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Old 08.06.2005, 17:36   #46
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Default GOOD NEWS!

construction postponed for 15 days!!!
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Old 08.06.2005, 17:39   #47
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Arrow www.arminfo.am

CONSTRUCTION OF NEW HIGHWAY LINKING ARMENIA AND IRAN SUSPENDED FOR 15 DAYS

YEREVAN, JUNE 7. ARMINFO. Construction of a new highway linking Armenia and Iran has been suspended for 15 days. The Armenian Government members made such a decision today when visiting Shikahogh forest reserve head by minister of Territorial Administration and Coordination of Infrastructures Hovik Abrahamyan.

The same day the government members monitored the forest reserve on helicopter. The highway Meghri-Shvanidzor-Verishen-Tsav-Kapan is planned via the reserve. Minister of Transport and Communication Andranik Manukyan thinks the alternative way is to be the same with the project submitted by the ministry as to its length and height. In Manukyan's opinion, the routing though the reserve will require felling of about 20.000 trees and 117.000 bushes. An alternative road should be also easy-passable for cargo transportation in winter period, he noted. The final decision on routing through the reserve is expected after public hearings to be organized shortly, stated the government members during the monitoring in the reserve's territory. Minister for Nature Protection, Governor of the Syunik region and the Reserve Director also visited the reserve.

http://www.arminfo.am/news-issue1096.htm
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Old 08.06.2005, 17:49   #48
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ACTION ALERT

Support Coalition Efforts to Protect Shikahogh Nature Reserve and Mtnadzor Forest

The Armenian government has announced plans to build a highway in southern Armenia right through the middle of the old growth Mtnadzor forest, which occupies about half of the Shikahogh nature reserve, one of only three pristine reserves in the country. The reserve is home to innumerable rare and endangered plant and animal species, whose habitats would be gravely threatened.

Support the work of a coalition of organizations and individuals--including Armenia Tree Project, Armenian Forests NGO, World Wildlife Fund, and Armenian Assembly of America--to urge the government to consider viable alternatives we are presenting to the proposed route that would do less environmental damage, and put a stop to the plan to begin immediate construction until public hearings are held.

Those who wish to express their opinions on this issue are encouraged to communicate with the Minister of Nature Protection via the Web site www.mnpiac.am, and send letters to President Robert Kocharian, Prime Minister Andranik Margaryan, and Minister of Transportation Andranik Manukyan, via Tatoul Markarian, Armenian Ambassador to the United States, 2225 R Street N.W., Washington, DC 20008, tel. (202) 319-1976, fax (202) 319-2982.

http://www.armeniatree.org/alert.htm

as well as...

Press Release for Diaspora and local Armenians

Armenia’s Shikahogh Nature Reserve and Mtnadzor Forest at Great Risk
--ATP working with coalition of NGOs to protect this irreplaceable national treasure


A coalition including Armenia Tree Project, Armenian Forests NGO, World Wildlife Fund, and Armenian Assembly of America are advocating for an alternative to the proposed route of a highway in the Shikahogh nature reserve in southern Armenia (Photo courtesy of World Wildlife Fund Armenia)
Armenia, a country which historically had forest cover of 40-45 percent, is today at perilous risk of becoming completely deforested. Current estimates place forest cover at around eight percent, and at current rates of cutting, the last of the forests could be gone in as little as 20 years.

Despite this, the government recently announced plans to build a new highway in southern Armenia right through the middle of the old growth Mtnadzor (Dark Canyon) forest, which occupies about half of the Shikahogh nature reserve, one of only three pristine reserves in the country.

According to news reports, the plans call for cutting at least 14,000 old growth trees and 90,000 younger ones. The Shikahogh reserve, established in 1958, is home to innumerable rare and endangered plant and animal species, including up to 12 leopards, whose habitats would be gravely threatened by the road’s construction and the ensuing traffic pollution.

A coalition of organizations and individuals, including Armenia Tree Project (ATP), Armenian Forests NGO, World Wildlife Fund, and Armenian Assembly of America have been working together to identify viable alternatives to the proposed route which would do less environmental damage, and put a stop to the plan to begin immediate construction until public hearings are held.

