The apricot orchards in Gndevaz Village, Vayots Dzor Region, are felled down for the construction of a heap leach plan in the frames of Amulsar open pit mining project. Here they get ripe one month later than in the valleys, that’s why they are less exposed to weather caprices. In 2015 the orchard owners sold their land areas to Geoteam Company, which implements Amulsar project. The villagers opposing to the project think even if these people regretted about their village, they had to enter into this transaction, as they didn’t see any way out. This is what they told at their meeting with CAО/IFC team, which had arrived in Armenia to examine the complaint against IFC (a member of World Wank) on the incompliance of the standards of social and environmental responsibility for Amulsar oper pit gold and silver mining.
“Have a look. 50-60% of the apricot orchards have been cut down in the area of the heap leach plant. We have a conflict here: on the one hand, we bought tractors with the company money and renovated the House of Culture. Those who sold their land areas, they simply got money for their land areas. Most of the land owners sold their land areas for 1-3 million AMD (US $ 2,000-6,000) and they mainly bough cars. Only several people received huge amounts of money – US $ 100,000-200,000: they gave their consent, as the company persuaded all that they had the consent of the government and showed the positive opinions of the environmental expertise and Sevan Committee… Everybody can see the risks, but not those who received huge amounts of money, they will leave, but we will stay…,” the residents said.
To be continued.
13:19 April 28, 2016