In 2002-2014 around 800 million people won’t have sufficient food, as Ashot Vardevanyan National Focal Point of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, Deputy Head of Department for Managing Bioresources of Nature Protection Ministry, said at the press conference held at EcoLur Press Club on 29 May.
“The UN declared June 17 as the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. This tear’s slogan is “No such thing as a free lunch. Invest in healthy soil”, i.e. we shall not only use soil, but help it and to recover it. Soils and soil conservation have a primary role in food safety,” Ashot Vardevanyan said.
He mentioned that on 27 May the government with its protocol decision approved new governmental resolution, strategy and national action plan to combat desertification in Armenia, which complies with ten-year-long strategy issues of the Convention to Combat Desertification.
Referring to the positive and negative tendencies Ashot Vardevanyan noted, “The positive side is that specially protected areas of nature have expanded by 102,400 ha and perennial planters have increased by around 4500 ha within 7 years. The negative side is that meadow lands have reduced by 5.800 ha, plough lands – 4.600 ha, pastures – 64.100 ha. The most dangerous and painful thing is that mining and soil management land areas are getting expanded: 1460 ha in 2013-2014 and this figure is related with agricultural land areas, which is a very negative tendency…Tailing dumps occupy 1500 ha, which is rather a large number…One ha of open pit mines and tailing dumps pollute around 10 ha of surrounding area. We shouldn’t develop a mine for such a long time period. Unlike other natural resources, soil is an irrecoverable resource.”
“We should pay special attention to fertile land areas: 80% of our agricultural land areas subject to cultivation need irrigation, but only 50% is irrigated, the other 30% depends on the will of the God – either there will be good harvest or not,” said National Focal Point of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification.
“When we see how much funds go the state budget from mining and agriculture, we see that the share of agriculture exceeds that of mining at least by 10 times. The same is true about working places. It’s incomparable…just individual groups get super rich, nothing else,” said Karine Danielyan, Chairman of “For Sustainable Human Development” Association.
The speaker mentioned if in the former millennium one out of 8 goals was environmental, in case of sustainable development 9 out of 17 goals are environmental, while the others relate to environment in this or that manner.
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.
18:39 May 29, 2015