ATP founder Carolyn Mugar sent a letter on May 25 to President Robert Kocharian and Prime Minister Andranik Margaryan, in addition to the Minister of Nature Protection, Minister of Transportation, and other high-ranking officials. “The Shikahogh forest reserve provides unique habitats for many rare and endangered plants and animals whose survival depends upon the government’s responsible stewardship. We call on you to protect this reserve for the sake of future generations of Armenians and the world’s ecosystem,” wrote Ms. Mugar.


As of late last month, construction equipment was lined up at the site to begin construction through the Shikahogh nature reserve in southern Armenia, which would result in the cutting of at least 14,000 old growth trees and 90,000 younger trees (Photo courtesy of World Wildlife Fund Armenia)
The Armenian government has cited “strategic” reasons for choosing the route through the reserve, but hasn’t provided adequate justification for the plan, which would violate numerous national laws and internationally signed treatises to protect such nature preserves, which are widely regarded as part of a national heritage.

To date, the Ministry of Transportation as well as the Ministry of Defense have stated their intention to move forward with construction plans and ignore any proposed alternatives. In response, the Minister of Nature Protection announced his intention to resign if the road is constructed through the reserve. This stated determination to ignore alternative routes has led many to question the true motivation for the government’s plan, given the monetary value of the oak trees from the old growth forest that will be destroyed.


The Shikahogh nature reserve, established in 1958, is home to innumerable rare and endangered plant and animal species, including up to 12 leopards, whose habitats would be gravely threatened by the road’s construction (Photo courtesy of World Wildlife Fund Armenia)
“The construction of the proposed road through the preserve will introduce pollution from passing vehicles into this almost pristine forest, destroy the habitat for rare wildlife and migratory paths, and attract illegal logging, depriving future generations of Armenians of an irreplaceable resource. The encroachment by illegal loggers has already destroyed much of Armenia’s forests during the past decade,” added the ATP founder in her letter, which was also sent to government officials by Armenian Assembly of America Chairman Hirair Hovnanian.

“[If Armenia’s government] does not demonstrate responsible management of its natural and historical heritage, it weakens its ability to protect Armenia from the impact of destructive policies in neighboring countries. Any gains that may be realized by building this road through the preserve will be far outweighed by the long-term environmental and political damage that Armenia will suffer. We most urgently ask you to consider an alternative route,” concluded Ms. Mugar in her appeal.
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Old 12.06.2005, 20:48   #49
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are there any new info?
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Old 13.06.2005, 09:22   #50
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Default more news will follow...

there's huge amount of news... I was touring along with the coalition (Workgroup SOS) to Shikahogh (Syunik Region), coordinating the mass media team and gathering more info for another route to be suggested as an alternate road...
We started on Friday, met with the Marzpet, other officials including the Ministry of Nature protection and local authorities. Made voice recording, took photos of the territory and a number of inactive till June 15 bulldozers, which have roved a part of the highway through the forest already. The space belonging to the Syunik forestry has been digged and blown up as predicted, we saw the results, we estimated the approximate damage to the biodiversity if it continues like this. We went on both, the planned and the alternative roads, also the group stopped and observed the territory from the highest 2,200 meter peak level in Shishkert village, we came close to Khoustup mountains. The road suggested by the Ministry of Transportation has inappropriate altitude and other parameters not answering the International requirments, which is obvious. For the deeper study we approached the boarder with Iran, and an amazing colorful landscape appeared in front of our eyes - a pomegranate orchard behind the barbed wire. Also there was a plain tree preserved zone in Shishkert village, where trees count more than 500 years and will likely live until 1000 years, if treated well. The surviving rate of next generation trees is under a big question as up to date there is no new technology available for growing young seedlings and implanting them into the soil...... But the plot itself was gorgeous.

We are very much concerned the construction of the road will lead us to the economic development and progress as the serpantines are really more than expected and the road itself is not smooth at all. Isn't it a serious difficulty for tracks to pass on? That's all for now. Photos and details will follow as downloaded....
Later I will tell in Armenian what happened at the talk-show "the 5th Wheel". I just wanna say that Arthur Bakhtamian did a great job and was supporting the Workgroup on Shikahogh the best he could. Thanks to him.

Today, Monday, June 13, 22:00 , you can watch the "5th wheel" tv show on the Public TV (H1).

