What is the condition of the land in Armenia, what kind of policy does the government run for land resources, whether we will have food safety problem because of climate change and what we should do to face theclimate change? All these questions were discussed at “The Safety of Land resources and Food inLight of Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Emissions” round table at “EcoLur” Press Club. The round table participants were as follows: Garnik Petrosyan, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Lusine Davtyan, Deputy Head at State Service for Food Safety, Asya Muradyan, Head of Air Protection Policy Division Ministry of Nature Protection of the Republic of Armenia, Aram Gabrielyan, National Focal Point of the UN Convention on Climate Change, Ashot Vardevanyan, National Focal Point of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, Hunan Ghazaryan, Director of Scientific Center of Soil Science, Agrochemistry and Melioration, Diana Harutyunyan, UNDP Climate Change Project Coordinator, Georgi Arzumanyan, UNDP Programme Policy Adviser, Anastas Aghazaryan, UNDP Climate Change Program Expert, Armen Danielyan, IFAD/GEF National Coordinator of “Sustainable land management to increase productivity”, Amalya Hambardzumyan, Chairman of “Khazer” NGO, Nune Sarukhanyan, Chairman of “Green Lane” NGO and EcoLur working team. We present the UNDP Climate Change Program Expert Anastas Aghazaryan’s speech, “In our country, when food safety is discussed, we usually ignore food safety concept. Food safety concept has economic content and it supposes increase of country’s agricultural production and thereby, increases the country's food ensuring the independence from international markets and the numerous risks and potential changes. They also talked about use of pastures near villages, which will spur the development of cattle breeding. But development of cattle breeding is not only a problem on pastures, as we see today, for example, we have problems with milk price and there is dissatisfaction among the villagers. One who deals with agriculture and doesn’t have economic benefit, it is hard to tempt him to go to distant pastures for cattle. Another example, there is domination of single species in Ararat valley. The food safety concept assumes quite another thing with its components and content. … We discuss development issues or 3 different directions. Which problem is more prevalent, which direction we prefer: land, food safety or climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. If we are more interested in food safety, it implies a rise in agricultural production. It is impossible not to produce more, because in addition to unmet demand, in our country the only reliable resource of economic growth remains agriculture. The growth in agriculture, thus increase agricultural production is accompanied by indiscriminate exploitation of land resources, which would result worse condition. This choice is in direct conflict with the problem of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. If our goal is a man and his health, in this case we must have to deal with agricultural lands and other resources differently, in order to have a nutritious, ecologically safe food. What is more important for the country: food safety as a component of economic, food safety as a health guarantee or the land as a resource, plus climate change? I'm not sure that the answer will be definitely and the choice will be the only acceptable one. Official statistics in this context, publish a number of indicators and I think if we take into consideration also this fact, the choice will be much more difficult. … I would like to discuss and find out what is more important for our country, as it is impossible to reach the 3 goals in the current conditions and with available resources. I say this because I am familiar with the policy and the strategy of the Ministry of Agriculture. There are good ideas, and the events are developing in different directions, but whether it will be possible to implement. I think it is quite risky, especially when the development of agriculture is more emphasized in extensive increase way”.
The “EcoLur” Informational NGO is organizing series of events aimed at public involvement and awareness raising targeted to the future climate change policy directions and development of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) of the Republic of Armenia under UN Climate Change Framework Convention (UNFCCC).
The material is prepared by 'EcoLur' Informational NGO under UNDP Climate Change Program, within the framework of ARM-002/2015 Contract. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the United Nations, including UNDP, or the UN Member States.
11:07 July 08, 2015