Today, ethnographer Hranush Kharatyan and the head of Ecolur NGO Inga
Zarafyan dwelt on forest cuttings. Relevant representatives from the
Ministry of Nature Protection and Agriculture were invited to the
press conference, but none of them was present. The ethnographer
noted that as a result of studies it was found out that people,
who care more for the forest, have minimum idea of how forests are
managed and how people need to treat them.

Studies were carried out in 8 settlements of Syunik, Tavush and
Lori regions. According to her, in all 8 settlements, wood is used
for heating not only in those areas where there is no gas. Hranush
Kharatyan says that people not only know but also feel the bad
consequences that forest cutting brings about. But they get especially
agitated because of injustice, because it is not a secret for anyone
that forests are very often cut for business.

Inga Zarafyan presented the comparison they made between official and
non-official data. According to official data, forests compose 334, 1
thousand hectares that is 11, 2 percent of whole territory of Armenia.

This number has not changed since 1992. According to her, officials do
not want to admit the real data submitted by the American University
according to which in 2007, forests compose 7-8 percent. According
to predictions, if everything goes on this way, we will lose forests
in 2020. They propose forbidding forests cutting for 5 years.

There is another issue. Inga Zarafyan says they found out that in
Hanqavan, 50 thousand hectares were taken out of the forest fund and
given to communities, which divided it between private people.

According to her, even the Forest Monitoring Center failed to find
out who those people who took such a huge territory are.

From: A. Papazian