For more see today's ArmNews, Yerkir Media News, H1 Haylur. Photos from Photolure will apear in Armenian periodicals.

Later I will post all the info in Russian or Armenian for natives.
We have a hope to save shikahogh. We are looking forward to receiving a nice feedback and a real support from the all-Armenian society.
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Old 13.06.2005, 09:30   #51
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The deeper i sink into all this the more I realize this is a political decision. Sorry for the contradictional posting made before. I try not to insist on it, but I cannot deny this as well....
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Old 13.06.2005, 12:07   #52
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Political ? Is it the country interest ot interest of certain people's pocket ?
Apparently, well-being of the armenian population hardly depends on the convenience or price for goods transportation between Armenia and Iran, so there is no serious strategical reason to build such a road for such a high price. That's what my intuition tells.

P.S. Sometimes I hate people... some of them... I know I shouldn't, but I can't help it. If the mankind extincts due to its own stupidness, I'll be the last to regret...
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Old 13.06.2005, 12:15   #53
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Also, the construction of the road will help the import of the foreign goods (read - junk) to the Armenia, which isn't much useful; impact on the export, I believe, is negligible. Armenia needs energy resources, most of all, which are better transported by other means. Why don't we build gas/oil pipelines with Iran ? Isn't is because no one influential is interested in lowering oil price ?
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Old 13.06.2005, 12:17   #54
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ksarqeeeeen
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Old 13.06.2005, 14:32   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W_z_rd
Also, the construction of the road will help the import of the foreign goods (read - junk) to the Armenia, which isn't much useful; impact on the export, I believe, is negligible. Armenia needs energy resources, most of all, which are better transported by other means. Why don't we build gas/oil pipelines with Iran ? Isn't is because no one influential is interested in lowering oil price ?

We have already built the gas pipeline with Iran...you are late with the complaint

thanx for the reaction... so so true...
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Old 13.06.2005, 14:53   #56
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v obshem, wkratce...

My ne dolzhny poteryat' eto rajskoe mesto... dlya etogo byl prodelan put' priblizitel'no w 1000 km, doexali do granicy s Iranom, Meghri, potom na obratnom puti minowali Agarak (Azerbajdzhan - Armenia, pogranichnaya zona).

Byli priglasheny of. lica iz Min. Ekologii i Min. Transporta, iz zhurnalistov byli H1, ArmNews, Erkir Media, Photolure Photo Agency, Noyan-Tapan News Agency.
Iz koalicii byli WWF (K. Manvelyan), Armenian Forests NGO (Jeffrey Tufenkian), Jemma (ex. Blue Tulip, now Social-Ecological NGO, also HydroMetCenter) i mn. drugie.

Proexali po oboim putyam. Ni odin, priznat'sya, ne udovletworyaet, tak kak mnogo serpantinow i doroga pochti ne proxodima (kuda uzh proezzhaema). Exali do Shikahogh chasov 12 -13. Do Kapana doroga eshyo nichego, dal'she -polnyj obval

NET SLOW! slawa bogu est' zapis' na diktofon togo, kak nekto puzatyj iz stroitel'noj kompanii OOO Dorozhnik otwechal na postawlennye wpolne korrektnye woprosy. Kogo interesuet, mogu dat' poslushat'....xamstwo polnoe!

nu da ladno... ne nowost'...

latest news: the "5th wheel" NE POKAZHUT SEGODNYA, a pokazhut w sleduyushij ponedel'nik... takzhe, po pozhelaniyu Min. Transporta budet otsnyata wtoraya seriya programmy. skoree, po ix trebowaniyu... ochewidno, oni ne dostatochno dovol'ny tem, kak ix predstawitel' otstaiwal pozicii...eto predpolozhenie...

lyudi, kazhetsya, my zashli slishkom daleko...i wse esho mnogo chego ostalos' za shirmoj... mnogo chego nedoskazano.
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Old 13.06.2005, 15:00   #57
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Was it OUR pipeline ?? I was unaware of it. Nevertheless, that doesn't change my position on the subject. Armenia is currently one of the worst place to live, ecologically speaking. Yerevan, naturally, and countryside too. Hardly any minister is truely concerned by this fact...
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Old 13.06.2005, 15:04   #58
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Arrow More in English.

