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Old 27.07.2007, 15:08   #1
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Exclamation SOS-TEGHUT! СОС-ТЕХУТ! ՍՕՍ-ԹԵՂՈՒՏ!

Armenia Tree Project Distributes Action Alert to Save Teghut Forest

The village of Teghut, with its acres of virgin forest and rich ecosystem in northern Armenia, is home to hundreds of species of birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, and plants, including many that are registered in the International Red Book of Endangered Species.

Armenian Copper Program (ACP) has plans to clear-cut 1,500 acres of this forest in order to establish an open pit strip mining operation for copper and molybdenum ore. In addition, ACP plans to create a “tailing dump” in a nearby gorge, where heavy metals and other toxins from mining waste will leach into the ground and into the river flowing through the gorge, ultimately contaminating the water supply.

Two years ago, Armenia Tree Project (ATP) and a number of organizations and individuals worked together to save the Shikahogh Nature Reserve in southern Armenia from destruction, and now the organization is joining environmentalists and friends in Armenia and in the Diaspora to save Teghut Forest.

On June 20, ATP issued an action alert by email to thousands of its supporters and colleagues, urging them to send letters to President Robert Kocharian to convince him to protect this national treasure from destruction at the hands of a mining company.

“What do we know about Armenian Copper Program’s track record? ACP owns the Alaverdi Smelter, which processes copper ore for a consortium of mining companies in the region,” states ATP Executive Director Jeff Masarjian in the appeal. “The Alaverdi smelter, notorious for belching tens of thousands of tons of sulfur oxides annually into the atmosphere, is having disastrous effects on the health and well-being of the local population.”

Since the smelter’s re-opening in the late 1990’s, the town of Alaverdi has seen a dramatic increase in the number of reported cases of respiratory disease, sterility, and birth defects. The smelter has no emission controls, and the company claims to be unable to afford the cost of installing them.

ACP’s initial plans for developing and exploiting the Teghut mine have received approval by the Ministry of Nature Protection, despite the fact that they will destroy one of Armenia’s most treasured landscapes and clear cut a forest in a nation with less than eight percent forest cover.

“ATP is a member of SOS Teghut, a consortium of 26 organizations that supports the need for sustainable economic development in the country, but opposes development that will leave the land permanently degraded and poisoned,” continues Masarjian. “ACP claims that the government will receive $8 million per year in taxes and payments in return for the right to exploit this mine. But are we to allow Armenia’s precious forest to be destroyed, the surrounding rivers and springs to be contaminated, and the agricultural lands adjacent to the mine to be poisoned for short-term economic gains?”

“Rather than destroy the Teghut Forest, we propose that it be made into a Nature Reserve as part of a concerted effort to develop sustainable tourism in the valley. Tourism is a sustainable form of economic development that benefits the local population without causing permanent damage to the environment. Teghut could attract people from around the world who want to see the rich landscape, biodiversity, and cultural heritage that is unique to this area,” concludes Masarjian in the appeal.

To view the action alert or send a letter to President Kocharian urging him to protect Teghut Forest, visit the Armenia Tree Project web site at www.ArmeniaTree.org.

PHOTO CAPTION: An action alert opposes a strip mining project that will result in the loss of 1,500 acres of Teghut Forest and the creation of a “tailing dump” where toxins from mining waste will leach into the river flowing through the gorge, leading to the type of contamination seen in Akhtala, where a 13th century church stands above the leaking copper tailing dump
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Old 29.07.2007, 14:36   #2
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I'm all for ACP. This is yet another step towards the total obliteration of the human species.
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Old 01.08.2007, 05:29   #3
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I'm all for ACP. This is yet another step towards the total obliteration of the human species.

excuse me, probably i misunderstood u... are you for ACP or ATP?
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Old 01.08.2007, 05:33   #4
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Arrow this has been posted to Armenian Reporter and they picked the letter....


Published in New Jersey since 1967


LETTERS TO EDITOR


No mining in Teghut


Sir:

Thank you for bringing attention to the current challenges and choices which will impact Armenia's environmental integrity long into the future. The June 23 and July 7 articles about the nation's environmental policies which allow for destructive mining practices and the newly released study on illegal logging highlight important issues that should be of concern to everyone who cares about the survival of the culture, land, and people of Armenia. Armenia is a very special place for many reasons, and I would like to bring to your attention a few more that may be less well known. Located at the convergence of 3 major bio-geographic regions, Armenia has within it 7 of the world’s 9 climate zones. Although it consists of only 29,000 square kilometers, amounting to 0.05 percent of the land mass of the northern hemisphere, it is home to 40 percent of all landscape types found there. As a result, Armenia has enormous biological diversity, including: 8800 plant species, half of which are at risk of extinction; 13 species and 360 varieties of wheat, which was first cultivated there 10,000 years ago 260 species of trees and bushes; 17,500 invertebrate and 500 vertebrate species of animals, of which 346 species are birds (of the 500 vertebrate species, 300 are rare or declining, and 18 are at risk of extinction); and one-third of the 156 reptile species found in the former Soviet Union.

