February 2 is World Wetland Day. What are the problems in Armenia?

February 2 is World Wetland Day. What are the problems in Armenia?

On February 2, the World Day of Wetlands was celebrated in the Aarhus Center of Yerevan. Conservation of wetlands is regulated by the International Convention on Wetlands, also known as the Ramsar Convention. The International Convention on Wetlands was signed on February 2, 1971 in Ramsar (Iran).

Armenia joined the Ramsar Convention in 1993 and today has three Ramsar sites: Lake Sevan, Lake Arpi and Khor Virap Swamp. In 2023, Armenia will celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of joining the Ramsar Convention.

Deputy Environment Ministers Gayane Gabrielyan and Aram Meimaryan, Director of Center for Hydrometeorology and Monitoring Levon Azizyan, Legal Adviser to Environment Minister, National Coordinator of the Aarhus Convention Mari Chakryan, National Coordinator of the Ramsar Convention in Armenia, Dr. Karen Tsenterechyan, Doctor of Biological Sciences, employees of the Ministry's departments and representatives of non-governmental organizations were present at the event dedicated to the World Day of Wetlands. “There are also some areas that are on the Ramsar Shadow List. They deserve the name Ramsar site. One is the Armash fish breeding lakes, the total area of​​which is makes up about 4000 ha, but how much is under water today, how much is not under water, I don't know. There are different owners and the issues related to that have to be reconciled somehow. Another is the relic ponds of Lorva. There are about 100 of them and they occupy an area of ​​120 hectares. They are very important with the wealth of plant species," National Coordinator of the Ramsar Convention in Armenia, Dr. Karen Tsenterechyan said and noted that there are 30-40 types of biodiversity in the areas.

Presenting his report dedicated to the World Day of Wetlands, Karen Tsenterechyan said that the main problems of wetlands are pollution, water loss, arson and poaching.

Responding to Armash being a candidate area for artificial lakes, Tigran Maevtosyan, chairman of "Center for Support and Development of Armash Rural Communities" NGO said that the number of birds in the area of ​​artificial lakes in Armash is decreasing every year, and at the same time, the water-covered areas are also decreasing.

Deputy Minister Aram Meimaryan said in his individual interview with "EcoLur": "It is necessary to be able to regulate human activity, especially economic activity, unregulated water intake. First of all, it is necessary to reform the water system and exclude losses in the irrigation system, to have a more efficient water system. By improving the water system, it will also be possible to keep the existing water in these wetlands in place. We need to take action because climate change is happening now and we have to deal with it," he noted.

Karen Tsenterechyan also mentioned that attention should be paid to local problems, particularly pollution. "A healthy ecosystem is much easier to resist change than a sick one," he outlined.

Photo Credit: The Environment Ministry

February 03, 2023 at 16:51