CENN Electronic Bulletin (English Version) – March 2004 – Issue 66

Caucasus Environmental NGO Network

66 Electronic Bulletin:
Caucasus Environmental News


1. Announcements
1.1. Public can access online register of industrial pollution
1.2. Small grants program on sustainable development of Caspian coastal
1.3. OECD Forum 2004: Health of Nations
1.4. EIA reports submitted to the Ministry of Environment of Georgia
1.5. Invitation to comment on the country strategy for Georgia

2. News from Georgia
2.1. Time for action to save Georgia’s forests
2.2. Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline going to schedule – operator
2.3. Animal Rights Committee against using natural fur
2.4. The role of mass media in building democracies
2.5. The president of Georgia warns of plans to thwart oil pipeline
2.6. Visit in Bolnisi Information Center
2.7. WWF warns of BTC eco-threat
2.8. `Georgian Bank’ and BTC reach coop agreement
2.9. Georgians demand action to save their homes from oil pipeline
2.10. 3rd Georgia International Oil, Gas, Energy and Infrastructure
Conference and Showcase — GIOGIE 2004
2.11. Georgian president: nothing threatens project of oil and gas
transportation from Caspian via Georgia
2.12. Association Green Alternative – Statement
2.13. Accident investigated in Georgia

3. News from Azerbaijan
3.1. Kazakhstan may join Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan project
3.2. Kazakh section of Caspian Sea being cleared from oil pollution
3.3. Internet forum on green plantations protection of Baku city held
3.4. Azerbaijani pipeline workers down tools
3.5. Azerbaijan has enough oil to keep Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline busy
– president
3.6. Kazakhstan confirms interest in Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline
3.7. `Ecological stability’ instills ecological patriotism
3.8. Economic University focused state poverty reduction program
3.9. Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan to sign BTC pipeline agreement in 2004 –
3.10. Azerbaijan-Kazakhstan talks on oil for Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan
pipeline in ‘final stage’
3.11. Penalty for the illegal logging
3.12. The contracts of BP are verified according to the observance of
the environmental standards
3.13. Azerbaijan participants in Berlin international tourist exhibition

3.14. Azerbaijan expects Baku-Erzerum gas pipeline to open in 2006
3.15. Workshop – «Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline monitoring problems»
3.16. Convention on legal status of Caspian discussed
3.17. Disagreements at the Baku five sided negotiations on the Caspian
3.18. One reserve for three countries

4. News from Armenia
4.1. Gili rehabilitation works temporarily stopped
4.2. Change threaten freedom of information in Armenia
4.3. USA to allocate 1m dollars to boost safety of Armenian nuclear
4.4. A hidden ecological disaster
4.5. Sale of pest-killers out of control
4.6. Garbage presentation
4.7. Amb. Kirakossian meets with National Geographic Society’s
4.8. IT as a tool for Armenian tourism industry

5. Legal News
5.1. 10th anniversary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

6. NGO News
6.1. Civil Society Statement online for comments
6.2. Islands tour
6.3. Alternative energy — The first solar village in Georgia

7. International News
7.1. First regional meeting on education for sustainable development
7.2. Commission’s judiciary specialist group plans for Bangkok
7.3. First reading agreement reached with POPs
7.4. Botas to finish Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline on time
7.5. Cambridge university press partners with UCN academy of
Environmental Law
7.6. First meeting of the UN ECE PRTR working group
7.7. UNEP youth meeting preparation to Budapest -2004
7.8. Second high-level meeting on EU-EECCA water initiative

8. New Publications
8.1. Water Resources Systems Planning and Management
8.2. Stakeholder Forum announces the publication of its new book: How to
Lobby at Intergovernmental Meetings

9. Calendar (International)
9.1. Ninth International Journalism Summer School “Modern Media
Management and Marketing”
9.2. OECD forum 2004: Health of Nations



The European Commission and the European Environment Agency have
launched the European Pollutant Emission Register, the first register of
industrial emissions into air and water in all the European Union
countries. It has been seven years in the planning. The Register makes
available to the public information on pollution from around 10,000
large industrial facilities in the EU and Norway, allowing the user to
group information and compare, by pollutant, sector, air and water, or
country. It is hoped that groups “will engage local industries in a
dialogue about how emissions can be further reduced”. It will be
available in all EU languages in the coming months.


Regional Environmental Center for the Caucasus (REC Caucasus) announces
the beginning of receiving of the applications under the EU-funded Small
Grants Program on Sustainable Development of Caspian Coastal

The Program aims to assist selected Caspian coastal communities that are
experiencing a combination of economic difficulties and environmental
pressure, by financing a number of community-based projects for
development of alternative, environmentally sustainable sources of

Deadline for application – May 28, 2004

Detailed information is available at
or contact:
Araz Abbasov
National Coordinator in Azerbaijan
Sustainable Development of Caspian Coastal
Communities Small Grants Program
REC Caucasus Information Point in Azerbaijan
370000 Baku, Azerbaijan
82, Azadliq Ave., 2nd floor
Tel/Fax: +99412 411908
E-Mail: [email protected]


OECD Forum 2004 “Health of Nations” will tackle some of the key issues
on the international policy agenda, such as the health of the global
economy, the health of multilateral co-operation and the health of our
citizens. The Forum will take place in Paris on 12-13 May 2004. The
Forum will cover the following issues:

§ World economy;
§ International trade and investment;
§ Sustainable development;
§ Health policy challenges.

The Forum is a multi-stakeholder summit, which brings together leaders
from business, government, labor and civil society, and takes place at
the same time as the annual OECD Ministerial meeting. It involves the
participation of an important number of OECD and non-OECD Ministers.

Registration and more information at:


Source: Newspaper `Sakartvelos Respublica’ (`Republic of Georgia’),
March 19, 2004

In accordance with the Georgian legislation, entrepreneur `Ismail
Bayramov’ submitted EIA report to the Ministry of Environment of Georgia
to obtain an environmental permit for the activity of second category –
Geological Study, Mining and processing of the Kizilajlo Basalt Deposit
in Marneuli region.

In accordance with the Georgian legislation, entrepreneur `Ismailov,
Alakhvediev’ submitted EIA report to the Ministry of Environment of
Georgia to obtain an environmental permit for the activity of second
category – Geological Study, Mining and processing of the Basalt Deposit
in Tetritskaro region, Village Kotoshi.

EIA report is available at the press-center of the Ministry of
Environment (68, Kostava str., VI floor) and at the Department of
Environmental Permits and State Ecological Expertise (87, Paliashvili
Str., Tel: 25 02 19). Interested stakeholders can analyze the document
and present their comments and considerations until May 4, 2004.

Public hearing will be held on May 4, 2004 at 12:00, at the conference
hall of the Ministry of Environment.


In light of recent political developments in Georgia, the EBRD is
advancing the preparation of its next Strategy for Georgia in order to
be better able to support the efforts of the new authorities in
addressing the main challenges in the country. Comments are invited to
help the Bank in revising its Strategy.

Comments should refer to the current Strategy for Georgia available at:

To help in the preparation of the forthcoming Strategy for Georgia, it
would be useful for the Bank to receive comments on the investment and
economic environment as it relates to the Bank’s operational priorities
and activities, in particular in the following areas:

1. Issues related to the investment climate

This would include issues concerning: (i) the implementation and
enforcement of laws; (ii) progress in the fight against corruption –
implementation of the national anti-corruption strategy; (iii) corporate
governance; and (iv) in particular the investment climate as it relates
to the development of SMEs/MSEs. We seek your views on how serious these
issues are for the development of the private sector, priority areas
which should be addressed by the authorities, and the ways in which the
EBRD could assist the authorities in improving the investment climate.

2. Issues related to infrastructure development

This would include efficiency and payment discipline in the power sector
and issues related to development of the transport sector, with
particular attention to issues relating to tariff reform, restructuring,
and privatization/private sector involvement. Comments are invited on
priority issues and the role, which the EBRD should play in further
support for the development of these sectors.

3. Issues related to access to capital

Comments are invited on the ease of access to funding by private sector
enterprises, in particular by micro-, small- and medium-sized
enterprises, given the current state of development of the banking
sector, the level of financial intermediation, and the availability of
funding under various donor and IFI programs. Comments would also be
welcome on issues related to the early stage of development of
non-banking financial sector (leasing, mortgages, pensions, insurance).
What are the main obstacles, what measures should be taken to strengthen
the banking and non-banking financial sectors, and what type of projects
should be supported by the EBRD to help alleviate identified gaps?

The Strategy provides guidance for EBRD activities in a country,
identifying the main challenges, which the Bank is best, placed to
confront. As such, the Strategy cannot address all of the development
issues a country faces and necessarily must be selective in identifying
issues where the Bank has the experience and ability to play a
constructive role.

The Bank will take into account all comments received. A summary of
these, with staff responses, will be posted on the Web site following
the Board approval of the revised Strategy. The Country Strategy is,
however, a Bank document and the responsibility for its contents remains
with the Bank.

Please send your comments to the Bank at [email protected] no
later than 18 May 2004.

You may also like to send this message to other interested

Outreach and NGO Relations team, European Bank for Reconstruction and


Press Notice
Date: February 21, 2004
No: 2004/01

Consultancy and Project Management

Georgia needs her forests. They provide wood for fuel and industry, food
for livestock, beautiful areas for recreation and tourism and they
protect water supplies and prevent soil erosion. But poor management,
felling on a scale far greater than the natural capacity of the forest
to regenerate, and over-grazing are degrading the forests. There is no
dispute about this. The evidence is there for everyone to see. The new
government needs to act now to tackle the causes of forest degradation.
The causes are many and include irresponsible and illegal actions
encouraged by low salaries and the ineffective enforcement of forest
laws; the lack of alternative energy supplies for villagers, who have
become almost completely dependent on fuel wood from the forest; the
lack of opportunities for rural communities to participate the
management of their local forests; and inadequate support for the sector
from the state budget.

