43% of Armenian Area Exposed to Desertification: National Focal Point of UN Convention to Combat Desertification

43% of Armenian Area Exposed to Desertification: National Focal Point of UN Convention to Combat Desertification

EcoLur

“43% of the Armenian area is exposed to desertification,” UN Convention to Combat Desertification National Focal Point Ashot Vardevanyan said.

The UN Convention to Combat Desertification was adopted in 1994, which was signed by Armenia on 14 October 1994 and ratified on 2 June 1997.

This convention together with the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change are classified as global environmental conventions.

“At first sight, it seems that the combat against desertification has no direct relation with climate change, but if soil management is correct and sustainable, it’s force both for society and ecosystem preservation. Correct management means establishing green zones wherever possible and carrying out construction where establishing green zones is difficult. 80% of cultivated agricultural land areas in Armenia need irrigation, but currently only about 50% is irrigated. Irrigation system shall be available for all agricultural land areas.

EcoLur: What happens with this 30%.

A. Vardevanyan: It depends on destiny: either harvest will be available or not. In 2007-2014 both positive and negative shifts occurred: among positive shifts we can mention the expansion of specially protected areas by 102,400 ha and perennial planters by about 4500 ha. Among negative shifts we can mention the expansion of land areas allotted for mining and soil management. Meadow lands have reduced by 5,800 ha, plough lands – 4,600 ha and pastures by 64,100 ha.

EcoLur: To what extent have the mining areas increased?

A. Vardevanyan: Mining land areas account for 36,400 ha and they increased by about 8000 ha within 7 years. It’s known that one ha pollutes about 10 ha of adjacent area in case open pit mines and tailing dumps. Out of 36,400 ha of land areas around 12000 ha was allotted for mining enterprises, out which around 1500 ha for tailing dumps.”

   

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.



13:20 March 18, 2015


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