CENN - OCTOBER 1, 2004 DAILY DIGEST
Table of Contents:
1. EBRD -- Country strategy for Georgia
2. Workshop on SEA (Strategic Environmental Assessment) in Tbilisi and
Pilot Project as the Capacity Building Tool for SEA Protocol
Implementation in Georgia
3. Public Movement "Stability" Intends to Unite All Public Organizations
of Armenia to Strengthen Activity of Public Sector
4. Armenian Metallurgical Plants Report Major Output Growth
5. Russian energy group plans expansion drive
6. Invitation to Workshop on Clean Development Mechanism and Project
Financing in Tbilisi, Georgia



1. EBRD -- COUNTRY STRATEGY FOR GEORGIA

Please be informed that the European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development (EBRD) country strategy for Georgia is now available at:
http://www.ebrd.com/about/strategy/index.htm


2. WORKSHOP ON SEA (STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT) IN TBILISI AND
PILOT PROJECT AS THE CAPACITY BUILDING TOOL FOR SEA PROTOCOL
IMPLEMENTATION IN GEORGIA

First workshop on Strategic Environmental Assessment took place in
Tbilisi on September 29-30, 2004. Representatives of UNDP and REC for
Central and Eastern Europe presented their vision on SEA, UN/ECE SEA
protocol, its implementation in South Caucasus countries. Leading
specialists of the MoE made a national overview on problems, gaps, needs
and challenges related to the environmental assessment in Georgia.
Representative Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN) presented
results of the regional project on effectiveness of EIA system in South
Caucasus countries implemented by the organization and also informed
attendants about new projects of CENN in environmental assessment field,
namely two new projects:

In October 2004, CENN starts a new project: `Strengthening of
Environmental Assessment (EIA/SEA) System in the South Caucasus
Countries'.

The objectives of the project are:
(i) Improvement of EA legislation in Georgia - Elaboration of Law on EA
(incorporating provisions both on EIA and SEA) for Georgia;
(ii) Increase of public environmental awareness through nation and
region wide campaign in the South Caucasus region to stimulate active
public participation in environmental decision-making.
- Establishment of Public EA library in Georgia;
- Organization of public oversight of EA activities in the South
Caucasus countries;
In November 2004, CENN plans to start a new Project on: Improvement of
EA Practice in Georgia through Development of EA Implementation Tools.
The Project aims at improvement of EA practice in Georgia through
development of EIA implementation tools - sector guidelines that will
significantly promote effective application of the EIA related legal
requirements.

Ecoline EIA Centre, Moscow presented suggested principles for quality
control of SEA within environmental review.

Pilot SEA project was chosen as the capacity building tool for SEA
protocol implementation in Georgia (Port Development Concept).

The Seminar was organized by the UNDP Georgia country office and the
Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe.

Prepared by: CENN
Katya Nakashidze


3. PUBLIC MOVEMENT "STABILITY" INTENDS TO UNITE ALL PUBLIC ORGANIZATIONS
OF ARMENIA TO STRENGTHEN ACTIVITY OF PUBLIC SECTOR

Source: ARMINFO, September 28, 2004

The Public Movement "Stability" intends to unite all the public
organizations of Armenia to contribute to the vulnerable groups of the
population, Head of the Initiative Group of "Stability" Tigran
Urikhanyan made this statement today at the Constituent Congress.

He said that to implement joint programs, the possibilities and the
whole potential of the public sector of Armenia would be united.
Besides, the movement's activity will be aimed at developing and
strengthening the public organizations interested in protection of human
rights. The supporters of the movement intend to contribute to the
fruitful activity of the state bodies of Armenia cooperating with them.
At present, 174 public organizations of Armenia have joined the
movement, such as the Fund of Armenians Aryans, the public organization
of invalid freedom fighters "Heritage," the Union of Progressive Women
and others. Urikhanyan, who also heads the Progressive Party of Armenia,
said that any parallels between the activity of the movement and the
party are ruled out.

The Initiative Group of the Movement consisting of 174 NGOs was
established on June 9, 2004. That day a Declaration on Establishment of
the Stability Public Movement was signed,


4. ARMENIAN METALLURGICAL PLANTS REPORT MAJOR OUTPUT GROWTH

Source: ArmenPress, September 28, 2004

Output of 26 ore mining enterprises in the first eight months of this
year, monitored by a trade and development ministry department,
amounted, in terms of money, to 90 billion Armenians Drams, virtually as
much as in the first eight months of last year. The department head,
Arthur Ashughian, said last year's figure included also the 11 billion
AMD output of Armenal foil manufacturing plant. Armenal is not operative
now because of undergoing a sweeping process of equipment upgrading.