The government needs to:

ž Introduce effective and efficient controls over forest use
ž Establish effective and efficient monitoring of forest managers and
enforcement of forest law
ž Provide support for managers of the Local Forest Fund
ž Increase community participation in forest management
ž Ensure that the needs of rural people are met without causing forest
ž Encourage entrepreneurship in the private sector to increase to income
available for reinvestment
ž Guarantee funds for reinvestment in forest protection and

An action plan addressing all of these points was prepared last year
under the Forests Development Project supported by a loan from the World
Bank. Georgia has already invested a large amount of money in the
Forests Development Project and will invest even more over the next 4
years. The action plan covers essential changes to forest law,
reorganization and strengthening of key forest management and law
enforcement organizations, strengthening forestry education and
research, and support to the private sector. The plan provides the
government with a starting point for tackling the problem of forest
degradation. The government now needs to review, revise where
necessary, and take ownership of the implementation plan. The government
needs to show leadership for forest sector and it needs to involve key
stakeholders from civil society, private business, research and
education. If the action plan sits on a shelf gathering dust, the money
will have been wasted, and Georgia’s forests will continue to disappear.

For further information please contact:

Mike Garforth
Partner and Director
Phone: 899 50 48 33

Manana Simonishvili
Partner and Director
Phone: 899 73 09 70
Office: 832 93 12 31

The company is registered and based in Tbilisi. For more information,
please see our web pages at


Source: News Agency Interfax, March 5, 2004

According to Michael Townshend, BTC Co Chief Executive Officer, all
construction works on the Georgian section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan
oil pipeline are going to schedule.

Commenting on an announcement by Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili
about possible obstacles facing the project, and some ecological issues,
he said that two thirds of the route in Georgia has already been
prepared and we are now welding the pipes.

mr. Townshend said that the pipeline route in Georgia was approved two
years ago, and that the company does not plan to change anything,
especially as a lot has already been done. He said that in general he
does not see any obstacles that might lead to delays in Azerbaijan,
Georgia or in Turkey.

He said that he returned from Turkey on March 4, 2004, where he met with
management from Botas – the project’s main construction contractor on
Turkish territory.

He said that in Turkey there is a slight delay with certain sections of
the pipeline and with the construction of four pumping stations. There
is currently snow in these areas and the company is waiting for the
weather to improve before continuing work. mr. Townshend said that the
company is currently involved in preparation work, so as to speed up the
pace of construction after the snow melts.

Earlier, participants in the project said that delays in the
construction of the Turkish section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline
might push back the launch date from the end of 2004 to mid-2005.
However, Botas promised to speed up construction of the Turkish section.


Source: Newspaper Georgian Times, March 9, 2004

Animal Rights Committee of Georgia came out against animal cruelty and
called Avtandil Tskvitinidze and Maka Assathiany – famous Georgian
designers to refrain from using natural fur for the collections soon to
be represented in Moscow fashion show. Recently, Saga Fur Company
presented Georgian fashion designers Avtandil Tskvitinidze and Maka
Assathiany with certain amount of fur to design models for the upcoming
fashion show. And Animal Rights Committee `in response’ `granted’ the
designers with an undercover fur farm video narrated by famous fashion
designer Stella McCartney. The video produced by People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals (PETA), describes the plight of animals at modern
fur farms.

In a letter enclosed with the video, ARC calls upon Tskvitinidze and
Assathiany to make the right choice between cruelty and kindness, and
offers to provide additional information concerning fake fur and leather

`There are also other organizations that deal against animal cruelty in
Georgia but we work on global issues. There is negative stereotype
deeply enrooted in Georgia that violation against animals doesn’t matter
when the rights of human beings are so frequently disrespected. But the
civilization in the country is measured according to how the animals are
treated. Besides maltreated animals like street dogs which have
developed rabies are dangerous for human beings themselves ` – Lekso
Khubulava, the Chairmen of Animal Rights Committee says.

Heather Mills, wife of former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, has joined his
crusade against the abuse of animals by letting her photographs appear
exclusively on the cover of the 2004 Shopping Guide for Caring
Consumers, produced by People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals
(PETA). Now in its fourteenth year, the PETA Shopping Guide features
more than 500 companies which have signed a statement promising never to
test any ingredients or finished products on animals.

Animal Rights Committee is managed by a group of volunteers who
contribute their free time and resources to the protection of animals.
The Committee promotes animal-related laws and regulations. On April 3,
2003 ARC formally proposed amendments to the Ordinance of the City of
Tbilisi on the Maintenance of Dogs, Cats and Other Predator Animals. The
Ordinance was passed by the Sakrebulo (municipality) of Tbilisi on
November 7, 2001. It also supports use of alternatives to animal
experiments as a number of educational and medical research institutions
continue using animals in painful and deadly experiments and
dissections, also support to establish cat shelter

Animal Rights Committee introduces a charity sale of postcards designed
by talented artist Giorgi Akhvlediani. In addition to creating original
pieces of artwork, Giorgi runs a makeshift cat shelter at the open-air
Ethnographic Museum of Tbilisi, where he feeds and takes care of
homeless cats.

`When Avtandil Tskvitinidze and Maka Assathiany watch how the fur is
obtained in `modern’ animal farms and what kind of psychological stress
those animals undergo and see their killing methods that are of middle
ages they will refrain from using natural fur for sure’, – Chairmen of
Animal Rights Committee assured.

In the meantime the manager of Avtandil Tskvitinidze explained that the
fur was provided by Saga Fur Company as a gift and they are not going to
support animal cruelty this way.


Source: News Agency Internews, March 9, 2004

On March 8, 2004 a round table meeting took place in the conference hall
of Courtyard Marriot Hotel, which was organized by Internews Georgia,
Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association and Trade-Industry Chamber of
Georgia. The meeting included managers and representatives of mass
media. The employees of the organizations actively working in the CIS
countries were also invited.

During the meeting the aspects of TV in modern world were discussed,
including the work of regional, national and global broadcasters. One of
the main themes at the meeting was the work of Georgian TV stations
during the `Rose Revolution’. Participants commented on the activities
of separate TV companies: `Who do the TV stations serve – governments,
owners or the public?’

During the meeting it was particularly noted that at present the main
problem of Georgia mass media outlets is the financial dependence and
excessive loyalty towards the new leadership of the country.

The functions of journalists were also discussed. Participants expressed
their opinions on who the journalist is first of all, – a professional
or a citizen, mediator or a tool for manipulation? Participants of the
meeting particularly stressed the importance of media’s influence on
formation of free society and freedom of speech as a whole. Footage from
the film made on freedom of expression in Russia was shown to the
participants of the meeting. The parallels were drawn between the
activities of journalists in different countries.

Representatives of international organizations supporting the
development of electronic mass media throughout the world, state and
private broadcasters of Georgia, representatives of the authorities,
print media, leading foreign and local nongovernmental organizations and
donor organizations took part in discussion of mass media problems in
the transitional period


Source: Radio Free Europe /Radio Liberty, March 9, 2004

In Baku on March 4, 2004 President Saakashvili stated that he
anticipates an attempt within the next few months by foreign political
forces to block or change the route of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil
export pipeline, which is currently under construction, in order to
delay its completion by up to two years. The first oil is currently
scheduled to reach Ceyhan during the second quarter of 2005. On 5 March,
Saakashvili inspected the Sangachal terminal south of Baku, where oil
from the Azeri, Chirag, and Guneshli oil fields enters the export
pipeline, Turan reported. On 6 March, Azerbaijani Transport Minister Zia
Mamedov told journalists that Azerbaijan and Georgia would reduce
oil-transit tariffs for Kazakh and Turkmen oil exported via their
countries, Caucasus Press reported.


Source: CENN Bolnisi Information Center
Malkhaz Inadz

On the March 9, 2004 of Professor Kekelidze, Tbilisi State University,
had visited Bolnisi Information Center with his colleagues from the
Environment Research Center of Tbilisi State University. After the short
meeting they went to Mashavera River to take analyses from water
polluted by Madneuli Copper Mine. The express laboratory they had
mounted in the small bus gave them some information on the spot and
another part-after further treatment. The group of scientists was
accompanied by local TV journalists and environmental activists.


Source: Caspian Region’s Weekly Business, Caspian Business News, March
10, 2004

The speedy implementation of the project to construct the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) export oil pipeline poses a threat to the
flora and fauna of the entire Caspian region, Trend news agency has
quoted an official of the World Wildlife Fund Frank Merchel as saying in
a statement.


Source: State Telegraph Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, AzerTag,
March 13, 2004

The Georgian Bank and Company BTC signed an agreement on financial
servicing of the funds assigned by the International Monetary Fund,
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Tbilisi on March 12.

Under the conditions, the Georgian Bank will provide banking services of
all expenditures for the construction of Georgian section of the
pipeline. Therefore, the Bank has become a member of the financial
association, which affiliates 78 companies.


Official complaint to IFC reveals BTC negligence

Tbilisi, Georgia, March 16, 2004 — Residents of Rustavi, Georgia’s
third city, have today submitted an official complaint to the
International Finance Corporation (IFC) concerning the potentially
disastrous construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline
only 250 meters from a settlement of high-rise buildings.

[1] The residents are taking this step following a prolonged period of
uncertainty for them and their homes, a lack of information and response
from officials in Georgia and violent intimidation from the regional
police force.

In November 2003, the IFC, the World Bank’s private lending arm, agreed
to provide a USD 250 million loan to the controversial BP-led BTC
project. The residents’ complaint alleges that World Bank Group policies
and procedures have not been complied with on four counts. [2]

In January this year, people in Rustavi learned for the first time
exactly how close the pipeline would come to their homes when heavy
construction equipment and pipeline workers arrived without warning.
There was no mention of such proximity (180-250 meters) in the available
project documentation and maps. The BTC Company (BTC Co) indicates in
its project literature that there should be a 500-meter `security zone’
around the pipeline. It turns out that the pipeline will run along the
nearby Mtkvari river bank, a high level erosion zone, with potentially
destructive impacts on the most affected homes and the 700 families
living there.

Since learning of their plight, the Rustavi residents have sent letters
to and attempted to engage in dialogue with all the relevant parties –
the mayor of Rustavi, local representatives from BTC Co. and the IFC –
and have also taken their case to the Georgian parliament. Their appeals
have been either ignored or dismissed on the grounds that the pipeline
will comply with the highest western standards.

