We are on the same side of the "barricade": Minister of Environment had a meeting with representatives of environmental organizations and environmental activists.
Minister of Environment Romanos Petrosyan met with representatives of environmental organizations and initiatives, including members of Armenian Environmental Front (AEF) Voluntary Civic Initiative, “Green Armenia” environmental, educational NGO, Journalist and Environmental Activist Tehmine Yenokyan, Environmental Lawyer Nazeli Vardanyan, “Eco Aghb” environmental non-governmental organization, media editors presenting the environmental sphere, etc.
Discussed the entire complex of environmental issues in the atmosphere of constructive dialogue and mutual understanding. Post-war environmental issues, forest management, main issues regarding Lake Sevan’s ecosystem, responsible mining and subsoil use, wildlife preservation, hydroelectric power plants.
Welcoming those present and thanking them for responding to the invitation to the meeting, Minister Romanos Petrosyan first expressed gratitude to them for their work, then stressed that in parallel with the activities of state institutions, the role of the public sector, legal circles, environmental movements and the influence on the activities of institutional structures are highlighted.
The Ministry of Environment as the governing body of the sphere, and the state institution developing the policy of the sector, the environmental activists and environmental organizations as the public concerned about environmental issues in Armenia are on the same side of the "barricade". The Minister requested attendees to assist in recording all the issues that may have been left out of his sight.
The Minister submitted the work accomplished during these months, the initiatives of reforms, packages of legislative changes, post-war issues. Any issue that is justified and concerns the environmental activists as citizens of the Republic of Armenia, it also concerns the Ministry of Environment.
Minister Petrosyan deemed this meeting as the starting point of new relations and expressed hope that the raised issues, if not in the short-term, then in the medium-term and long-term perspectives, will be addressed or at least active steps will be assumed to create preconditions for their solutions.
Also, the Minister talked about the formation of a public council attached to the Minister: the last council was formed in 2014, but in recent years it has not functioned and has not been viable. The new decree envisages forming a public council attached to the minister. Additional information on the remaining details of the Council will be delivered. The Minister asked the environmental partners to jointly formulate the mechanisms for the formation of that council. The Council should be all-inclusive and viable. The Minister stated that the most important point in his vision of evironmental management is the construction of balanced relations with all circles; the only way to do that is a healthy and well-argued debate.
By the proposal of the Minister, agreements were reached to have similar meetings on a quarterly basis, and if problems arise before that, which require a bilateral meeting, he also expressed his willingness for separate meetings.
Photos by Armenpress news agency
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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).