This year's increase was due to efficient operation of an ore mining
plant in Agarak, in southern Armenia, whose production capacity has gone
up by 25 percent after it was privatized by a foreign company. The plant
has doubled its production growth rate against last year. Another ore
mining plant in Kapan, also in southern Armenia, has also doubled its
output after implementation of a development plan of Shahumian mines.

The leading Armenian metallurgical company, the Armenian Copper Program,
has designed developments plans for both Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh,
reporting also a 20 percent output increase. According to
Ashughian, if Armenian metallurgical plants maintain this dynamic, their
overall output may amount to $280 million by the end of the year against
$170 million in 2003.

He said a total of $8 million were invested in Agarak and Kapan plants,
more than committed by their new owners.

The gold extracting plant in Ararat has produced this year 10.5 billion
worth gold, 30 percent less than last year. According to Arthur
Ashughian, the decrease had been planned after the Zod mines began
exploring new mines. He said the current capacities of the mine ould be
exploited for another 6-7 years, as it has been exploited for decades.
He said there are other gold mines in Armenia, but added that they do
not contain much gold.


5. RUSSIAN ENERGY GROUP PLANS EXPANSION DRIVE

Source: FT, September 29, 2004

Unified Energy System, the Russian electricity monopoly, is considering
politically sensitive moves to supply power to Iran, Turkey and China as
part of an international expansion drive.

The group is planning investments in power generation and/or
distribution in the countries of the former Soviet Union on Russia's
southern borders, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which
would complement existing UES investments in Georgia and Armenia. Once
these are in place, UES will be in a position to build connecting links
to Iran, Turkey and China and use an existing link between Armenia and
Iran.

Anatoly Chubais, UES chairman, said the moves would make sense
commercially in spite of the political challenges involved in dealing
with several different countries lying in a politically sensitive
region. "There's a business logic. There's a good price for electricity
in Iran, China and Turkey," he said.

The planned investments by the state-controlled UES might be seen in
some of the former Soviet republics as a new form of Russian
imperialism.

But Mr. Chubais, a leader of Russia's liberal Union of Right Forces
party, said UES's plans were in tune with his programme of "liberal
imperialism" in which businesses, not governments, took the initiative,
acting out of commercial, not political, motives. Mr Chubais said the
proposed Kazakh investment was a stake in a large power station but he
declined to give details of the plans in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, as
talks were at a sensitive stage.

The group's existing investments in the region include about 20 per cent
of Georgia's generating capacity and 35 per cent of its distribution
network. In Armenia, it controls 85 per cent of generation through its
management contract for the Metsamor nuclear plant. Mr. Chubais said
these investments could open doors to larger markets.

Earlier Mr Chubais told an investment conference that the company was
preparing for reform of the domestic electricity market, in spite of the
fact the government postponed key decisions this year.

Under the plan, UES would be broken into distribution, transmission and
generating companies which would mostly be privatised. But Mikhail
Fradkov, the prime minister, delayed implementation, saying he needed
more time to study the mechanism of deregulation and its impact on
households.

The government is now due to reconsider the reforms on December 2.

Mr Chubais said yesterday that UES had proposed new plans under which
prices would be liberalised only slowly - over 3 to 5 years - to protect
vulnerable consumers.


6. INVITATION TO WORKSHOP ON CLEAN DEVELOPMENT MECHANISM AND PROJECT
FINANCING IN TBILISI, GEORGIA

Dear Sir/Madame,

Two-day workshop on Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and project
financing will be held on 18-19 October at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel,
Tbilisi Georgia.

We would like to formally extend an invitation for your attendance at
the workshop which is aimed at project developers, governments
(Designated National Authorities), banks, and consultancy organizations
in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic,
Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The workshop is organized by Ecofys under assignment from the European
Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and is sponsored by the
Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and The Environment, through
the Netherlands Environment Trust Fund at the EBRD. It is being held in
partnership with the PPC, back-to-back with the Second Joint Meeting of
the EAP Task Force/PPC and the Conference of Environment Ministers from
the countries of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) and
their Partners, taking place in Tbilisi on 21-23 October.

If you are interested in attending the workshop, please send your full
detail (Name, Organisation, Address,
City, Country, Zip/Postcode, Telephone/Fax numbers and E-mail address)
to: Yvonne Hofman (Ecofys) at [email protected]

If you have any questions concerning the workshop, please contact Yvonne
Hofman directly.

For the more detailed information please see the following link:
http://www.cenn.org/info/workshop announcement.doc

Drs. Yvonne Hofman
Energy & Climate Strategies
Ecofys bv

Kanaalweg 16-G; P.O. Box 8408; NL-3503 RK Utrecht; The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)30 280 83 39; F: +31 (0)30 280 83 01
E-mail: [email protected]
Info: http://www.ecofys.nl



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From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress