Monday, 18 August 2008
Lake Sevan: Armenian government gave in to oligarchs
There were times when Armenian environmentalists trying hard to find ways to increase shrinking water level of Lake Sevan. I remember even the slightest increase in the water level made into the headlines of the main news programme on Armenian TV. This was considered a sign that Armenian ecologists and other specialists along with the government were on the right path and doing whatever possible to reach the aim and preserve the lake which is among favourite holiday destinations in Armenia. There were times…
Now it’s all about business interests. Apparently, recent raise in the water level of Lake Sevan ‘threatens’ coastal buildings which belong to various Armenian oligarchs. Solution? Armenian government decided to increase water supply from Lake Sevan “for agricultural irrigation and other purposes”, an argument which is dismissed by environmental specialists.
"Despite the dry weather during the growing season, we get information about the extremely high yield" - says Karine Danielyan, well known environmentalist, representative of the National Committee of UNEP (the United Nations Environment Programme). "If water needed for irrigation, why it is needed more in August than during the harvest season? One of the answers to the question could be that raising the water level is not desirable for owners of coastal buildings and so-called recreation zones, number of which is constantly growing."
Tomorrow Armenian parliament intends to discuss and approve government’s decision. Environmentalists are calling for a protest demonstration in front of the parliament on 19 August, 11.30 - SOS Sevan!