by Arthur Yernjakyan
On 25 March, several public organizations of Armenia took an attempt to disrupt the conference dedicated to the challenges and capabilities of the mining industry of the republic. The conference was organized by the government of Armenia and the World Bank.
As Arminfo correspondent reported, the participants in the protest action against pollution of environment blocked the entrance to "Armenia Marriot" hotel, where the conference is taking place, and were chanting "Shame on you!", "Get out of Armenia!". Moreover, they offered Armenia's Energy and Natural Resources Minister, Armen Movsisyan, a glass of the river water to drink. Nature Protection Minister Aram Harutyunyan was called on the carpet. But all his attempts to answer questions of the participants in the action were accompanied by the insulting outcry and hissing that hindered him to comment on the situation. For his part, the head of the government's administration, minister Vache Gabrielyan offered the protestors to meet Prime minister Tigran Sargsyan in the government today to discuss all their painful problems.
As Arminfo correspondent reported, the participants in the action are going to hold an alternative conference outside "Armenia Marriot" hotel.
To recall, experts have repeatedly pointed out the negative impact of the mining industry development in Armenia. Earlier Armen Saghatelyan, Head of the Center for Ecological-Noosphere Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, told ArmInfo that heavy metals penetrate into food chains in all regions of Armenia, where there is mining industry.
Head of the Green Union of Armenia Hakob Sanasaryan, in turn, pointed out that the tails (waste of the mining industry) are very often thrown to the forestry. The height of the waste in the forests of Kajaran and Agarak, for instance, is several meters. The biggest blow on protection of the environment was the new "Code on Natural Resources" adopted in autumn 2011. The Code gives the companies an opportunity to considerably reduce the tax base. In addition, it is the state, not the companies, that will be responsible for the tails after development of the deposits.