21.05.2010 10:58

Joint actions to handle the environmental threat posed by a chemical
waste dump of Nubarashen and other issues of mutual co-operation
were discussed today at a meeting of the Head of the OSCE Office
in Yerevan Ambassador Kapinos and the Minister of Nature Protection
Aram Harutyunyan.

Ambassador Kapinos at the meeting welcomed the immediate reaction
of the Government to the alert signaled by the OSCE on the acute
environmental risk stemming from the Nubarashen chemical waste dump
and expressed readiness to assist Armenia on the issue.

The OSCE Office in Yerevan developed an emergency action plan to
contain the immediate threat jointly with the Armenian Ministry of
Emergency, and invited experts to make preliminary assessment of
risks. The international expertise was provided by the John Vijgen
from the Environment and Security Initiative, Kevin Helps from UN Food
and Agriculture Organization and Wolfhart Pohl from the World Bank.

At the initiative of the OSCE the international donor community is
being mobilized to assist Armenia in addressing the problem. The next
co-ordination meeting to this effect is hosted by the OSCE Office in
Yerevan on May 21.

As soon as the acute threat has been coped with, a long-term plan to
dispose of the waste is to be drafted with further OSCE assistance in
co-ordination with the Armenian authorities and other international

"We are glad to provide support in bringing about the international
expertise and do believe that coordinated reaction by the government,
civil society and the international community is important to
assist Armenia in eliminating this kind of emergency threats.," said
Ambassador Sergey Kapinos, the Head of the OSCE Office in Yerevan."

The Minister briefed on the urgent steps taken by the Government of
Armenia with a view of utilizing amount in 31 million drams allocated
from the Government budget to mitigate the immediate risks. The
Ministry of Nature Protection is tasked to organize the work at the
dump site and co-ordinate state bodies' activities.