For English Speaking forum-ppl:

We went to Shikahogh on Friday and Sat.,
June 10 and 11 with the coalition including Jeff Tufenkian, Karen
Manvelyan, the VEM documentary crew and ArmNews TV, Photo Lure
photographer and Syunik branch of Public TV.

The situation is still unclear and there is no resolution. In Kappan we
met with the Deputy to the Governor of Syunik Marz who said that he did
not know there was an alternate route and they would be open to
considering it. He is from the area and anxious to preserve the
Shikahogh Reserve as are local people we talked with. We showed him
another alternate route that a rep who was with us from the Ministry
of Nature Protection had worked out. It is 10 km shorter and less
expensive than the government route but is 160 meters higher, which the Deputy and others felt is not significant.

The Deputy asked if an alternate route is more expensive would the
Diaspora be willing to support it and he wanted estimates of all
variants. We answered that the Diaspora is considering creative ideas about
financing.

The local forester, Vladik Martirosian, took us south of Kappan to
Shishkert village where there is a magnifcent forest of very old plane
trees adjacent to the road that the government wants to build. The
average age of the trees is 500 years and they are expected to live
1,000 years. It was truly a privilege to see these trees. Some are big
enough in circumference that people have put some kind of bed in the
hollows of the trees and slept in them.

On Saturday we made the long trip from Kappan to Megri and then up the
winding mountain to see the Shikahogh Reserve and the Mtnadzor forest
which is within it and which will be cut by the government road. Along
the way to Megri we saw many trucks from Iran driving on narrow roads
with hairpin turns and no guard rails. On the road up and across the
mountain to reach the place where the government road will be we saw
construction equipment, in one place just parked and not working and in
another, working and widening the road. This road is not part of the
government planned route and we have yet to find out why that part of
the road is being widened and blasted right now.

Along the route we saw the habitat of the leopards in two places,
including in Mtnadzor where they will cut through for the road. We also
saw beautiful very old oak forests. Oaks that grow at a high altitude
and were 150 - 270 years old.

When we reached the point where the government road will be built we
discovered the workers, the equipment and "domiks" for workers to live
in. The equipment was not being used, but we saw work that already was
started on that road until the government called a 15 day moratorium on
the work on Thursday of last week supposedly to consider alternatives.

Representatives from the road construction company showed up along with
someone from the Ministry of Transportation. There was a lot of
posturing and sharp comment back and forth. Inga, the eco-journalist,
was interviewing them for the VEM documentary. Basically they were
throwing out information to justify why they are buidling the road.
Some of the information was retracted as they spoke; so, it was very unclear
what was fabricated and what was based on reality. Some of the things
they said included that it was World Bank money being used for the road
(the rep of Ministry of Transport then retracted this when questioned
further) and that that it is strategic because there is going to be a
military base there.

Karen Manvelyan is still down there today through Wednesday with an
Armenian independent road engineer to look at alternatives and gather
data.

The TV show which we all participated in on Friday will be shown next week. There will be another TV show this week, same
format, same audience, requested by the Ministry of Transportation,
probably to better prepare themselves and better represent the issue.
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Old 13.06.2005, 15:07   #59
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Interesno, a nelzya eti den`gi potratit` na rasshirenie/uluchshenie imeyusheisya dorogi ? Lishnie 18 km eto ne ser`ezno, serpantini - eto drugoe delo, no ved` potrativ stol`ko deneg skol`ko nuzhno na stroitel`stvo novoy dorogi mozhno sdelat` saruyu sushestvenno luchshe. Ili ya nichego v etom ne ponimayu ?
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Old 13.06.2005, 15:12   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W_z_rd
Interesno, a nelzya eti den`gi potratit` na rasshirenie/uluchshenie imeyusheisya dorogi ? Lishnie 18 km eto ne ser`ezno, serpantini - eto drugoe delo, no ved` potrativ stol`ko deneg skol`ko nuzhno na stroitel`stvo novoy dorogi mozhno sdelat` saruyu sushestvenno luchshe. Ili ya nichego v etom ne ponimayu ?

priyatno, chto kak raz kto-to ponimaet... estestwenno, mozhno..no ne wygodno... nado zhe tenderovskie babki kuda-to sunut'?

wot i suyut...
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