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 Monday, March 15 2021 19:57
Alina Hovhannisyan

EU launches "Environmental Protection of Lake Sevan" Project in  Armenia

EU launches "Environmental Protection of Lake Sevan" Project in  Armenia

ArmInfo.On the 15th of March 2021, the official online launch event of the EU- and Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)- funded  Project "Environmental Protection of Lake Sevan" (EU4Sevan) kicked  off with participation of Mr. Romanos Petrosyan, the Minister of  Environment of RA, H.E. Ms. Ambassador Andrea Wiktorin, Head of the  European Union Delegation to Armenia, and H.E. Mr. Michael Johannes  Banzhaf, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to  Armenia.

As the press service of the EU Armenian Delegation informs,  the project is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft fur  Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the United Nations  Development Programme (UNDP) under the coordination of the Ministry  of Environment of RA. 

EU4SEVAN project plans to enhance the capacities of public and  private stakeholders to ensure improved wastewater treatment through  nature-based solutions and to support the local stakeholders in  ecosystem- friendly and water-protecting land-use and cultivation.  Water monitoring and management capacities for the Lake Sevan  watershed will be one of the key outputs of the project. The project  intends to raise awareness about the significance of the protection  of Lake Sevan among the basin communities, the private sector, and  other stakeholders. In cooperation with UNDP, the project aims at  further and sustainable improvement of Lake Sevan ecosystem  governance in Armenia.

The Project launch event brought together the EU4SEVAN donors,  representatives of the national and Gegharkunik local government and  the diplomatic corpus in Armenia, public and private sector partners  and experts, as well as the media representatives to celebrate the  official start of the Project.

Minister Petrosyan, Ambassador Wiktorin, and Ambassador Banzhaf  welcomed all the participants. In her welcoming speech, the  Ambassador Wiktorin noted: "While addressing with the dual COVID-19  and post- war crises are the focus of our immediate efforts in  Armenia, climate change, biodiversity loss, excessive use of  resources and pollution are also existential and global emergencies  affecting both EU and Armenia.  They are as relevant as ever.  Therefore, the full implementation of CEPA, the 2030 Agenda for  Sustainable Development, the Paris Climate Agreement and  internationally agreed biodiversity goals remain crucial to help  better equip Armenia and all Armenians for future systemic shocks.  The European Green Deal and its Green Recovery dimension are top  priorities in the EU-Armenia and Eastern Partnership agendas. This  new EU4Sevan partnership shows once again the strong EU-Armenia  engagement in the environmental protection of a unique Lake Sevan.  Together, let's protect and sustainably enjoy Lake Sevan!" 

The participants were also warmly welcomed by Minister Petrosyan who  expressed his readiness to support the project future activities and  events as a reliable partner of the project.  In her opening remarks  Ms.  Mihaela Stojkoska, UNDP Resident Representative, highlighted the  relevance of the project at the current stage of the environmental  situation of Lake Sevan and emphasized the fruitful cooperation on  environmental issues of all the partner organizations.  During the  event, Mr. Christian Henschel, GIZ Team Leader, EU4Sevan presented in  detail the goals, objectives, and expected results of the EU4SEVAN  project to protect the Lake. Mr. Henschel also highlighted the 5  Outputs through which the positive changes will be made for the Lake  Sevan. In addition to the key outputs of EU4SEVAN, the Project will  implement fast track activities aimed at neutralizing the economic  and social consequences of COVID-19 jointly with the Ministry of  Environment and "Restoration of Riparian Zones in Armenia" COVID-19  Response Project implemented by GIZ. The activities include the  planting of around 600,000 willow cuttings and fruit trees in the  riparian zones of a number of rivers in Gegharkunik as well as the  collection of waste from riverbeds and riverbank vicinities in Spring  2021 and ensuring short-term employment for 750 residents most  affected by the socio-economic consequences of COVID-19. Within the  COVID-19 fast response measures, the EU4SEVAN project is planning to  support local farmers in cultivating new varieties of cabbage on  around 3 ha area providing significantly 2-3 times more income for  local farmers, 2 times less water consumption through  ecosystem-friendly cultivation practices.


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