Don’t Disturb Us To Make Money (Photos)
More than 100 activists from Yerevan, Yeghegnadzor, Vayq, Gndevaz and Jermuk headed for Amoulsar on 9 June sharing the concern of Jermuk youth for the future of this well-known resort. This event was organized by the Center for Developing Jermuk. A rally was held in Jermuk. The people gathered in the square made an appeal to conserve Jermuk as a resort zone and appealed the state bodies to include Jermuk in the project affected zone and to reveal all the risks in Jermuk resort zone.
The concerns are connected with the risks of opencast development of Amoulsar gold mine located 12-13 km far from the town. The list of risks presented by the Center for Developing Jermuk to hikers are as follows: pollution of water resources, including the drainage basin of Lake Sevan, impact on Jermuk resort zone, radiation risks, pollution of agricultural land areas, cyanic production.
On Amoulsar activists met with the ordinary workers of the company and Gorayk Village Head Arustam Arustamyan. Although Gorayk village head doesn’t work at Amoulsar, it was he who went out to the hikers on behalf of his village. Nevertheless, the dialogue between two parties didn’t happen. The activists spoke about risks, while the head and workers about problems with jobs. We were surprised by the content of posters demonstrated by workers: “You Won’t Take Away”, “EcoLur, Go to Turkey” etc. People were excited and shouted “don’t disturb us to make money”, “go away”, “corrupted”, “get choked” etc. The attempt to explain didn’t bring any results and activists continued their hiking out of the company territory.
There we met the expedition of WWF-Armenia. According to WWF Armenia Head Karen Manvelyan, they are conducting field studies on Amoulsar. As it’s known, there are huge discrepancies about the data on red-listed plants and animals submitted by the company in the EIA and opinions of independent experts, particularly that of Eleonora Gabrielyan, well-known botanist, laureate of many international awards for scientific achievements in botany, one of authors of Red Book of Armenia. He didn’t tell us about the results, he only said the results will be officially published in two or three months. We were standing under the mountain, the strong wind was waving the Armenian flag, which showed directly in the direction of Jermuk. A huge bird was hovering in the sky.