Merab Vacheishvili, one of the residents named in the complaint, said,
`We are told to shut up, stop wasting the company’s time and trust the
high standards of the project promoters. Yet local people have been kept
completely in the dark about this pipeline. How can we start trusting

Frustrated by officialdom, last month 400 residents took part in a
demonstration that interrupted the pipeline construction for one hour.
The demonstration, consisting mainly of women and children, was
violently broken up by the police. A police representative declared that
the orders had come directly from the government.

Eleonora Digmelashvili, another resident, commented, “We have applied to
the IFC Ombudsman as a last resort. There needs to be an independent
expert analysis of BTC impacts on our homes as well as strong guarantees
for our and our children’s security. If there are no such guarantees
then the pipeline route must be changed or we should be resettled.”


Merabi Vacheishvili
Tel: + 995 24 17 34 58
E-mail: [email protected]

Eleonora Digmelashvili
Tel: + 995 93 91 77 05
E-mail: [email protected]

Notes for editors:

1) The official complaint to the IFC’s Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman is
available here:

2) The four World Bank Group policies and procedures cited in the
official complaint are:

o Procedures for public disclosure
o IFC Operational Policy 4.01 on environmental assessment
o World Bank Operational Policy 4.30 on involuntary resettlement
o Procedures for preparation of Resettlement Action Plan

Background information on the BTC project is available from the
Bankwatch website:

Greig Aitken
Media coordinator
CEE Bankwatch Network
Bratislavska 31
602 00 Brno
Czech Republic
Tel: +420-545 214 431, ext 19


Source: Newspaper The Georgian Times, March 22, 2004

A two-day 3rd Georgia International Oil, Gas, Energy and Infrastructure
2004 Conference kicked off at the Sheraton Metechi palace Hotel Thursday
supported by Ministry of Fuel and Energy of Georgia, and Georgian
International Oil Corporation (GIOC). 180 delegates from 15 countries
are participating in the conference. Development of BTC pipeline and
South Caucasian gas pipeline Shah-Deniz-Tbilisi-Erzerum was discussed at
the conference. Participants include BP, BTC Co., GIOC, Georgian Oil,
Socar, Botas, Kazmunaigaz, Statoil, Ukransnafta, IFC, EBRD, RAO UES,
Gazprom, ChevronTexaco, Spie-Petrofac, Marsh, Ernst & Young, AON,
McConnell Dowell, USAID and many others.

GIOGIE 2004 sponsors include: GIOC, Batumi Oil Terminal, BP, Statoil,
Spie-Petrofac, Marsh, Ernst & Young, ENR Russia Invest, Channel Enery,
BCI, Sercel.

Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania was expected to open the conference but the
political standoff between Tbilisi and Batumi has promoted him to stay
in a Black Sea town Poti, near Batumi to head an anti-crisis center. As
the entire cabinet of ministers was in Poti Nika Gilauri, Minister of
Fuel and Energy failed to attend the 3rd International Conference.
Deputy Minister of Fuel and Energy Aleko Khetaguri participated on his

The construction of the Shah-Deniz-Tbilisi-Erzerum pipeline is scheduled
to start shortly after the BTC pipeline building is complete. Georgia’s
participation in the projects bears critical importance as it serves a
kind of transport corridor between Asia and Europe.

At the conference Commercial Director of BTC Co Andrew McAuslan noted
that the BTC pipeline energy corridor expands over 700 000 kms.

The BTC Co representative spoke about the importance of social and
public projects implemented within the frames of the BTC oil pipeline.
The projects aimed at improvement of social conditions of the people
living in the BTC pipeline vicinities. Andrew McAuslan said that the
population of the villages crossed by the pipeline would be favored when
hiring personnel for the pipeline. He added that 15 international
commercial banks are participating in the pipeline project. BTC Co. is
planning to carry out large-scale infrastructure projects within the
frames of the project and pledges to care for integration of

Archil Magalashvili, technical manager of GIOC, said that the BTC oil
pipeline would be under tight monitoring. High security measures have
been taken to ensure security of Georgian stretch of the pipeline and
avoid environment pollution or other accidents.

Since Georgia is situated in high seismological and landslide risk zone
the project envisages additional security measures. Archil Magalashvili
says that additional geological field works have been performed
alongside with the construction of the pipeline.

Manager of Statiol Turkey, Kietil Tanlend focused on the
Shah-Deniz-Tbilisi-Erzerum gas pipeline. He said Statiol, which is a
shareholder of BTC pipeline project was established in 1972. The company
produces 1 million barrel oil a day, making the company the third
biggest oil operator in the world. Statiol is a Norwegian company and is
one of the leading oil operators in Norway and Scandinavian countries.

Statoil holds 5.5 shares in BTC oil pipeline and 25.5 percent in
Shah-Deniz-Tbilisi-Erzerum gas pipeline. Kietil Tanlend pointed out that
the preparatory work for the South Caucasian pipeline project was
underway. He said Shah-Deniz-Tbilisi-Erzerum gas pipeline would become
operational in 2006.

He spoke about the Georgia as an important and strategic partner in the
gas pipeline project. The well-developed system will help to implement
the project in complaisance with European standards.

The conference was wrapped on March 19, 2004. Organizers of the
conference were content with the results and say they have worked
productively in these two days. At the 2nd international conference the
course of the pipeline project implementation was discussed and the gas
pipeline project was only theoretically considered. At the March 18-19,
2004 conference participants spoke about the details of the project and
dwelled on profits the project willing bring to participating states.

The next day of the 3rd international conference Viachwslan Axenov,
advisor to Russia’s Energy Council said that Russia honored the request
of the Georgian Ministry of Fuel Energy and would play an active role in
the development of Georgia’ s energy sector. He added that the Russian
Energy Council is planning to hold a press conference on the hydro
energy issue in the near future and proposed the Georgian Ministry of
Fuel and Energy to participate in the conference. Mr. Axenov believes
that the rehabilitation of Inguri hydropower station is important for
country and if the ministry representative attends the conference this
issue will be also discussed there.

Viachwslan Axenov did not specify whether or not Russia would contribute
to the rehabilitation of Inguri station but his appeal to Georgia to
participate in this conference does hold an answer to the question.

Russian United Energy Company Rau UES holds 75 percent of Tbilisi power
distribution facility Telasi shares. Rau UES also owns Gardabani 9 and
10 energy facilities and two hydropower stations of Kvemo Kartli region
`Khrami 1′ and `Khrami 2′.

Viachwslan Axenov says that the Russian Energy Council `s strategy is to
develop Georgia’s energy sector, and Rao UES’ strategy is to create a
common energy corridor throughout the Commonwealth of Independent States
(CIS). Georgian experts well understand the quite clear `Russian’
accents but as one of the experts said despite the monopoly of the
Russian companies at the Georgian energy system, the Georgian-Russian
political relations promises to be less aggressive BTC and
Shah-Deniz-Tbilisi-Erzerum gas pipelines are not threatened by Russia.

Experts unanimously exclude Russia’s participation in the gas pipeline
project. Although the shortest route for Russian power export crosses
Georgia but Russia does not have any claims for
Shah-Deniz-Tbilisi-Erzerum project, As for Viachwslan Axenov, he
withheld comments on this comment.


Source: Russian Information Agency Novosti, March 22, 2004

Nothing threatens the project of oil and gas transportation from the
Caspian Sea via Georgia, the country’s president, Mikhail Saakashvili
said on March 22, 2004.

In his words, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan project is being implemented and
will be completed. This project is politically important for Georgia as
a country that has commitments to its partners, the Georgian leader told

He added that previous Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze’s
statement that this project’s implementation will bring prosperity to
the country “is far from reality.” The Georgian mass media have been
enthusiastically discussing the issue of a possible threat to the
project of oil and gas transportation from Azerbaijan via Georgia to
Turkey. This topic acquired special urgency after Mr. Saakashvili
decided to give the building of the Georgian International Oil
Corporation in Tbilisi to the Georgian Foreign Ministry.

The construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, whose cost is
estimated at $3 billion, is to be completed in the end of 2005. In May
2004, the gas pipeline laying, to be over in late 2006, will start along
the oil pipeline.


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
BTC pipeline.

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.

For contacts:

Manana Kochladze
Nino Gujaraidze

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]


Source; BTC Bulletin, March 26, 2004

BTC Co has completed an incident investigation and lessons learned
report following a fatal accident in Georgia on February 25, 2004. Two
sub-contractors suffered electric shocks as they were undertaking work
to put up warning posts either side of a railway equipped with overhead
electrical power lines. One of the workers died from his injuries; the
other is expected to make a full recovery. As a result of the
investigation, BTC Co is reviewing its planning processes for such tasks
with contractors. BTC Co deeply regrets the incident and has offered
assistance to the victims’ families.


Source: Online Newspaper Baku Today News, February 28, 2004

At a press conference in Astana, the President of the Kazakh Repubilc
KazMunayGas Uzakbay Karabalin stated that Kazakhstan would probably join
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan project,

Mr. President said, that Kazakhistan government is likely to sign an
agreement to confirm the government’s decision. However, he said, Kazakh
government needs studying legislation and tax differences between
Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan first.

According to him, 10 million tons of Kazakh oil could run via
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline.


Source: News Agency AssA-Irada

The Ministry of Environment sent a letter to the Kazakh government late
in January to express its concerns over the pollution of the Kazakh
section of the Caspian Sea with oil.

The ministry told AssA-Irada that the letter sent from the Kazakh
Ministry of Environmental Protection reads that oil spots were observed
around some wells on a suspended onshore oil field while conducting
researches in the Caspian Sea last December.

The letter also reads that a special commission has been set up to stave
off the oil pollution and review the polluted area.


Source: State Telegraph Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan AzerTag,
March 1, 2004

Internet-forum on the subject `Green plantations protection of the city
of Baku’ with the participation of the representative of the Ministry
for Environment Fakhraddin Aliyev, specialist of the protection of
entrails and flora section of Absheron-Baku regional ecological
department (ABRD) was held at the American humanitarian organization

Answering the questions of the representatives of NGOs and mass media,
F. Aliyev noted that the major reason of cutting down of trees in Baku
is newly erected buildings. Since January 2004, executive power
interrupted agreement on allocation plots under construction with the
Ministry of Environment. The last inventory of the green plantations of
the capital was carried out in 2002, according to which, 1163 ha covers
green plantations of Baku city. Unfortunately, the trees are planted
without consent of the Ministry of Environment. Because of few annual
precipitation in Baku, it is necessary to plant trees / Eldar pine,
pistachio-tree, olive and others/ steady to drought, erosion of soils
and winds F. Aliyev added.

