THE CAUCASUS PRESS REVIEW (APRIL 22-28)

Vestnik Kavkaza, Russia
April 29 2013

29 April 2013 - 1:55pm
Author: VK

According to the Armenian newspaper "New Era", if earlier answers
to questions about compliance with environmental regulations, the
impact of mining and construction sectors on the health of workers
and residents of the surrounding communities in the country were
more emotional in nature, now the results of scientific studies
that demonstrated the current situation have appeared. The American
University of Armenia, the edition reports, initiated a scientific
conference with the participation of international experts from
the U.S., France, Germany, Italy and other countries. In addition,
a number of research activities for involving professionals and the
public in the existing problems, as well as for the use of their
results in the development of relevant policies in Armenia in the
field of ecology, were held. A study conducted in 19 communities
of Armenia found that soil contamination with heavy metals such
as chromium, cadmium, arsenic and lead, in many samples taken for
analysis, is far above acceptable international norms. For example,
in Alaverdi and Akhtala arsenic and lead were found at 11-12 times
higher than normal in all samples of the soil.

According to experts, the presence of heavy metals in soils is one
of the causes of cancer. The sources of pollution, according to them,
are mining companies, foundries, etc. In this regard, many villagers
have expressed their concern, and some are forced to sell their land
at low prices. Pollution of these areas, in addition to the serious
problems related to health, leads to the fact that their agricultural
products are becoming uncompetitive in the market. In addition, in
some of the places near the discharge of mine waste there are child
care facilities. The paper also draws attention to the fact that
environmental compliance is important in terms of tourism development
in the country. In the world there are many examples of countries with
harmful production complying with these standards and successfully
developing tourism industry.

***

The Azerbaijani newspaper "The Mirror" shows the development of
alternative energy in the country. This process was launched in
Gobustan region, not far from Baku, where in the site specially
created for this test renewable energy hybrid power plant consisting
of three wind turbines with a total capacity of 2.7 MW, 1 MW power
plant running on biogas and solar panels capacity of 1.8 MW are
already operating, i. e. a total capacity of 5.5 MW. According to
the head of the State Agency for Renewable & Alternative Energy Akim
Badalov, at present, most enterprises in Gobustan receive electricity
from this site. Together with the state power company "Azerenergy"
a system that allows you to direct the received power into the grid
is created. The minister also said that work began on the expansion
of the Gobustan site, and by 2015 its capacity will be increased
to 8 MW, which will provide electricity to the city of Gobustan,
and later the entire district of Gobustan. He also said that his
department is planning to set up similar plants in other regions of
the country. At the initial phase the power station capacity will be
15-20 MW, later it can be brought up to 45-50 MW. State Agency for
Renewable & Alternative Energy estimates the cost of the development
of the sector at the level of 5.8 billion euros per year, equivalent
to 10% of GDP, or roughly 50% of budget expenditure. However, the
Agency prepared an investment program which is still not approved,
and now the approach of the Ministry of Industry and Energy, which
proposes to focus on minimizing energy consumption and improving
energy efficiency, and to develop alternative energy at the expense
of the saved means, is prevailing.

***

Chairman of the Republican Committee of Tourism Batyr Mal'sagov told
the newspaper "Ingushetia" on how the work on popularization of the
republic and the establishment of its positive image as a tourist
destination is going on. A group of representatives of Russian and
foreign media of 20 people are invited to Ingushetia to participate
in a regular press tour scheduled for the end of April,. The event
"In the land of Gilgal - heroes of feats of arms and glory" will
have a patriotic theme. Guests will visit the place where the main
battle to decide the fate of the Great Patriotic War on the south
took place, visit the mountainous part of the republic in the resort
"Armkhi." The official added that among the guests there are bloggers,
and those who in the future will bring to Ingushetia documentary
filmmakers and athletes. In particular, he referred to the editor of
the anthology "Journey around Russia" Sigorsky, chairman of the board
of the Foundation "Development of automobile and motorcycle sport
and tourism" Oleg Vityutsky and documentary filmmaker Oleg Bermanas.

In mid-May Ingushetia will be presented at the Moscow International
Tourism Fair. The resort "Armkhi" together with Acropolis Group will
hold a forum and exhibition of manufacturers of ski equipment. In
mid-June national conference "Development of regional tourism through
the promotion of cultural and historical heritage" will be held;
the arrival of about 100 people, including the head of the Federal
Tourism Agency Alexander Radkov, is planned. A large holiday program,
according to Malgasov, is dedicated to the opening of the tourist
season on May 1 in the republic.

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From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress