EcoLur's Inquiry and Response by Yerevan Municipality on Green Areas in Capital

EcoLur's Inquiry and Response by Yerevan Municipality on Green Areas in Capital

On February 13, 2023, "EcoLur" information NGO sent a letter to Yerevan Mayor Hrachya Sargsyan regarding the capital's green areas. EcoLur’s survey says:

“"The green area per capita in Yerevan is indicated on the official website of Yerevan Municipality as about 8 square meters, which is lower than the minimum value of 9 square meters per capita recommended by the World Health Organization. According to “Green City" Action Plan of Yerevan City, Yerevan Master Plan for 2006 set a goal of 17 square meters of green space per inhabitant.

Additional expansion of public green spaces by more than 1,300 hectares is envisaged bringing the total green space to 2,382 hectares by 2020 and tripling it over the next 15 years.

"Green City" Action Plan of Yerevan City is one of the strategic goals of Yerevan to increase the ratio of open green areas per inhabitant to 10 sq.m. until 2030, and over 8.5 sq.m in 2018. In order to achieve these goals, as a short-term action, the Plan specifically proposes:

- To develop and start implementing a long-term development program for Yerevan plant restoration based on the results of the feasibility study;

- To continue to implement programs that support local ecosystems through incentive mechanisms (for example, offer neighborhood greening grants, financial support for innovative irrigation solutions, etc.),

- Prepare a GIS-based environmental map for Yerevan,

- Restoration of forests and green spaces,

- Implement a pilot project for the rehabilitation of the polluted area and the transformation of the public green space provided with amenities.

Dear Mr. Mayor,

In accordance with Article 6 of RA Law "On Freedom of Information", please, provide information on the following:

1. Which of the above short-term actions in ““Green City" Action Plan of of Yerevan City” have been implemented since the approval of the Plan.

2. According to "Green City" Action Plan of Yerevan City, among the following reasons for the non-fulfillment of the greening goals set by Yerevan master plan are the unavailability of plots, contaminated or eroded soils, incomplete irrigation and lack of proper care. In order to create green areas, it was considered necessary to re-evaluate the existing public land, developers should have at least 30% green areas in their projects.

- How many hectares of land have become unavailable for greening, for what reasons, and how many hectares of free space does Yerevan City have for greening to ensure an increase in green space per capita in Yerevan to meet the indicators of "Green City" Action Plan of Yerevan City.

- How many hectares of land are polluted or eroded, what measures are being implemented for the restoration of these lands.

- What measures are implemented to solve irrigation problems?

- Is there a requirement for developers to have at least 30% green space in their projects and how is it formulated?

3. What strategic documents for the greening of Yerevan are planned to be developed and implemented?

4. According to the measures of "Green City" Action Plan of Yerevan City, as of 2017, newly planted vegetation in Yerevan has lower dust and gas absorption capacities compared to the previous one. What types of trees are used and will be used in tree planting in Yerevan in recent years, which have high capacities for dust and gas absorption, which will create a natural dust barrier.

5. 51 ha of forest lands of "Erebuni" forestry are located in the vicinity of Nubarashen solid domestic landfill site, whereas 24.42 hectares of forest land from the territory of this forest state has been provided for the construction of a new landfill site. According to Clause 8.1 of Decision No. 1045-N, adopted by RA Government on August 30, 2007, "On establishing the procedure for the management of forestry in state forest lands and the implementation of works not related to forest use", the business operator must carry out at least double afforestation works for the forest area provided for use. Please indicate which areas Yerevan Municipality provided for afforestation instead of 24.42 hectares of "Erebuni" forestry.

In response, Yerevan Municipality informed with its letter on February 27, 2023, “In response to your letter D-18042-23 dated 13.02.2023 addressed to Yerevan Mayor, regarding the provision of the information requested by your letter in regard to "Green City" Action Plan of Yerevan City, I inform you that the following measures have been implemented within the framework of "Green City" Action Plan of Yerevan City for 2019:

·       The coastal areas of Yerevan Lake were cleaned of reeds covered with garbage (10 ha) and household waste (12,000 cubic meters), a garbage collection bar was installed to prevent the entry of waste into Yerevan Lake. The area is currently being improved and landscaped,

·       A water treatment plant on the Getar river was designed under "Priorities for the implementation of measures provided for in the environmental program of the treatment plant on the Getar river for 2023 and their financing proportions", whereas its construction will be carried out in 2023,

·       2 more garbage collection devices are planned to be installed on the Hrazdan River in 2023,

·       Establishment of an intermediate forest layer in different parts of the capital, increase in green areas, in particular, afforestation and reforestation works were carried out on 8.5 ha of Tsitsernakaberd hill and reforestation and establishment works on 6 ha in Saralanj during 2022. About 4,300 species of trees and shrubs were planted on the height of Tsitsernakaberd, and 1,650 species of trees and shrubs were planted in Saralanj.

·       The mentioned tree species have functional importance and are the main tree species for the establishment of urban forests /maple, ash, gleditschia, robinia falconia, wild fruit trees, etc./. The establishment of the forest protection zone of the right-hand slope of the Water World, the forest protection zone of Silikian, and the forest protection zone of Nubarashen are among the prospective city-wide projects to establish forest protection zones.

·       Starting from 2021, the park adjacent to Qanaker HPP, Nor Arabkir /Molokani/ park, the 6th section of Ring Park, Veratsnund Park, Park of Love and Faith, Park named after Saryan have been improved and greened. In 2022, the improvement and landscaping works of the park named after Kh Abovyan and the 40th anniversary park started.

·       In order to modernize, expand and reconstruct the irrigation network of the city of Yerevan, the irrigation network of Yerevan City was inventoried, including pumping stations and deep wells. The length of the entire irrigation system of the capital is 321 km, out of which 90 km is in normal condition, and the rest is worn out, blocked or in emergency condition. As a result of the inventory and analysis of the irrigation network carried out in the period of 2019-2020, 22.6 km long irrigation water line was replaced and about 8 km long blocked water line was restored in 2021 Yerevan inner-city green plantations. In the second half of 2022, around 18,500 lines were repaired and laid. About 30,000 lines are planned to be laid in 2023.

·        The process of inventorying green spaces in Yerevan is currently underway.

·       Since 2019, the greenhouse area has been completely transformed, where trees and flowers are grown for the needs of the city."

February 28, 2023 at 17:14