The Forum was organized on the initiative of the non-governmental
independent information-public organization `In the name of us – Life.
Alternative. Development’.


Source: News Agency Interfax, March 2, 2004

According to the information of the press service of BP-Azerbaijan, on
February 28, 2004 a group of workers on one of the Azerbaijani sections
of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline went on strike on Sunday to demand
better wages and conditions

“About 200 people out of 600 workers living in the construction camp
near Kurdamir, 150 km west of Baku, halted work. For the most part these
were drivers. They demanded better wages and better living conditions,”
the source said.

The company said that management from the company CCIC, the general
contractor for the construction of the Azerbaijani section of the
pipeline, held talks with workers and explained that they are ready to
consider all demands, but only if they are fair and legally justified.

“The CCIC representatives said that they may increase wages, but only in
individual cases for workers, depending on the volume of work carried
out. The average wage for workers in the camp is several times higher
than the average wage in the country. As regards living conditions, the
camp at Kurdamir has all the necessary modern conditions and there
should be no complaints,” the source said.

The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan project has already been hit by labor disputes –
workers in Georgia also downed tools, demanding better wages.


Source: News Agency Interfax, March 2, 2004

On March 1, 2004 Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of
Azerbaijan stated, that Azerbaijan has enough oil to keep the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline fully operational.

“We have been saying that we are building the BTC to pump Azerbaijani
oil. But we want oil from other countries to flow across Azerbaijan and
the country to become a transit country,” he said. Kazakhstan is also
interested in alternative routes for exporting its oil, he said.

“We already have two routes operational [Baku-Supsa and Baku-
Novorossiysk], and a third one [BTC] is under construction. All of us
understand the benefit of this,” he said.

Speaking of the possibility of the Caspian countries competing with
OPEC, he said they could influence the world market only if new oil
fields are discovered and oil production is increased.


Source: News Agency Interfax, March 2, 2004

Kazakhstan has confirmed its interest in the use of the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline currently being built as an alternative
route for exporting Kazakh oil.

“We understand the exclusive importance [of the pipeline] for both the
foreign and domestic policy of Azerbaijan itself. It is very important
for us as an alternative for exporting our energy resources to the
foreign market. I am sure Kazakh oil will be sent via this pipeline,”
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said at a joint press conference
with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Astana on March 1, 2004.

At the initial phase of hydrocarbon production on the Kazakh shelf of
the Caspian Sea, oil could be transported on tankers across the Caspian,
Nazarbayev said.

After production on Kazakhstan’s shelf of the Caspian increases to 20
million tones a year or more, “it would probably make sense to think
about the pipeline,” Nazarbayev said. “I believe this is a question for
the future.”

“The main point of conflict” at the negotiating process concerning
Kazakhstan’s joining the pipeline project is in tariffs on the transit
of Kazakh oil, in particular, through Georgia, he said.


Source: State Telegraph Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan AzerTag,
March 3, 2004

The non-governmental organization `Ecological stability’ has long been
engaged in environmental enlightenment of the Azerbaijan public. Ayten
Poladova, the president of the NGOstated that the project being realized
due to grants given by the World Bank and Open Society Institute was
aimed at instilling love for nature in young generation. `We have been
cooperating with Children’s House N3 in Khatai district for several
years, and established relations with the Ministry of Environment of the
Republic. Results of our activity are reflected in the recently
published `Ecology of Azerbaijan through Children’s Eyes’ containing
children’s opinions on environmental problems,’ she said.


Source: State Telegraph Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan AzerTag,
March 6, 2004

Meeting of the representatives of the Secretariat of `State program for
poverty reduction and economic development’ functioning under the
Ministry of Economic Development with the students and pedagogues was
held at the State Economic University of Baku, on March 5, 2004.

In his opening speech, acting rector Telman Huseynov, stated that
poverty was one of the key problems, the countries face with. Main
factor of poverty in CIS space is consequences arisen from transit to
market economy.

Expenditure of incomes received from realization of the new oil strategy
for improvement of social situation of the citizens, first of all,
refugees and IDPs, development of non-oil sector, reinforcement of state
concern for entrepreneurship are important steps in that way.

Arrangements undertaken in that field are `State program for poverty
reduction and economic development’ for 2003-2005s, and ` State program
of social-economic development of the regions of Azerbaijan Republic’
for 2004-2008s.

Coordinator of the information project of Secretariat Sakit Huseynov,
experts Yadulla Hasanov, Vafa Mutallimova, Amin Cherkezov dwelt on
`State program for poverty reduction and economic development’, on the
work carried out in that way last year. They noted that 400
arrangements, for realization of which 3 bln dollars requires are
planned to implement in the frame of the program.


Source: News Agency Interfax, March 9, 2004

Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan will sign an intergovernmental agreement for
the transportation of Kazakh oil through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan
pipeline in 2004, Natik Aliyev, president of the State Oil Company of
the Azerbaijani Republic (SOCAR), told journalists.

“Talks on this issue, which began two years ago, are nearing completion
and we will sign it. There is no reason for us to rush because the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline has not yet been launched and
Kazakhstan has not yet got the volume of oil to transport through the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. We are trying to resolve all issues that
may arise in the future,” Aliyev said.

He said that to fully regulate all issues it would be necessary to
resolve a number of disputed areas. “Kazakhstan does not want to ratify
the agreement in parliament. Investors are demanding ratification, so
that this law does not change in the future, even if there are changes
in legislation and new regulatory acts are passed for customs and
taxes,” he said.

“I think that this issue can also be resolved. Investors will agree to
an additional document, if the intergovernmental agreement is not
ratified,’ Aliyev said.

He said that the working group for the preparation of the
intergovernmental agreement would next meet in April.


Source: News Agency Rosbalt, March 10, 2004

Negotiations on an agreement between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan on
Kazakhstan oil moving through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline are
in the final stage, according to Natik Aliyev, president of the State
Oil Company of Azerbaijan. Mr. Aliyev said the agreement would be signed
sometime this year but would not be more specific. He said the date
would depend on the intensity of the talks.

Mr. Aliyev said the agreement would constitute the legal basis needed by
investors. It will set out the details of tax; customs and trade
arrangements connected to the movement of oil as well as specify the
manner of resolving ecological problems. He said the agreement would be
in line with existing treaties between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey.


Source: News Agency «Now», March 12, 2004

Hussein Bagirov, the Minister of Environment of Azerbaijan, declared
that the Ministry has toughened the control over the illegal logging in
the country.

According to the data of last year 2,379 cases of violation of the law
on sustainable use of natural resources and environmental protection
were revealed. Due to these violations were imposed a penalty in amount
of 578,451 thousand manats, out of which 190,054 thousand manats are
already paid.

During the last year were revealed 346 cases of violation of the law on
conservation of the water resources. Penalties amount of 74,756 thousand
manats were imposed according to this cases. Out of which 30,158 manats
are already paid.


Source: News Agency «Now», March 12, 2004

Within the next few days will be ready the conclusion on the
correspondence of the BP’s activities with the standards of
environmental security. The group of experts that are caring out this
verification consists of specialists from BP and the Ministry of
Environment of Azerbaijan. They are verifying the correspondence of the
BP contracts with the legal regulations and requirements on
environmental security. This verification is held due to the fact that
the most significant damage to the environment is caused through the
activities of the oil companies.

Hitherto the Ministry of Environment has not preferred a charge against
BP for the damage caused to environment and has not imposed a penalty.

In view of the violations in the environmental field the court case is
proceeding from the last year between the Ministry of Environment of
Azerbaijan and `Salian Oil’ oil company.

According to the information of Mr. Hussein Bagirov, the Minister of
Environment of Azerbaijan, Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal of the
`Salian Oil’. In the nearest future should be held one more court case
concerning the issue of the payment of the penalty, in amount of 500
million manats.

Among the big infringers bringing the most important damage to the
environment is `Garadag-Cement’.

Mr. Bagirov noted that during the last month due to the nonobservance of
the environmental standards about 20 different companies were closed.


Source: State Telegraph Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan AzerTag,
March 15, 2004

The `International Tourist Exhibition 2004 arranged by the World Tourist
Organization with the assistance of the German Ministry of Economy and
Labor and the International Exhibition Center’ gathered over 10 thousand
travel agencies from 178 countries in Berlin.

Each country has its separate exhibition section in the Berlin
international Exhibition Center covering 170 hectares area. The
Azerbaijan’s exposition assembled under the supervision of the Ministry
of Youth, Sports and Hotel `Grand Europa’ at the 50 square meters hall
¹5 and greets the visitors with the words Welcome to Azerbaijan’ on
entrance. The exposition includes models and pictures of Azerbaijan’s
ancient cultural monuments, as well as modern Hotel complexes combined
Western and Eastern architecture, photos of picturesque surroundings of
the country, samples of national clothes, carpets etc. The visitors show
interest in maps reflecting tourist opportunities, Great Silk Road,
related booklets and brochures and other promotional materials.

Head of the Azerbaijan delegation, Minister of Youth, Sports and Tourism
Abulfaz Garayev addressing the opening ceremony updated local a foreign
journalists on outlooks of tourism development in the country.

Heads of delegations participating in the exhibition highly praised the
exposition of Azerbaijan and stated they intended to sign cooperation
agreements with Azerbaijan on tourists exchange.


Source: News agency Rosbalt, March 15, 2004

Construction of the Baku-Erzerum gas pipeline will be completed by the
end of 2006, Azerbaijan President Ilkham Aliyev declared Friday at a
leadership meeting of Azerbaijan’s ruling party, Eni Azerbaijan,
Rosbalt. learned at the party press office.

The president said the line would make possible movement of Ajeri gas to
Turkey and then to Europe. Aliyev also said the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan
export oil pipeline would be in operation by the end of 2004. He said
additional countries were now seeking to be linked to the pipeline, the
press office said.

