RA Nature Protection Ministry is developing a unified model for forest management in Armenia, according to which both specially protected areas of nature and forest areas under the control of 'ArmForest' SNCO shall be governed by one center, as RA Nature Protection Minister Artsvik Minasyan said in his interview with 'EcoLur' during his visit to 'Zikatar' Environmental Center.
It's still unclear which body will be this unified body. According to RA Nature Protection Minister, the main principle is ecosystem approach and the same responsibility for all kinds of forest. 'If State Environmental Inspection is transferred to the government, then it's logical that the Nature Protection Ministry will implement entire governance. If the inspection powers will remain with us, then a problem may arise that the nature protection ministry will not deal with direct governance, but implement an exclusively supervisory function. In all cases, the unified body to be established shall bear responsibility for the complete introduction of the ecosystem approach, while forest felling shall be the last point,' Artsvik Minasyan mentioned and added that a comprehensive study shall be carried out on the demand of forest wood.
Whereas according to Hakob Sanasaryan, Chairman of 'Greens Union of Armenia', an individual state committee shall be set up for forest management. 'Forests shall exclusive be owned by the state, be united and included in one system, as the forests really need to be preserved and taken care of. Just look what is happening now: high-quality tree species are replaced with ordinary ones – mainly with hornbeam. Oak trees and beeches are felled down because of the valuable wood. If we study carefully, we can see there are forests in the edges, but they are cut down in the central parts. In those places where there are roads available and transportation of timber is solved, forests are felled down. On the one hand, the government allows 'ArmForest' to fell down trees to fund its existence, on the other hand, there are criminal and illegal tree fellings. Such governance will lead to the destruction of forests,' Hakob Sanasaryan mentioned.
The environmentalists also referred to the management of forests having a status of specially protected areas of nature outlining that they also have commercial basis.
'Nowadays they issue site development permit is specially protected areas of nature – I will bring the example of 'Dilijan' National Park and what happened in Gosh Lake area. It's now allowed to issue any site development permit in any forest area – this leads to the ownership of forests. Forests shall be the exclusive monopoly of the state and the government shall solely want to have forests and provide full funds for the preservation and recovery of forests,' the environmentalist outlined.
16:35 June 19, 2017