Green Passport to Regulate SHPPs

Green Passport to Regulate SHPPs


100 SHPPs constructed on the rivers of Armenia will be issued green passports, as “EcoLur” Informational NGO President Inga Zarafyan, Ashot Avalyan – Deputy Staff Head of Nature Protection Ministry, and Davit Grigoryan – Head of Water Permit Department of Nature Protection Ministry stated at the press conference held EcoLur Press Club on 5 February.

It’s the first time that public sector together with Nature Protection Ministry will conduct a joint monitoring in the SHPPs constructed on the rivers. This initiative will be carried out in the frames of “Support to SHPP-relating reforms through the dialogue of public and RA Nature Protection Ministry for Sustainable Use of River Ecosystems” with the financial support of the UNDP GEF.  

“When a SHPP is constructed, the project and reality don’t comply with each other. We don’t have proper monitoring procedure over SHPPs, as the Inspection and public are working separately. We have rivers, which are so loaded with SHPPs that the river ecosystem starts dying. And eventually, we have a problem with biodiversity conservation,” Inga Zarafyan said.

Ashot Avalyan, Deputy Staff Head of Nature Protection Ministry, noted that there are 162 SHPPs which already operate or are about to be operated. “It’s a large number and this field needs regulation. It’s one of the main tasks of the Nature Protection Ministry, so we have expressed our willingness for such a jlint project,” Ashot Avalyan said.

Under Ashot Avalyan, a database in the form of “green” passports in needed for the solution to the problems to regulate the field of SHPPs. “So far we haven’t possessed such data and materials,” A. Avalyan said.

Davit Grigoryan, Head of Water Permit Department of Nature Protection Ministry, said, “We have many complaints and alarm signals both from the local population and the business. It’s caused serious alarms signals and concerns. During our examinations we recorded serious drawbacks, SHPP project deviations both in the construction and operation, and to a certain extent poor management of water resources and environmentally incorrect approaches, which all led to serious environmental problems. As a result, there is need for our intervention and urgent solution to the problems.”

Under Davit Grigoryan, climate changes also affected on this situation, “The water in our rivers has significantly refused in recent years, and we shall take into account the targets and challenges we currently have. Taking into consideration that SHPPs are also business projects, jobs, investments, which are constructed not just for 1-2 years, but 25-30 years, we should find the gold mean, which will bring to the balanced existence of both the Nature Protection Ministry and the public,” David Grigoryan noted.

It’s known that the largest investment in SHPPs has been made by German KfW bank. Inga Zarafyan noted that in May 2015 the bank experts carried out monitoring in the area of SHPPs, and, as a result, the Bank has changed its position in regard with SHPPs and wants to improve its standards.

"The material was  developed in the frames of “Supporting reforms in the sector of small hydro power plants through enabling a dialogue between civil society  and the Ministry  of Nature Protection for sustainable use of river ecosystems” supported by UNDP/GEF Small Grants Programme".

February 06, 2015 at 15:27