According to expert figures, Azerbaijan will be producing approximately
50 billion cubic meters of natural gas from its sector of the Caspian
Sea by early 2007. The republic itself will need about 20% of this


Source: REC, Electronic News, March 17, 2004

On March 11, 2004 the Baku Branch of the Open Society Institute (OSI)
organized workshop dedicated to the `Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline
Monitoring Problems’ in the meetings room of Hotel Europe.

OSI to ensure further development of civil society plans to support
public monitoring of construction and exploitation of the pipeline with
a focus on environmental impact, social developments and human rights
with the participation of stakeholders.

Representatives of OSI, BP Company, Entrepreneurship Development
Foundation, International NGO – Catholic Relief Services (CRS), National
Coordinator of REC Caucasus Mountain Project as well as representatives
of the leading NGOs of Azerbaijan attended the Workshop.

The second part of the workshop was dedicated to the identification of
the main aims and ways of the monitoring fulfillment. All these as well
as the tools of networking with the oil companies were discussed during
the round tables.


Source: State Telegraph Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan AzerTag,
March 17, 2004

Regular (13th) session of deputy foreign ministers of the Caspian
littoral states commenced on March 16, 2004 in Baku.

Discussed was the Draft of the Convention on legal status of the
Caspian. The key goal of the arrangement is preparation for the session
of foreign ministers of the Caspian coastal countries, due in April
current year in Moscow.

Opening the session, foreign minister of Azerbaijan Republic Mr. Vilayat
Guliyev noted that Azerbaijan strives for quick definition of legal
status of the Caspian, and expressed hope that in this time the sides
would reach concrete decision.

The sides mostly exchanged views on the issues that were not coordinated
in the Draft of Convention.

`We try that the Draft included much more items. Though the Caspian
states agreed on the principle of mid-line, the discussions on
definition and application of datum point are still going’, deputy
foreign minister of Azerbaijan Khalaf Khalafov said.


Source: Russian Information Agency Novosti, March 17, 2004

At negotiations in Baku, half of the articles of the Convention on the
Caspian Sea have been agreed on, Viktor Kalyuzhny, the leader of the
Russian delegation at the session of the working group on the Caspian
Sea, said on March 17, 2004.

“Of the 22 articles of the convention, 11 have been fully agreed upon,”
he said.

“There are many unsolved issues in the remaining articles, and the
delegations take a time out to coordinate positions with their leaders,”
Mr. Kalyuzhny added.

At this session the sides discussed the possibility of laying the oil
and gas pipelines along the bottom of the Caspian Sea.

Russia proposed that such projects be realized on the basis of consensus
rather than unilaterally or bilaterally.

Only Iran supported the proposal; the vote was 2-3 against Russia.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kalyuzhny said that the opinion that the main source of
problems was how to divide the Caspian Sea was erroneous.

According to him, this issue is “certainly vitally important for the
newly created states in the context of developing power engineering.
However, the social aspect of Caspian Sea problems, including ecology
and preservation of bio-resources is no less important.”

Mr. Kalyuzhny also pointed out that special attention should be paid to
regional security issues, and, above all, to threats connected with
terrorism and the drug business.

Experts from all five Caspian states – Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan,
Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan – took part in the talks.


Source: News Paper “Dagestanskaia Pravda’ The Truth of Dagestan’

World Wild Fund (WWF) is initiating the establishment of the
transboundary reserve on the territory of Azerbaijan, Georgia and

WWF proposes to establish this reserve on the basis of `Tlaritinski’
reserve (Dagestan). The issue was discussed in Sochi on the meeting of
the employees of the reserves of Russia. The representatives of the
Association of Reserves and National Parks of Caucasus also attended the

The Azerbaijan environmentalists are supporting the initiative of the
WWF. Elchin Sultanov, candidate of biological sciences in the interview
with the newspaper `Echo’, stated that the establishment of such kind of
reserve would have a positive influence on the animals, living in this
zone. According to the words of Mr. Sultanov, in the transboundary
reserve animals would be protected from three sides – Russia, Azerbaijan
and Georgia.

Gulnaz Bagvanova, Head of the NGO `Environmental Journalists’, considers
that broadening of the territories of reserves is essential for the
strengthening of the works in the field of environmental protection.
This would toughened the control over the territory of the reserve,
would promote the coordination f the efforts to protect the reserve, and
monitor the borders, — stated Gulnaz Bagvanova. According to her in the
zone of transboundary reserve could be included Shakhdagski national


Source: Armenian News Agency, Armenpress, February 27, 2004

A major environmental project, launched in 2002 to rehabilitate Lake
Gili has encountered a strong opposition from farmers of nearby Norakert
village, who demand huge money compensations for the land that was
privatized by them in early 90-s. The lake was situated in the
southeastern part of Lake Sevan basin in the mouth of Masrik river. It
was a wetland complex with surface of about 1,000 hectare and was known
to be a nesting area for more than 100 species of migratory water birds.
Lake Gilli also showed a number of endemic and very rare kinds of

Thanks to its geographical position and unique microclimatic conditions,
Lake Gilli has acquired international significance. This is also due to
the scarcity of wetland habitats in Armenia. The majority of other large
rivers, lakes, and ponds do not contain wetland vegetation and therefore
do not provide good habitat for near-water birds and waterfowls that are
present in Armenia, or using Armenia as a migratory path.

In 1960, the government of the Soviet Republic of Armenia decided to
drain the lake Gilli and turn its land into agricultural activities. The
river Masrik, the water source of Lake Gilli, was redirected away from
the lake. The result has been a drastic decrease in the lake’s area and
a severe impact to the associated biodiversity. However, while the
wetland ecosystem took a serious blow, the lake could not be completely
drained. The particular type of soil and a water table close to the
surface helped to preserve some sections of this wetland and its
associated biodiversity.

The impact to local biodiversity took the form of first a drastic
decrease in species and populations that followed the initial drastic
change in the lake water level. But a less noticeable impact has been
taking place along the years, since the preservation of some wetland
areas has not stopped the gradual and steady erosion of the remaining

Finally, in 1978, or eighteen years after the attempt to drain the lake,
the Government of Armenia founded Sevan National Park and expressed its
desire of restoring Lake Gilli thus providing a viable habitat for local
rare and endemic species.

While certain irreversible changes have taken place, there is a
considerable potential for rehabilitation of significant existing
biodiversity. This Medium Size Project aims to restore Lake Gilli, thus
halting the degradation of the wetland and ensuring the protection of
the existing endemic and rare species.

The restoration would need to redirect the Masrik River back to Lake
Gilli area, an objective that counts with the strong support of local

The ministry says despite their previous accord to offer their own labor
as an in-kind contribution to the restoration activities, locals have
drastically changed their views, though their involvement in the project
supposes community development sub-projects and establishment of small
enterprises for production of milk, meat, flour, confectionary and stone
dressing. The project was approved by international donor organizations
and is financed by the Global Ecology Fund, UNDP, Armenian government
and “Khazer” non-governmental organization with a budget of $1.


Proposed amendments to the Armenian Freedom of Information (FOI) law
threaten to undermine the right of access to information just five
months after it was adopted. In a letter to the Armenian Parliament, the
Open Society Justice Initiative on February 25, 2004 called for the
amendments to be withdrawn and for a renewed commitment to implementing
the existing FOI law.

The amendments put forward by the Ministry of Justice provide greater
scope for exemptions and classification of information by allowing other
legislation to override the FOI law. They also reduce the information
state bodies must make available automatically. In addition, they
broaden the law to cover all private entrepreneurs, placing an undue and
inappropriate burden on small businesses.

“The proposed changes pose a serious threat to government transparency
and anti-corruption initiatives in Armenia,” said Helen Darbishire,
Senior Program Manager at the Justice Initiative. “If adopted, the
amendments would turn a decent law in line with international standards
into a weak and ineffective piece of legislation.”

The Armenian Freedom of Information law was adopted in September 2003.
Some of the more effective features of the current law would be lost if
these amendments are introduced. Major changes include:

ž Exemptions from the principle of public access would no longer be
limited to those defined in the FOI law, but expanded to include those
defined in any law.

ž Current law prohibits refusal of information requests relating to
environmental protection, public security or health. The amendments
would allow refusal of such requests.

ž The five-day time frame for disclosing information would be increased
to 15 days.

ž The “right to seek and get information from its owner” would be
narrowed to a “right to seek information in a way that is not forbidden
by the law” and “to get [information] from its owner in the ways and
cases defined by the law.”
ž An appropriate transparency obligation on private bodies performing
public functions would be expanded to burden all private entrepreneurs.

ž State bodies would no longer have to make available significant
categories of information, including the following: budget;
environmental impact of activities; register of public information along
with procedures for accessing it statistics on information enquiries
under the FOI law, including grounds for refusal to provide information.

For additional information, please contact:
Helen Darbishire, Tel. + 1 917 361 5618
Eszter Filippinyi, Tel. +361 327 3100 ext 2328

Full text of the Open Letter available at:


Source: Mediamax News Agency, March 4, 2004

The US State Department will allocate more than 1m dollars to improve
the level of the physical security of the Armenian Nuclear Power

The deputy general-director of the plant, Musheg Shaginyan, stated that
the financial assistance would be provided as part of the US Energy
Department’s activities to improve the security of all the nuclear power
plants in post-Soviet republics.

The funds provided by the American side will be channeled into the
modernization of the physical security of the Armenian Nuclear Power
Station in 2004-2005.

The modernization of the physical security of the Armenian Nuclear Power
Station aims to prevent possible terrorist acts and to protect the plant
from external interference.


Source: Association of Investigative Journalists of Armenia, March 5,

“The toxic-waste dump containing 500 metric tons of insecticide, located
east of the Vardashen-Verin Jrashen neighborhood in the district of
Erebuni, is on the verge of collapse,” says geologist R. Yadoyan.
Yadoyan, who heads the geo-ecological laboratory of the Institute of
Geology of the National Academy of Science, has come to the conclusion
that “the horticultural zones, and the zones of the Vardashen and
Erebuni communities, are threatened with destruction.” His studies show
that the toxic-waste dump is situated in an area of active landslide.
The fissures and depressions here provide visual confirmation. In
addition to natural causes, Yadoyan stipulates that the activation of
the landslide has been caused by the utilization of the decrepit water
pipes-part of the Voghjaberd irrigation pipeline that supplies the
Dzoraghbiur summer cottages-that pass through this territory. “The
pipeline passes through the upper part of the insecticide dump, and in
an emergency, the water flows into the dump. That’s what happened a few
years ago,” an irrigation network employee tells us.

