On June 5, 2023, "Not To Eliminate Forest - Are We Able To Do it? New Forest Policy" discussion was held at Media Center. The speakers were Artur Petrosyan, Head of Forest Policy Department of RA Environment Ministry, and Victoria Burnazyan, Deputy President of "EcoLur" Informational NGO. The speakers referred to the draft law "ON APPROVAL OF FOREST POLICY, STRATEGY AND NATIONAL PLAN OF ACTIONS OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA" developed by RA Environment Ministry, which was circulated on the website www.e-draft.am.
Victoria Burnazyan mentioned that Armenia has committed to increase the forest cover of the republic to 12.9% or increase it by 50,000 hectares by 2030 in accordance with the Paris Agreement of the Framework Convention on Climate Change. However, the document does not specify what number is taken as a starting indicator. According to the latest data of the state inventory of its forest fund, which is the data of 1993, according to which the forested areas of the country make up about 11.2% of the total area (334100ha). This means that forest cover will increase by up to 1.7%. However, 12.9% cannot be true, because the area of forest cover has changed in Armenia. Anyway, there is no forest inventory in the list of activities of the national action plan for 2023-2030.
According to Victoria Burnazyan, the planning of possible constructions in the forest is worrying. Victoria Burnazyan suggested that the document envisage a measure for interdepartmental cooperation, reducing the pressure on the forest by reducing the use of firewood in the direction of reducing energy poverty in communities.
Artur Petrosyan mentioned that currently state-permissible deforestation amounts to about 40 thousand cubic meters per year and about 50 thousand cubic meters is freely provided to the residents of communities near the forest. According to him, steps are being taken to find alternative sources of energy. We have tried to include the establishment of forest plantations in the strategic plan, as a result of which we will somewhat reduce the pressure on the forest," he said. According to Artur Petrosyan, it is not necessary for them to be in forest lands.
According to the document, 1,711 records of deforestation were registered in Armenia in 2016-2021, a total of 42,433 trees were illegally cut down. The forest area per capita is 0.1 ha, which is much lower than the CIS index (2.7 ha) and the world average (0.5-0.8 ha).
During the discussion, an agreement was reached to send EcoLur's recommendations to RA Environment Ministry. EcoLur has already sent its recommendations to RA Environment Ministry.
Details are available in the video.
June 05, 2023 at 19:57