by Karina Manukyan
Armenia faces the threat of environmental migration due to mining development rates, Karine Danielyan, Head of the Association for Sustainable Human Development, has told ArmInfo.
She stresses that the residents of the communities adjacent to the sites of development of deposits soberly estimate the risks of mining industry. Danielyan points out that the agricultural lands are bought up at a very cheap price and the promises to create new jobs are broken.
"People see that the jobs are not so many in fact and that the local residents receive low wages. The areas adjacent to the deposits are contaminated with heavy metals and it is already impossible to develop tourism or agriculture here", she says.
In addition, the local residents suffer from diseases caused by the mining activities. "Families see that they can have no children and have no opportunity to take up farming. Naturally, they are forced to leave their homes for better life", she says.
Danielyan points out that during Tigran Sargsyan's premiership the post-Rio+20 project was launched. The project also covers mining. The new concept suggests suspending the extensive development of mining, monitoring the tailing dumps and mines, stopping the open-pit mining. "The new government also seems to be ready to work in this direction. Let's see what it will come to", she says.