In 1972 the Soviet government outlawed the use of certain agricultural
insecticides, and 500 metric tons of the prohibited substances were
collected from villages and warehouses throughout Armenia. Among these
were persistent organic pollutants that don’t decompose for 30-40 years,
and when they do, give rise to metabolites with the same toxic
characteristics. In the 1970s, burial was considered the safest and most
effective method of destroying insecticides. In 1982, by government
decree, a concrete underground dump was built near the village of
Bardzrashen in the Artashat region (today this territory lies within the
limits of the Erebuni district of Yerevan). The dump was covered with
clay to prevent the insecticides from seeping into the soil. “I was a
child when they dug out a huge pit in the hillside, and then filled it
up with bags of some toxic substance,” Razmik from Jrashen recalls.

The insecticides were thrown into the pit and covered with earth. The
territory had fence and a guardhouse. In previous years, inspections
were carried out periodically to prevent seepage. Because of the gradual
landslide, topsoil has built up over the dump, which is now on the verge
of collapse. There have been no inspections for 15 years. There is no
guardhouse, and the fence is destroyed. This dangerous territory is
completely open. In recent years, land in the area has been allocated
for gardening. Houses have been built and people are living here. Many
of them are unaware that they live next-door to a toxic dump, and they
use the land as pasture.

“In the human organism, any kind of persistent organic pollutants
contribute to the development of malignant tumors. This is an emergency
not only for those living in the neighborhood, since pollutants affect
people through the air as well,” says an employee of the Center for
Control and Prevention of Epidemics, who didn’t want to give us his
name. Insecticides affect certain people’s immune and nervous systems,
causing lung and kidney problems. “Residents often get sick, mainly from
nephritis, bronchitis, gout, and tuberculosis. In the summer, there are
many cases of intestinal infections,” says Zhanna Gevorgyan, a doctor
for the Mushakan and Jrashen communities.

In the 1980s, Doctor Henrik Hambardzumyan investigated the impact of
insecticides on human health. His comparative analysis showed that
residents of villages where insecticides had been used died mainly
because of malignant tumors and diseases of the nervous and respiratory
systems. Children were born underweight and showed signs of slowness in
school. His studies proved that the majority of diseases in all age
groups were directly related to the quantity of insecticides used. His
was the only such study in Armenia. “If the dump collapses, the
insecticides will flow into the territory of the summer cottages and the
Vardashen Gorge, and will reach the center of Yerevan. When it rains,
that’s the direction the muddy water flows. They could also flow in the
Getar River to Artashat,” conjectures Vazgen, a resident of Mushakan.

“When we saw prohibited insecticides in the store, we first thought that
they had been taken from the dump. We later found out that the dump is
closed, but is facing an emergency,” says Lia Simonyan, a member of the
NGO Armenian Women for Health and a Healthy Environment. Back in 2001,
the organization wrote to the Ministries of Agriculture and Ecology and
the Yerevan Mayor’s Office, warning that the neglected state of the dump
posed a threat to the environment. “We couldn’t do anything else. We
thought that the state agencies would begin to worry and would take
appropriate measures,” adds the NGO chairman, Yelena Manvelyan. The
ministries just made inquiries about whom the territory belonged to and
who was responsible. They found out that it lies within the limits of
the Erebuni district, but since the collapse of the Soviet Union, it
doesn’t belong to any department. The mayor’s office claims that they
forwarded the letter to the Department for Emergency Situations (DES),
but the head of the DES Division on Prevention and Liquidation of the
After-Effects of Emergencies, Ludwig Nazaryan, denies receiving it.
Nazaryan told us that they had learned of the problem from a December
2003 letter from the same NGO.

In 2003, Armenian Women for Health and a Healthy Environment recommenced
the study of the toxic-waste dump. “We had Yadoyan’s study at our
disposal, and we tested the burial layer of soil within a 50-meter
radius. We discovered that the concentration of insecticides in the soil
is above the permissible limit. We again sent all this data to the
ministries concerned and to the Department for Emergency Situations,”
says Lia Simonyan. After the DES received yet another letter, this time
from the Association of Investigative Journalists, it carried out
preliminary testing. According to the deputy head of the department,
Wilhelm Stepanyan, test results show that the landslide is located in
the central part of the dump, and will eventually be activated.

“We can’t say anything definitive yet, since we have to do additional
testing in the spring,” Stepanyan says. After having received the
opinions of two geologists stating that the dump is situated in the
middle of a landslide, the DES writes in its letter to us, “There is no
immediate threat to the site at present.” A. Nazaryan, the head of the
DES’s Division of Technological Disasters assures us, “The underground
dump cannot collapse since in the event of a landslide, it will sink
further and will be covered by a wider layer of earth.” Ludwig Nazaryan,
also of the DES, believes that there is no need to take the studies on
the presence of the insecticides in the soil seriously. “Seepage is
impossible; there is no logic here,” he explains. And the head of the
Division of Technological Disasters argues that it is possible that some
persistent insecticides that live for years were present before the
toxic-waste dump was built.

“We have carried out only preliminary investigations over a short period
of time. We should wait until spring to conduct serious studies,” Ludwig
Nazaryan says. But ecologists and doctors are of a different opinion –
the toxic-waste dump may collapse at any moment and cause an ecological


Source: Armenian News Agency, Armenpress, March 9, 2004

The Armenian government has ordered creation of an inter-agency body,
tasked to make a thorough investigation and registration of all expired
medications and pest-killers, circulated in health, agriculture and
customs sectors and suggest mechanisms for their destruction.

A spokesman for nature protection ministry stated that though Armenia
has undersigned Stockholm and Rotterdam conventions on destruction of
steady organic waste, however the use of pest-killers remains
uncontrolled, as a result pest-killers manufactured still a decade and
more ago are still on sale. According to the spokesman, Artsrun
Pepanian, the existence of around 100 tons of expired medications is
another major problem, which is to be addressed too.


Source: A1plus News from Armenia, March 9, 2004

In 2003 an agreement between Armenian Town Planning Ministry and
European Union was signed on implementing an experimental management
project of hard domestic waste in the settlements of Ararat and Vayotc
Dzor Districts.

As the employee of Town Planning Ministry informed, 1.3-1.5 million
cubic meters of solid domestic waste are annually accumulated in Armenia
and 20% of them in the rural areas.

It is equivalent to 370-430 kg garbage per capita. The waste is
transported and accumulated in the 60 trash dumps of Armenia and in the

‘I hope this process to be a model, which will be applied in the other
districts, too. European Union finances the project and 3 international
and 2 national experts work on it’, Lia Sighurdt, the international
councilor of Town Planning Ministry, says.

European Union has allowed 150.000-160.000 Euros only for studies. The
project was launched this January and will last for 5 months.

P.S. CENN Armenia office would like to note that it is already taking
part in discussions with the experts mentioned in this article and hopes
to contribute to public awareness efforts to learn of the needs of local
populations and to help raise their awareness about waste management and
collection, and to contribute to the studies mentioned above for
improvement of waste management infrastructure.

For more details regarding this study, please contact:
Ursula Kazarian
[email protected].

March 16, 2004
Embassy of the Republic of Armenia
2225 R Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20008
Tel: 202-319-1976, x. 348; Fax: 202-319-2982
Email: [email protected]; Web:

On March 16, 2004, Armenian Ambassador to the U.S., Dr. Arman
Kirakossian visited the National Geographic Society where he met with
Mr. John Fahey, President and CEO of the National Geographic Society and
other executives of the NGS and the National Geographic Magazine. On
behalf of the Government, Ambassador Kirakossian expressed satisfaction
with the article “The Rebirth of Armenia” that appeared in the March
2004 issue of the National Geographic Magazine and generated great
interest towards Armenia in the United States.

Ambassador Kirakossian presented issues relating to modern Armenia’s
history, culture, and traditions. Issues related to travel and tourism
in Armenia was also discussed during the meeting.


Source: Arminfo News Agency, March 23, 2004

Tourism was declared a priority in Armenia in 2001 when the country was
celebrating the 1,700 anniversary of its proclaiming Christianity as a
state religion. In the following years the number of foreign visitors to
Armenia grew by 92%. In January 2001 the governments of US and Armenia
set up the Armenian Tourism Development Agency (ATDA). In September 2001
sponsored by the International Executive Service Corps, ATDA opened
“ARMENIANInformation” the first information center in the South
Caucasus. Armenia possesses vast cultural and historical treasures but
they can hardly make the country a tourist attraction unless given an
appropriate information frame. Experts say that to become a developed
tourist country Armenia needs strong information backing. It’s here that
Armenia’s second priority, information technologies, come in helpful.

Angela Sax, ATDA Deputy Executive Director, stated that the key
objective of the agency is to present Armenia abroad and to shape its
image of a developed tourist country. They work in three directions:
first, to get involved and to involve other tourism companies in
international exhibitions; second, to actively cooperate with foreign
journalists and tour operators; and third, to arrange various events,
like the Kenats festival, and to ensure their broad coverage in the
foreign mass media.

Information Technologies are simply indispensable for Armenia, a country
almost unknown by the world, `I mean on the tourism side,’ added Angela
Sax. Internet has long become a part of lifestyle abroad. People even
grasp the information easier when it is presented electronically. That’s
why internet-promotion is so important for shaping the country’s image.

Quite recently was opened a web site by this agency complying with all
the modern standards. The development of the new web-portal:
was sponsored by USAID and with technical
assistance by International Executive Service Corps (IESC) and TIB,
Armenian software Development Company.

The portal presents Armenia’s sights, cultural and historical values,
national parks, and art galleries. All this content will make tours
unforgettable. From interactive maps of cultural landmarks to a
comprehensive and easily accessible database of tour agents, hotels,
restaurants, travel agencies and so much more, the ATDA portal has
become the web’s one-stop, on-line, Armenian tourism venue.