Today, Armenia's forest cover is at its lowest point in history, estimated to be at less than 8 percent of its territory. The loss of forests is caused by poverty and unemployment, a lack of alternate fuel sources, legal and illegal commercial cutting and export of wood, and improper management. Forests perform important environmental and socioeconomic functions, and when they disappear, long-term consequences result, such as erosion, flooding, landslides, climate extremes, loss of water supply, reduction of topsoil fertility, loss of plant and animal biodiversity, and severe air pollution. The harsh reality is that all of Armenia’s forests may be gone in as little as 20 years at the current rate of deforestation, leading to irreversible environmental damage. In the small agrarian village of Teghut in northern Armenia, the Armenian Copper Program, a foreign-owned company, is seeking final approval from the government to begin clear cutting as much as 1500 acres (the size of 1125 American football fields) of forest in preparation for an enormous open pit strip mining operation in search of copper and molybdenum ore. The ore will be separated from the soil by adding various toxic chemical compounds to it. The resulting sludge is planned to be dumped in a nearby pristine gorge in Shnogh village. Given the government's history of being unable to monitor and enforce protection of the environment, it is highly likely that the toxins and heavy metals will leach into the ground and nearby river, creating a permanent death zone in the area and threatening the water quality for people downstream. Witness the damage being done by the copper tailing dump in Aghtala village, or the unfiltered toxins belching from the smelter in Alaverdi, or the many other examples of damage being done to the land and health of Armenians by the mining industry, as documented in the new film "Poisoning for Profit" produced by Vem Media Arts. The need for economic development in Armenia, where nearly half the population lives below the poverty line, is enormous. But should economic growth be blindly pursued regardless of the long term cost and damage that will be inflicted on the land and the health of the people? Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. once stated, “People make the argument that the time has come in our nation where we have to choose between the environment on one hand and economic prosperity on the other, and that is a false choice. In 100 percent of the situations, good environmental policy is identical to good economic policy….Some industries want us to treat the planet like it is a business in liquidation, to convert our natural resources to cash as quickly as possible, to have a few years of pollution-based prosperity.” “We can generate an instantaneous cash flow and the illusion of a prosperous economy, but our children are going to pay for our joy ride, and they are going to pay for it with denuded landscapes, poor health, and huge cleanup costs….Pollution is deficit spending--it’s a way of loading the costs of our prosperity and our profits on the backs of our children.” If final approval is given to proceed with this mine, eventually the ore will be depleted, and the jobs it created will be gone. The profits will be exported, and left behind will be the legacy of a poisoned landscape unsuitable for agricultural production, the permanent loss of innumerable habitats that support unique plants and animals, and a dump site that will be a blight on the environment and long term threat to the health of future generations in northern Armenia and possibly even neighboring countries. SOS Teghut is a coalition of 26 environmental organizations in Armenia that is working together to inform the Armenian public and concerned citizens around the globe of the ecological disaster that is looming in Teghut. We are asking the Armenian government to further analyze the costs and benefits of approving this mine and to consider instead other forms of more sustainable economic development possibilities for the region.

More information and photos about Teghut and can be found at Armenia Tree Project's website www.armeniatree.org. Anyone interested in supporting the effort to preserve the landscape there and advocate for more sustainable development can participate in SOS Teghut's Action Alert by sending an electronic letter to the President and other government officials from the website as well. Throughout history there are many examples of civilizations which flourished, then mysteriously disappeared. The author Jared Diamond, in his book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, researched and documented evidence of what many of these civilizations had in common – in every case, the demise of the civilization was preceded by an unsustainable use of their natural resources, including complete deforestation of the land, which became unable to support the population. As Armenians who managed to survive for millennia, we must consider the legacy our ancestors left to us on this precious land, and be responsible to the generations of Armenians to come to do the same for them.



Sincerely,

Jeff Masarjian

Watertown, Mass.



The author is the executive director of the Armenia Tree Project.
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Old 01.08.2007, 06:04   #5
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как много слов, не осилил
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Old 01.08.2007, 07:35   #6
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Originally Posted by Intel View Post
как много слов, не осилил

да, понимаю...тяжко...

надо отменить писанину в форумах
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Old 01.08.2007, 08:29   #7
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Верчы, ACP ватна типо?
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Old 01.08.2007, 09:36   #8
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пишите на русском, отменять не нада
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Old 01.08.2007, 09:53   #9
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АСР - бяки!
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Old 01.08.2007, 10:07   #10
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Originally Posted by Medved Kosolapiy View Post
пишите на русском, отменять не нада
there is no language restriction in this forum, as far as i know. if there is such then i deeply regret for this decision.
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Old 23.11.2007, 12:32   #11
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Save Teghut Forest! join the environmental group.
facebook.com/gr​​oup.php?gid=7210009831&re​f​=share
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Old 23.11.2007, 15:25   #12
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So, what is the proposed action plan?
It is not that easy to find a letter to the President on ATP site...
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