Tuesday, July 23 2019 13:55
Asya Balayan

Environmental state of Lake Sevan and illegal logging in forest areas  were discussed at a meeting of the Nature Protection Ministry`s  Public Council

Environmental state of Lake Sevan and illegal logging in forest areas  were discussed at a meeting of the Nature Protection Ministry`s  Public Council

ArmInfo. The issues of the ecological status of Lake Sevan and the prevention of illegal logging in forest arrays of Armenia were discussed yesterday at a meeting of the Public  Council under the Minister of the Nature Protection.

The participants in the discussion presented activities undertaken to  stabilize the ecological state of Lake Sevan, the waters of whichare  subjected to a high level of eutrophication - the process of  deterioration of water quality due to the excessive flow of so-called  "biogenic elements" into the water, primarily nitrogen and phosphorus  compounds. Numerous anthropogenic factors influencing the ecological  balance of the lake were considered, measures to reduce their impact  were identified.

The meeting participants presented their positions and proposals on  solving the problem, noting the importance of analyzing the results  of the implementation of the monitoring system, establishing the  water quality standard in Lake Sevan, restoring the flora and fauna  population.

Thus, earlier in an interview with ArmInfo, the well-known ecologist  and water resource expert Knarik Hovhannisyan noted  that the reasons  for Sevan's eutrophication lie in the elevated temperature of the  lake's water, resulting in a decrease in the deep "cold" layer, which  leads to a change in the habitual biodiversity. This process is also  promoted by sewage from the entire drainage basin, which contains, in  addition to municipal wastewater, household waste, fertilizers,  pesticides, etc., that are washed away from irrigated lands, also  contributes to this process. In this sense, according to the expert,  the operation of only three treatment facilities, which perform only  mechanical water treatment, is rather insufficient.  A very important  and dangerous factor in the eutrophication of the lake is the small  hydroelectric power stations built on the rivers flowing into the  lake, which often take water from the rivers above the allowed limit,  thus not providing the necessary amount of environmental protection.  Often, these structures lack the so-called "fish walkers" necessary  for spawning fish. As a result of all this, according to the  ecologist, in recent years there has been a disappearance of the  crawfish population in the lake and some species of fish, which are  natural nurses of Sevan.

Not a small "contribution" to the lake pollution is brought by  several hundred tourist facilities around the perimeter of the lake,  which practically do not have sewage treatment plants and wash their  drains directly into the lake. There are also several dozen fish  farms that artificially grow trout, which use feed of unknown  composition - antibiotics, preservatives, dyes, etc.

Nature Protection Minister Erik Grigoryan said that the main part of  the proposed offers are in the process, and stressed the importance  of cooperation with scientific structures and expert communities.  As  part of the discussion on illegal logging, the latest legislative  changes, initiated by the Ministry, were introduced, which closed all  legal gaps that contributed to lawlessness. Legal regulations also  tightened penalties that criminalize individual cases.

At the suggestion of the participants of the meeting, measures aimed  at strengthening the capabilities of specially protected natural  territories and taking fire-fighting measures in forest areas were  also touched upon.

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