Proposals on Legislative Amendments to RA Nature Protection Ministry on Change in Environmental Flow Limit and Liability of Persons Violating These Limits

Proposals on Legislative Amendments to RA Nature Protection Ministry on Change in Environmental Flow Limit and Liability of Persons Violating These Limits

EcoLur

EcoLur has sent to RA Nature Protection Ministry RA draft laws “On Making Amendments and Supplements to RA Law “On Making Amendments and Supplements to RA Water Code” and RA Code on Administrative Offences” developed by "Supporting new reforms in SHPP sector through CSO-government dialogue" project expert team proposing to put them into circulation: The letter addressed to Ministry says, 'In 2014-2018 EcoLur implemented "Support to SHPP-relating reforms through the dialogue of public and RA Nature Protection Ministry for Sustainable Use of River Ecosystems” and "Supporting new reforms in SHPP sector through CSO-government dialogue" projects with the support of UNDP/GEF in partnership with Nature Protection Ministry, where EcoLur studied a total of 125 SHPPs constructed on 47 rivers. As a result, it has been found out that the flora and fauna, including the fish species, in the areas starting from the SHPP head section-water intake up to to the station are endangered because of uncontrolled environmental flow. The solution of this problem requires adequate legal regulations, development and introduction of effective supervision mechanisms. The Water Code of the Republic of Armenia defines the environmental flow exclusively as  a minimum amount ensuring 'ecological balance and self-recovery of a water resource', but it doesn't describe the qualities necessary to ensure the living conditions for the existence of the most important features for the water resource – soil, plant and animal species. These pitfalls, as well as the absence of relevant liability measures for not maintaining the amounts of environmental flows in the legislative field in the Republic of Armenia, left its consequences during the operation of small hydropower in Armenia exerting a significant negative impact on the environment.

On 29 December 2016, the Armenian Government approved 'Concept Paper of Hydropower Development in the Republic of Armenia' with its protocol resolution 53. Under this concept paper, RA Ministry for Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources put into circulation on www.e-draft.am website the action plan ensuring the implementation of 'Concept Paper of Hydropower Development in the Republic of Armenia' (https://www.e-draft.am/projects/240/about).

Point 6 of the action plan plans to make relevant amendments and supplements in RA Water Code, which will ensure the rational use of water resources during the operation of SHPPs, particularly, the guarantees of ensuring the amount of water necessary for the existence of the water resource and plant and animal species existing in the SHPP areas, as well as adjacent areas.

RA Nature Protection Ministry is in charge of the implementation of Clause 6 in partnership with the expert group of "Supporting new reforms in SHPP sector through CSO-government dialogue" project supported by UNDP/GEF, which developed RA draft laws “On Making Amendments and Supplements to RA Law “On Making Amendments and Supplements to RA Water Code” and RA Code on Administrative Offences”.

We are sending the draft laws and expecting them to be put into circulation. You can familiarize yourself with the draft laws here.'

17:01 June 19, 2018


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