CENN – MARCH 24, 2004 DAILY DIGEST
Table of Content:
1. Association Green Alternative
2. Two Construction Companies To Work on Georgian Site of Oil Pipeline
3. Baku -Supsa Pipeline Turns 5
4. YBC Concerned Over Possible Spread of Phylloxera in Ararat Valley
5. Uprooted and Ruined: Greed crisis does more damage than energy crisis
to Yerevan ‘s `green belt’
6. UNDP Launches Kazakhstan InfoBase
1. ASSOCIATION GREEN ALTERNATIVE
March 22, 2003 — Green Alternative lost the court case in the Appeal
(Regional) Court against the Ministry of Environment of Georgia and the
Last year Green Alternative filed a lawsuit against the Ministry of
Environment and the BTC Co claiming that constitutional rights of
Georgian citizens, as well as rights determined by the Aarhus
Convention, which provide for proper access to information and
meaningful participation in the decision-making process were violated
when the decision was taken by the Georgian Government to grant
environmental permit for the construction of the Georgian section of the
In the opening speech BTC Co representative stated that Green
Alternative has no `moral right’ to feel abused and bring any
allegations, since Green Alternative was one of the most active NGOs
participating in the process and it is not fair to bring such
allegations against one of the most prominent, environmentally friendly
company with high corporate ethics. The `strongest’ argument against the
GA’s claim was that cancellation of the environmental permit would harm
the national interests of Georgia. BTC Co representative also declared
that BTC Co took all the necessary measures to ensure proper access to
information and the public participation, met all its obligations and
even more, met the obligations of the Ministry of Environment of
Georgia. He argued that the most important is the fact that the
obligations are met, it does not matter who was responsible to meet
During hearing the representative of the Ministry of Environment could
not refused the fact that the ministry did not follow the requirements
of the Georgian law. He admitted that the ministry did not make any
public announcement and hold public meeting before taking decision to
grant environmental permit, as the law required it. However, this
statement was not taken into account by the judges. The fact that the
judges were biased became more obvious when they gave `interpretation’
of the articles of the Georgian Constitution and the Aarhus Convention
stating, that it does not matter when you (GA) got the information,
before or after the decision was taken. The only thing that a matter is
that at the end you (GA) got it.
The court took the decision on dismissal of Green Alternative’s
complaint substantiating its decision by the argument that the rights of
Green Alternative were not violated, since Green Alternative actively
participated in the process and was provided with all necessary
Green Alternative keeps right to apply to the Supreme Court of Georgia
as well as to the Aarhus Convention compliance mechanism.
Visiting address: Rustaveli avenue. 1. Entrance I. Floor 4
Mailing address: Chavchavadze 62, Tbilisi, Georgia, 380062
Tel: 99532 93 24 03, 99 04 72
Fax: 22 38 74
E-mail: [email protected]
2. TWO CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES TO WORK ON GEORGIAN SITE OF OIL PIPELINE
In a few days Indian company Ponch Lloud will join construction works
conducted by the French Spie-Capag Petrofac, according to the
information providede by BP, company-operator of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan
oil pipeline construction project. Presumably, the company will work on
the Tsalka (the Kvemo Kartli region) and Akhaltsikhe districts (the
Sarke, March 23, 2004
3. BAKU-SUPSA PIPELINE TURNS 5
The 833-km western export pipeline Baku-Supsa beginning from the Baku
terminal Sangachal and ending at the Supsa terminal of the Black Sea
coast of Georgia consists of six pumping and two pressure stations.
The first oil was pumped into the pipe on December 10, 1998 and it
reached the destination on March 11, 1999. The first tanker was
dispatched from Supsa in late March.
Since launching, the personnel has not made any mistakes and missed a
Hitherto, 200 million barrels of crude have been exported through the
pipeline whose throughput runs out at 200 million barrels a day. In
total, 216 tankers were sent to world markets including 32 tankers with
profitable oil of Azerbaijan. The personnel consist of Azerbaijani and
Georgian citizens. They safely ensured the shipping of Caspian oil to
world markets, vice-president of BP-Azerbaijan on Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli
operations Nil McKlieri.
