links in the region's ecosystem and the areas of Red Book species.
As a result of the barbarian shelling of the Azerbaijani side, large forest areas of the territory of the Republic of Armenia, including specially protected areas of nature, were also damaged.
Thereby, due to the war provoked against Artsakh since September 27, the aggressive actions of Azerbaijan have brought about the burning of forests of ''ArmForest'' SNCO of the Ministry of Enviornment.
Approximately 170 hectares of forested area of "Artsvaberd" forest enterprise of Tavush region have been fired. These forests are directly bordering the Republic of Azerbaijan.
As a result of the shelling by the Azerbaijani side, 20-25 hectares of forested and grass-covered areas in the territory of Goris forestry of "ArmForest" SNCO were burnt down.
Significant damage was also caused to the protected zones of ''Zangezur" Biosphere Complex'' SNCO in Syunik region, on the border of the Artsakh Republic. In the period of November 1-2, due to the rocket fire from the Azerbaijani side, 3 areas within 5 hectares, 20 hectares and 40 hectares were burnt down in ''Shikahogh" state reserve. As a result, only 65 hectares of forest area was burnt down in the territory of "Shikahogh" state reserve.
The damage caused to "Zangezur" biosphere complex is still being estimated. Resarches become hard by the ongoing intensive combat operations.
According to the current data, in general, more than 2000 hectares of forest and vegetated areas have been damaged, including in specially protected areas of nature in the territory of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh.
Additionally, Azerbaijan has recently begun to actively use phosphorus munitions containing elements of chemical weapons that pose a serious environmental risk, which can have not only irreversible impacts on the human health, but also a catastrophic impact on the environment.
The use phosphorus munition containing elements of chemical weapon pose a risk of long-term environmental catastrophe as it is a persistent pollutant.
Phosphorus is absorbed into the components of the natural environment (water, soil, vegetation, fauna) and for many years has a devastating impact on all parts of the ecosystem.
Taking into consideration that our region is one of the global 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world, it is currently facing a serious threat to ecosystems and biodiversity loss.
In the context of the UN International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict , proclaimed by the UN, the Ministry of Environment once again urges major international environmental organizations, secretariats of international conventions to take immediate steps to stop ecocide by Azerbaijan in the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh, thus calling on the side using prohobitted weapons and means to be accountable.
Mining Inspection Body
Tel:(+374 10) 55 20 62
of the Ministry
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).