`Today we enjoy wide contacts abroad established mainly through
international exhibitions. The first question we are always asked is
whether we have a web site. Quite natural as in five minutes we cannot
tell everything about ATDA and Armenia while those concerned want to
know the most of the country they are going to visit. Nowadays,
Information Technologies are the most effective and the cheapest way to
disseminate information and to keep in touch with people,’ stated Angela


On March 21, 2004 in a message marking the 10th anniversary of the UN
Framework Convention on Climate Change, which has entered into force in
March 2004, Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of the UN Environment
Program (UNEP) noted that fighting climate change makes economic sense
in the long run because using energy more efficiently will ultimately
produce enormous financial and green benefits. The re-insurance agents
last year estimated that the cost of climate-related disasters reached
$65 billion.

Mr. Toepfer called on governments, businesses and citizens to show
`imagination, vision and, above all, courage’ to harness new
technologies that can use energy more efficiently and cause less damage
to the environment.

The high representative of the UNEP also urged countries to ratify the
treaty’s Kyoto Protocol, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
to earlier levels. The Protocol, which sets legally binding targets and
timetables for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, will enter
into force after it is ratified by at least 55 countries. Although the
Protocol has 121 parties, including the European Community, the vast
majority are developing countries and it has not entered into force.
Most of the industrialized countries have not yet ratified the Protocol.


The Healthy Planet Forum is inviting NGOs and other groups to comment on
a draft Civil Society Statement that will be issued parallel to the
Budapest Declaration. Representatives of the European Eco-Forum and the
European Public Health Alliance have compiled it. Comments can be posted
on the Healthy Planet Forum website, and will be integrated by the
drafting committee, and form part of the political activities of the
Forum in Budapest. The NGO Brussels Statement and Conference Report is
also on the website
See: and


Source: State Telegraph Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, AzerTag,
March 24, 2004

Ecological NGO ` Pilgrim’ jointly with initiative group `Caspian
Atlantida’ elaborate projects on tourist routes to the islands of Baku
and Absheron archipelagos.

Nature of islands rich in monuments of nature, such as mud volcano will
undoubtedly attract tourists, stated Yury Valuyev head of `Pilgrim’.

For today, members of this organization work out a project on
preparation of the attendants for tourist objects located on mountainous
regions of the country.


Non-governmental organization `Sun and Earth’ through its activities
supports development of the sustainable development in Georgia. The NGO
supports promotion of alternative energy, particularly solar energy. The
evidences of this are ten accomplished practical projects.

At the end of the last year NGO implemented original project `Solar
village’. This is the first solar village in Georgia. Though little, but
the first village solar village in country, only seven householders live
in this village.

The project sponsors are Josefina Andorferer, the Austrian citizen, in
love with Georgia and the international NGO `MADI’.

The beautiful village Ukanapshavi, is situated 1750 meters above

Out of the sixty families of village for today only seven families are
stayed in the district. Since the people are deprived of almost all the
fundamental living conditions, — lighting, the last bus station is
located in 16 kilometers form the village.

According to the project in each family was installed micro electric
power station with the 35 watt. In the quarters were installed and
repaired electric wiring and lamps, were distributed radio sets and
lanterns, chargeable with solar energy.

For today in the village has its television. Solar station with power of
250 watt was installed in the center of the village, together with the
satellite antenna, as well as TV for public use.

This project demonstrates that implementation of such kind of projects
in the different mountain areas of Georgia would support development of
the region and improvement of living conditions.

“NGO – Sun and Earth”
E-mail: [email protected]


The First Regional Meeting on Education for Sustainable Development
(ESD) took place on February 19-20, 2004 in Geneva, following the
decisions taken by the 10th session of the Committee on Environmental
Policy (CEP-10, October 2003).

Documents for the meeting in English and Russian can be found at:
(click at Education for Sustainable Development
and go to ‘First regional meeting on ESD’)


Source: The World Conservation Union Web Page, March 1, 2004

The IUCN Commission on Environmental Law will be hosting forum on the
role of the judiciary and the rule of law on 17 November 2004 as part of
the 3rd IUCN World Conservation Congress (WCC) in Bangkok. The forum
will include a wide range of speakers, including many judges from around
the world. The intention is to draw wide attention to the crucial role
of the judiciary in the field of environmental law and the need for
national States to support judicial capacity building programs, judicial
independence and integrity. The Commission on Environmental Law
Specialist Group on the Judiciary met from 15 to 18 February at Pace
University School of Law in White Plains, New York at which the forum
was endorsed. Among the many topics discussed was the planning for the
North American Regional Judges Conference on Environmental Law scheduled
for late November/early December 2004 in New York.


The production and use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), as well
as trade in these substances must be phased out and health and
environment put first. This was the message Parliament sent on February
26, 2004 when adopting a first reading compromise to a proposed
regulation on POPs. The MEPs tighten up the measures the Commission is
proposing the EU should take to comply with the global Stockholm
Convention on POPs, signed in May 2001. The political compromise was
reached with the Council after the Parliament’s Committee on Environment
adopted a report by Pernille FRAHM (EUL/NGL, DK) in the middle of

By adopting the compromise in first reading of co decision the
Parliament ensures that the regulation enters into force soon. In the
compromise negotiations the MEPs were able to tighten the regulation and
have a certain POP, HCH (including lindane) prohibited by the end of
2007 at the latest. Parliament established as well detailed provisions
regarding waste containing or contaminated by any of these pollutants.
It specified the regulation by saying that disposal or recovery
operations that may lead to recycling or re-use of the pollutants shall
be prohibited. On the other hand the Parliament gave the Member States
more freedom to waste disposal in exceptional cases. One amendment
obliges the Member States, when preparing their national implementation
plans, to give the public early and effective opportunities to
participate in the process.

The POP best known to the average citizen is DDT. Others include aldrin,
chlordane, hexachlorobenzene, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, mirex,
toxaphene, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), chlordecone,
hexabromobiphenyl, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans

Press enquiries:
Leena Maria Linnus – tel. (32-2) 284 2825
E-mail: [email protected]


Source: News Agency Interfax, March 9, 2004

Turkish state pipeline company BOTAS plans to complete the Turkish
section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline on time.

According to the information of Botas head office in Ankara, “The
Turkish side is able to build its section of the Baku-Tbilisi- Erzurum
pipeline on time, so gas supplies from the Shah Deniz field will begin
in 2006-2007, as expected”.

Participants in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan project said earlier that bad
weather in Turkey is delaying construction work on the Turkish section
of that pipeline.

As a result, experts said that the construction delays may push back the
launch date for the pipeline, which would in turn lead to delays for the
Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline. The two pipelines are being built in one
corridor, using the same construction resources. Therefore, construction
of the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline can only begin once the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan is completed.

The BOTAS source said that “at the moment research work is continuing
for the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline project and no deviation from
schedule is expected.”

According to plan, the capacity of the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum, which
stretches 225 km in Turkey, will amount to 30 billion cubic meters per

Reserves at the Shah Deniz field are estimated at 625 bcm of gas and 101
million tones of gas condensate.

Shareholders in the project to develop the Shah Deniz field include BP –
25.5%, Statoil – 25.5%, LUKAgip – 10%, TotalFinaElf – 10%, SOCAR – 10%,
National Iranian Oil Company – 10% and TPAO – 9%.


Source: The World Conservation Union Web Page, March 1, 2004

The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law yesterday signed a publishing
agreement with the Syndicate of the Press of the University of
Cambridge, to publish the research works of the IUCN Academy of
Environmental Law. Prof. Nicholas A. Robinson, Chair of the IUCN
Commission of Environmental Law, signed on behalf of the IUCN Academy of
Environmental Law, with John Berger representing the Cambridge
University Press, at the Pace University School of Law Center for
Environmental Legal Studies. “Cambridge University Press has an
outstanding set of publications in the field of environmental law,” said
Prof. Robinson at the signing ceremony. The IUCN Academy’s first
volumes, which Cambridge expects to publish in October of 2004, will be
results of the Academy’s pioneering research into the Law of Energy for
Sustainable Development. These works were peer reviewed and presented at
the 1st Colloquium of the Academy at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, in
Shanghai, China, on 4-8 November 2003.


First meeting of the UN ECE Working Group on Pollutant Release and
Transfer Registers (PRTR) took place in Geneva, February 16-18, 2004. It
was attended by delegations from the 28 Governments, the Commission of
the European Community, representatives of UNITAR, UNEP, OECD, REC CEE,
and Globe Europe.

The meeting of the UN ECE PRTR Working Group started on February 16,
2004. Mr. Kaj Barlund, Director of the UN ECE Environment and Human
Settlements Division, opened it. He emphasized that while the process of
negotiating the Protocol had been difficult, the end result was a major
achievement: the adoption of the Protocol in Kiev represented a step
forward in international environmental law which would eventually bring
transparency and shed light on polluting activities.

ECO-Forum made three interventions related to Item 3 of the Agenda on
Relevant developments and activities since the adoption of the PRTR
Protocol. The role of NGOs and expected activities on PRTR in countries
were emphasized. ECO-Forum Brochure “Your Right to Know About Sources of
Pollution “, which is a brief introduction to the Protocol, was
presented. It was pointed out that the booklet is a guide to PRTR and
explains some of the concepts on the use of data.

Special attention at the meeting was given to Agenda Item 4: National
preparations for ratification and implementation of the Protocol. All
EECCA countries participating in the meeting indicated the need for
capacity building, awareness raising and financial support. These three
issues became the main topics of all EECCA presentations made by
Armenia, Belarus and Uzbekistan. Armenia also mentioned the need to
elaborate guidance on diffuse sources indicating that transport will be
the only diffuse source in this country. The need to elaborate
methodological guidance to the Protocol was indicated as well as the
necessity to harmonize methodology for reporting. The importance to
strengthen cooperation between NGOs and regulators was emphasized by all
EECCA delegations.

The European Commission presented its plan to extend EPER (European
Pollution Emission Register) into European PRTR. The EC will be in a
position to ratify the Protocol by 2006 and the first reporting under
European PRTR will be 2007.