AzerTag, March 23, 2004
4. YBC CONCERNED OVER POSSIBLE SPREAD OF PHYLLOXERA IN ARARAT VALLEY
The Yerevan Brandy Company (YBC) is concerned over possible spread of
phylloxera in vines of the Ararat valley.
According to the YBC managers, who share the concern expressed by
Professor P. K. Aivazyan of the Armenian Academy of Agriculture, the use
of trellises poses a serious risk of the spread of phylloxera, so it can
endanger the vines of the Ararat valley and, therefore, the production
of Armenian brandy.
The YBC managers believe that the sale of trellises imported from
phylloxera-struck regions must be immediately stopped. The YBC considers
important urgent measures to restrict the area where the trellises have
been sold and quarantine it. The YBC is carrying out explanatory work
among the vine-growers of the Ararat valley.
ARMINFO, March 22, 2004
5. UPROOTED AND RUINED: GREED CRISIS DOES MORE DAMAGE THAN ENERGY CRISIS
TO YEREVAN ‘S `GREEN BELT’
The dramatic proliferation of street cafes in recent years has inflicted
twice as much damage on Yerevan ‘s green belt as the severe energy
crisis of the early 1990s that had forced many residents to cut trees
for heating purposes, according to environmentalists.
The Social-Ecological Association, a local non-governmental
organization, estimates that more than 700 hectares of green areas have
been lost in the construction boom. The trees chopped down a decade ago
covered only 300 hectares of land.
The head of the association, Srbuhi Harutiunyan, stated that the total
area of the capital’s greenery has shrunk from 570 hectares to 507
hectares over the past year alone. `That has mainly been due to
construction carried out in parks and other green areas’.
Yerevan ‘s former presidentially appointed mayor, Robert Nazaryan,
effectively admitted shortly after his sacking last October that he was
often ordered to make land allocations by more powerful officials. He
also said that almost all caf? owners flouted their license terms by
grabbing more land that was rented to them and constructing illegal
premises on it.
The authorities have not made public the amount of revenues the city
gets from the mushrooming eateries. The current mayor, Yervand
Zakharyan, suspects that the municipality is being cheated by the
businesses. Zakharyan, according to his deputy Kamo Areyan, has issued
subordinates with a `
Some NGOs claim that Narek Sargsyan, the municipality’s chief architect
who has kept his job under three different mayors, is key to the land
grab. `He ensures the continuity of the process,’ said Gohar Oganezova
of the Armenian Botanical Society.
Oganezova also complained that relevant government officials usually
blame the problem on their predecessors or other government agencies.
Environment Minister Vartan Ayvazyan appeared to do just that on march
23, 2004 when he claimed to lack the authority to curb the destruction
of trees in Yerevan. `Protecting tress in the city is the municipality’s
job,’ stated Gohar Oganezova.
Environment Minister Vartan Ayvazyan also stated bluntly that his
ministry is often reluctant to bring offenders to book because it does
not want to hinder Armenia ‘s ongoing construction boom.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
6. UNDP LAUNCHES KAZAKHSTAN INFOBASE
UNDP Kazakhstan has launched Kazakhstan InfoBase, an online database of
expanded MDG indicators, which provides an integrated overview of human
development in Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan InfoBase was elaborated in cooperation with other donor
agencies to provide free and easy access to statistical data for the
wider community in and outside the country.
Kazakhstan InfoBase is analyzed and sorted by seven thematic areas and
presents data in tables and illustrative charts. Most of indicators are
accompanied with a definition and calculation methodology. The database
is searchable by keywords, contains a glossary and a list of sources
used, both national and international.
We hope that Kazakhstan InfoBase will prove useful and serve for the
benefit of the people of Kazakhstan and a wider international community.
Development Coordination Assistant
Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN)
Tel: ++995 32 92 39 46
Fax: ++995 32 92 39 47
E-mail: [email protected]