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 speech of UNFCCC National Focal Point Aram Gabrielyan. "Within about a month we must present to the Government the draft document for adoption on Armenia’s future commitments regarding reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and developing GHG absorbers. As a developing country, vulnerable to climate change, Armenia give priority to land and forest protection and recovery. Armenia’s GHG emissions are not very high, but we have serious problems with land degradation. That is why today, I would like that round table participants will discuss necessary measures to be included in the document that must be prepared for the Government approval, which further have to be submitted to the Convention Secretariat. Currently there are certain international mechanisms for promotion of projects on land carbon protection and afforestation. We succeeded in including the idea of optimal forest cover in the national forest strategy according to which it must make up 20.1 percent of the Republic's territory. It's not difficult to notice that the RA "Land Code" and other legislative acts don't include provisions on land protection, which may be means that land isn't perceived as a natural ecosystem under protection. Under the Second National Environmental Action Plan, it was planned that Ministry of Nature Protection to develop a concept of land protection, before 2012, but it has not been developed so far. We have a goal to reanimate that idea and finally reflect upon that important issue and develop that concept. The next is the problem of performing land monitoring. In 2010 government approved decision on land monitoring, but it was not enforced. The mentioned decision for the first time introduced an indicator of organic carbon in the soil for land condition evaluation. The UN Development Programmed is implementing project under EU funding in Vardenis region, where is planned to perform monitoring of organic carbon in the soil and vegetation, particularly in the forest.
In climate changes mitigation the best and most clear indicator of forest and land sustainable use is the amount of organic carbon and the positive dynamics of its flow. The Increase of the amount of organic carbon in the soil and forest is an evidence of sustainable use of natural resources and its decrease indicates land degradation or reduction of forest area and density. We must also take into consideration that because of climate change, the lower belts of the forest will shift up by the relief and the climate drying will contribute to land degradation. Regular monitoring of organic carbon in the soil and forest will allow estimating how carefully we refer to the soil and forest and how effectively we respond to the climate change. Taking into consideration all of this I offer to develop this concept and taking this opportunity to include the components of land use and forest in our international commitments (INDC) and respective national strategies and projects with maximum priority ".
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.
11:35 July 15, 2015