Several countries indicated that ratification on the national level in
these countries would follow the process of the European Community. But
most of the delegations were not in a position to indicate even an
approximate date of the ratification or accession to the Protocol.

Discussion on Item 5 of the Agenda (capacity building) was very
fruitful. Presentations were made by the Secretariat that presented an
informal paper on the needs and prospects for capacity building,
technical support and information exchange in PRTR development.
Presentations were also made by UNEP, UNITAR, REC CEE. They reported on
capacity building projects that they carried out or were in the process
of carrying out.

The last part of the second day was devoted to the format of the
suggested Guidance document. The latest version of the possible format
as the Working Group and additional information on the outcomes of the
official meeting agreed it could be obtained from the Secretariat:

Mr. Michael Stanley-Jones
Aarhus Convention
Environment and Human Settlements Division
E-mail: [email protected]

The text of the ECO-Forum Declaration on Necessary Steps for Improving
Public Participation in the Implementation of Kiev Protocol on PRTR can
be obtained from:

Mary Taylor, Friends of the Earth, UK, [email protected]
Olga Speranskaya, Eco-Accord, Russia, [email protected]
Ondrej Velek, Environmental Partnership, Czech Rep., [email protected]


The UNEP Tunza Youth Meeting in preparation for Budapest Ministerial
Conference on Environment and Health took place in Soesterberg, the
Netherlands, on March 13-14, 2004. UNEP Regional Office for Europe and
ANPED – the Northern Alliance for Sustainability, organized the meeting.

The young people had an opportunity to explore the links between health
and environment and to share experiences of youth activities in this
area. They also discussed the main documents of the Budapest conference,
i.e. the Children Environment and Health Action Plan for Europe with the
Table of Actions, and the Ministerial Declaration. The young people
stressed the lack of legally binding commitments and ambition in
preparation to the Budapest conference and the lack of political will to
implement previously agreed commitments.

They have called for priority attention by governments to such issues

§ Food Security and Quality, including the moratorium on GMOs;
§ Air Pollution, including mainstreaming of alternative forms of clean
and sustainable transportation;
§ Waste, including reduction of waste production through more
sustainable lifestyles, and the prohibition of export of nuclear waste;
§ Access to clean water;
§ Tobacco control, including ban of all tobacco advertisement.

Noting that youth was invited too late to contribute to the Budapest
preparatory process, young people developed a set of specific actions to
involve youth in the follow-up to the Budapest conference. In
particular, the youth requested that young people are involved in the
process of creating national children environment and health action
plans and in the implementation of the Table of actions. They have also
stressed the need for funding to be made available to support youth lead
initiates on environment and health.

The Soesterberg meeting gave an impulse to the preparatory process of
young people to Budapest conference. The participants agreed to work
further for providing a meaningful and effective input to Budapest-2004
and its follow-up, as well as for strengthening and expanding the
European Tunza Youth Network. All interested young people are invited to

For more information and the text of ‘Soesterberg Youth Statement for
Budapest Conference’ contact:
Tomislav Tomasevic
UNEP Youth Advisor for Europe
E-mail: [email protected]


Source: Water Digest of Eco-Accord and ECO-Forum’s EAP IssueGroup,

On February 26-27, 2004 Moscow hosted the second High Level Meeting on
EU Water Initiative, the component on Eastern Europe, Caucasus and
Central Asia. The participants discussed “building blocks” submitted by
governments, international organizations and stakeholders (see building
blocks at ).

After the First High Level Meeting (Moscow, 5-6 March 2003), some 270
building blocks were submitted. Around 15% of blocks refer to Central
Asia, 13% – to the Caucasus, 31% – to Russia and 19% – to Belarus,
Ukraine and Moldova.

NGOs prepared two presentations for the second High-Level Meeting.
Eco-Accord (Russia) presented the Review of Building Blocks Submitted by
Citizens’ Organizations (see
). The Review
stresses the lack of participation of citizens’ organizations of Central
Asia and the Caucasus in submission of building blocks. It also notes
that a limited number of organizations from other EECCA countries
participated in submission of building blocks. The Review describes
typical topics of building blocks of citizens’ organizations: raising
awareness, public participation, and capacity building; activities in
specific basins; large-scale works and research; access to safe drinking

At the special session on awareness and education in water issues, NGO
“Ecoline” (Belarus) presented the outcomes of an independent survey (see
report at ).
Representatives of NGOs from 11 countries took part in the survey. The
survey describes the existing level of public awareness and education in
water issues as insufficient in all EECCA countries.

The issue of financing was a key topic at the meeting. The outcomes of a
Donor Survey showed the tendency of decreasing donor assistance (-17%).
However representatives of Western countries stressed that this picture
was not adequate since many countries had not decided yet on the figures
of assistance and projects to be financed. The participants had an
opportunity to see a presentation of the Regional TACIS Program where
the European Commission allocated 35 mln. Euro for water projects in

The participants discussed the results of the survey on the state of
preparedness of Integrated Water Resource Management plans in EECCA
countries. All countries should develop such plans by 2005, in
accordance with the outcomes of Johannesburg Summit. The main conclusion
of this survey implemented by the Global Water Partnership and Denmark)
is that IWRM is not a priority for policy and practice of governance and
development in EECCA countries. Another report, prepared by COWI, shows
that achieving by 2015 the MDG target on water and the target on
sanitation in EECCA countries would require 5-14 bln. Euro (for water
target) and 2-7 bln. Euro (for sanitation target). During the discussion
of financial issues, it was several times highlighted that the main part
of funding should come from the EECCA countries themselves. The meeting
also discussed the development of effective finance strategies, aimed to
ensure efficient use of domestic resources, to mobilize additional
resources and to introduce/improve strategic planning.

S.K. Jain , National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee, Uttaranchal, India

V.P. Singh , Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering,
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA

This book is divided into four parts. The first part, Preliminaries,
begins by introducing the basic theme of the book. It provides an
overview of the current status of water resources utilization, the
likely scenario of future demands, and advantages and disadvantages of
systems techniques. An understanding of how the hydrological data are
measured and processed is important before undertaking any analysis. The
discussion is extended to emerging techniques, such as Remote Sensing,
GIS, Artificial Neural Networks, and Expert Systems. The statistical
tools for data analysis including commonly used probability
distributions, parameter estimation, regression and correlation,
frequency analysis, and time-series analysis are discussed in a separate

Part 2 Decision Making, is a bouquet of techniques organized in 4
chapters. After discussing optimization and simulation, the techniques
of economic analysis are covered.

Part 3 deals with Water Resources Planning and Development. This part
discusses the concepts of planning, the planning process, integrated
planning, public involvement, and reservoir sizing.

The last part focuses on Systems Operation and Management. After a
resource is developed, it is essential to manage it in the best possible
way. Many dams around the world are losing some storage capacity every
year due to sedimentation and therefore, the assessment and management
of reservoir sedimentation is described in details. No analysis of water
resources systems is complete without consideration of water quality. A
river basin is the natural unit in which water occurs. The final chapter
discusses various issues related to holistic management of a river

For the more detailed information please visit:

By Felix Dodds with Michael Strauss

Organizations spend considerable resources taking staff to international
meetings, often without understanding how these meetings work.

§ How to Lobby at Intergovernmental Meetings is a unique guide on how to
participate and be heard at intergovernmental meetings, whether as a
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It contains a wealth of essential reference material including tips for
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If you have never lobbied or just want to have a better understanding of
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For more details on this publication and to order your copy, please fill
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Web site:


29 June – 7 July 2004
Mass Media Center
School of Journalism, St.Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg,

The Mass Media Center of the School (Faculty) of Journalism at St.
Petersburg State University (SPbGU) is inviting journalists, scholars,
educators, students, and communication specialists from around the world
to take part in the Ninth Annual International Journalism Summer School,
beginning June 29. This is the excellent opportunity to widen the view
on media studies studying Russian media and journalism in the political,
social, economic, legal, ethnic and cultural perspective.

Leading university professors and professional journalists will lead
this course, which will include lectures and practical workshops devoted
to several issues, questions and problems related to the development of
the Mass Media. The main subject of the Ninth Summer will be “Modern
Media Management and Marketing”. Participants will have the opportunity
to discuss this topic with professional journalists during the site
visits to media outlets as well as during a roundtable scheduled for
July 7. The best faculty and staff of the School of Journalism at
St.Petersburg State University and experienced professionals give
courses from a wide variety of St.Petersburg Media.

Working languages: English and Russian. The program will be conducted in
Russian, with English interpretation.

Registration deadline: June 1, 2004.

For more information, including application materials, contact the Mass
Media Center of the SPbGU Journalism School at:
1-aya Liniya V.O. Dom 26, Office 606. 199004. St. Petersburg, Russia.
Telephone / Fax: (7-812) 323-00-67, 321-01-72.
E-Mail: [email protected]
Web site: and

Contact person:
Dmitry A. Ruschin, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Director of the
International Journalism Summer School and Winter School on Public
Relations at St.Petersburg State University
E-Mail: [email protected].


OECD Forum 2004 “Health of Nations” will tackle some of the key issues
on the international policy agenda, such as the health of the global
economy, the health of multilateral co-operation and the health of our
citizens. The Forum will take place in Paris on May 12-13, 2004. The
Forum will cover the following issues:

§ World economy;
§ International trade and investment;
§ Sustainable development;
§ Health policy challenges.

The Forum is a multi-stakeholder summit, which brings together leaders
from business, government, labor and civil society, and takes place at
the same time as the annual OECD Ministerial meeting. It involves the
participation of an important number of OECD and non-OECD Ministers.

Registration and more information at:


Subscribing Information

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CENN, on behalf of the Caucasus Environmental NGOs, would like to
express gratitude to the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
(SDC) for provision of financial support for regional environmental
networking program.

For more information about the program, please visit CENN web-page:


Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN)

E-mail: [email protected]

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Editorial policy: CENN both solicits and accepts submissions for
environmental information to the Caucasus Environmental News Bulletin.
Although, CENN retains the right to edit all materials both for content
and length. The information provided for the Bulletin does not
necessarily represent the opinion of CENN and SDC.

Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN)

Tel: ++995 32 92 39 46
Fax: ++995 32 92 39 47
E-mail: [email protected]