A few days ago, the civil society faction of the Multistakeholder Group (MSG) of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) made a statement regarding the adoption of RA governmental resolution "On Approving Mining Sector Development Strategy and Action Plan Arising from It". The statement was followed by the response of RA Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure. Hovhannes Harutyunyan, RA TAI Deputy Minister, informed Sona Ayvazyan, Executive Director of Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center, by letter No. RA/26.2/13870-2023 dated May 12, 2023:
“We inform you that the recommendations of the civil society faction of the Multistakeholder Group (MSG) of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) regarding the 4th draft version of Mining Sector Development Strategy (hereinafter also the Strategy) are included and published in the summary page 2 of the package of "On Approving Mining Sector Development Strategy and Action Plan Arising from It (up to 2035)" included in the agenda of RA government. (item 8) https://e-gov.am/sessions/.
At the same time, we inform you that the strategy for the development of the mining sector, which was approved by RA government on May 11, 2023, had 4 draft versions, all of which were submitted to Ministry of Environment for its opinion. The Ministry of Environment has not raised any objections to the final revised version of the strategy.
As already mentioned, all four versions of the developed Strategy drafts were submitted to stakeholders for discussion, based on the submitted comments and recommendations, the drafts were revised so that conflicting observations are presented in the document with a compromise logic, considering the positions of all stakeholders.
In the framework of the project, the involvement of stakeholders was carried out in the following two main directions:
1. Stakeholder consultations and feedback collection throughout the project;
2. Activities to raise awareness of planned changes to the Mining Policy Paper and related legal documents.
In order to introduce the strategy, its directions and goals, to discuss problematic issues, visits were organized to the regions of Armenia - Lori (03.04.2022) and Syunik Regions (14.03.2022). On March 11, in order to discuss several fundamental issues regularly raised by civil society, a focus group discussion was organized at TAI in the context of the involvement of stakeholders, with the involvement of EITI MSG civil faction group, TAI and other stakeholder ministry representatives, whereas a focus group discussion was organized with soil managers on April 4, 2023.
On May 20, 2022, a meeting was organized with a wide range of stakeholders to discuss the 4th draft version of the Strategy.
It should be noted that 22 events were organized within the framework of the development of the draft Strategy (the list of events organized within the framework of the development of the draft Strategy is attached) with the participation of over 350 people. 73 stakeholders/organizations were involved in the works. Verbal and written comments with stakeholders resulted in significant amendments. All stakeholder comments were adequately and fully responded to, and issues of concern were continuously addressed during stakeholder meetings.
The draft was also posted on the unified website for the publication of draft legal acts www.e-draft.am, but no comments were received on the latter.
Adhering to the principles of transparent and open working style, TAI is ready to organize another meeting with the participation of representatives of the Civil Society.
Attached is the electronic material".
May 16, 2023 at 19:16