CENN – APRIL 29, 2004 DAILY DIGEST
Table of Contents:
1. Series of Public Debates with the Representative of NGOs, Government
and Business Sector
2. Azerbaijan Hopes to Include Kazakhstan in BTC in 2004
3. Russia Against Creation of National Fishing Zones in Caspian Sea
4. Green `Slaughter” in Yerevan
5. Retail Prices of Potato, Cabbage and Grape are Down
6. Working Group on Water and Health
7. Invest Now, Save Later
8. 10 Personal Actions that Can Make a Difference for the Environment
1. SERIES OF PUBLIC DEBATES WITH THE REPRESENTATIVE OF NGOS, GOVERNMENT
AND BUSINESS SECTOR
Horizonti Foundation is starting with as new initiative to conduct a
series of public debates with the representative of NGOs, government and
business taking part.
The first of the series will be held on Friday, April 30, at 2:00 – 3:30
PM at the premises of Horizonti Foundation (see the address below).
The topic of the discussion is: Who Sets Priorities In Georgia?
Contact person: Manana Dumbadze
6th floor, 2 Dolidze Street, Tbilisi
+995 (32) 332816/17/18
+995 (32) 987504 (fax)
2. AZERBAIJAN HOPES TO INCLUDE KAZAKHSTAN IN BTC IN 2004
Source: Interfax, April 28, 2004
Azerbaijan hopes that Kazakhstan will become a participant in the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan project in 2004, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister
Khalaf Khalafov said at the forum Caspian: Politics, Economics, Business
in Astana on April 28, 2004.
“At the moment 34 companies from 16 countries are participating in
transport projects in the Caspian region. Azerbaijan considers the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline projects to be the
main ones,” he said.
The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum projects are “necessary
conditions” for the economic development of the Caspian region and will
strengthen its energy security,” he said.
He said that Azerbaijan shares the position of Kazakhstan regarding the
laying of pipelines along the Caspian seabed.
Kazakh First Deputy Foreign Minister Kairat Abuseitov said at the forum
that Kazakhstan is against having to agree laying underwater
communications and pipeline in the Caspian with all of the littoral
states. These issues should be agreed with the Caspian states through
whose sectors they pass, and not with all states in the region, he said.
Mr. Khalafov also said that the implementation of oil and gas transport
projects in the region might be hindered by the unresolved
Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict and the unstable political situation in
Kazakhstan hopes to transport 10 million – 20 million tones of oil per
year through the pipeline. The republic produced over 51.3 million tones
of oil and condensate in 2003.
Construction of the 690-km Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline should begin in
the third quarter 2004. The pipeline will transport gas from the
Shah-Deniz field, which has reserves of 625 billion cubic meters of gas
and 101 million tones of condensate.
3. RUSSIA AGAINST CREATION OF NATIONAL FISHING ZONES IN CASPIAN SEA
Source: Interfax, April 28, 2004
Russia is against creating so-called fishing zones in the Caspian Sea,
Russian presidential envoy for Caspian Sea issues Viktor Kalyuzhny said.
The creation of fishing zones will undermine the effectiveness of the
collective regulation of fishing activities and will hinder the
replenishment of biological resources, Kalyuzhny told an international
conference on Caspian Sea issues in Astana on Wednesday. “If we can’t
deal with poachers together, different zones will not help us,” he said.
Fishing zones “will not give us anything except problems connected with
the development of additional conditions to resolve discrepancies
between the internal legislation of both countries,” he said.
Russia has already made considerable changes to its initial position,
suggesting that 15-mile coastal areas be organized in the Caspian Sea,
in which the littoral states will have exclusive rights to fish, he
`But we can’t go any further,” Kalyuzhny said. “Believe me, we’re not
concerned about the water, we feel sorry for the fish,” he added.
4. GREEN `SLAUGHTER” IN YEREVAN
Source: A1 Plus- news agency, April 28, 2004
This morning the residents of N 143 building of South-Western block have
held a protest action demanding to preserve the park they have
themselves planted nearby their houses. It has been given to someone to
build a shop there.
The residents are more concerned about the fact that Municipality has
rejected their application on improving and protecting the territory.
People say the park where the Monument for War Fighters is located was
sold at an auction. Trees were already cut for constructing the shop.
The dwellers are even willing to buy the territory to protect the green
5. RETAIL PRICES OF POTATO, CABBAGE AND GRAPE ARE DOWN
Source: ArmenPress, April 27 2004
According to Agri-Business Development Center, retail prices of cabbage,
potatoes, grape, tomatoes are down, prices of flour, barley, wheat,
onion, beef and pork are up and prices of butter, sugar did not change
as compared to the same period last month.
The market price for one kg of pork a year ago was 1200-1300 drams while
its present average price is 1860 drams. Beef is sold at 1400 (2003 –
1200 drams). The present price of poultry is 1200 drams against 1000
drams in 2003. Egg was sold at 44 drams a year ago, while in January it
increased to 55 and at present is sold at 58 drams.
Potatoes were sold in 2003, April at 200 drams per kilogram while in
January it reduced to 140 and its present price is 80-100 drams. Last
year cucumber was sold at 800 drams while this year it is 500 drams.
Average price for apple is 400 drams. It increased by 100 drams as
compared to the same period last year.
The highest prices can be observed at Mashtotc avenue market number 1
and the lowest prices at Malatia market number 4 and in the markets of
Gyumri and Spitak.
6. WORKING GROUP ON WATER AND HEALTH
Source: European ECO-Forum News Digest, N 81, April 2004
On March 11-12 2004 the third meeting of the Working Group on Water and
Health (WGWH), established under the Convention on the Protection and
Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Helsinki
Water Convention) and its Protocol on Water and Health, took place in
Budapest, Hungary. The Protocol was adopted at the Third Ministerial
Conference on Environment and Health in 1999 in London.
The WGWH examined the following items:
– Progress in the ratification process,
– Legal and administrative aspects of the Protocol’s implementation,
– Coordination of resource mobilization,
– Technical meetings, methodological aspects and guidelines under the
– Activities of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development on water
and sanitation, Fourth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health,
– Further preparations for the first meeting of the Parties to the
By now, the following 11 countries have ratified the Protocol: Albania,
Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Luxembourg, Norway,
Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia and Ukraine. The Protocol will
enter into force with 16 ratifications.
Based on the information received during WGWH meeting, the secretariat
expects that the Protocol may come into force in the end of 2004 or
beginning of 2005. The First Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol is
planned for end of spring 2005.
The WGWH discussed the Draft Compliance Review Mechanism under the
Protocol, Draft Rules of Procedure, and the Draft Modalities for
Participation of non-Parties. The WGWH supported that 1-2 NGO
representatives should be observers in the Legal Board. It also
supported participation of NGO representatives in various meetings,
events and bodies under the Protocol. The main requirement for selecting
NGOs to participate in the events under Helsinki Water Convention or the
Protocol is actual activity on the issue, and competency in water issues
and in particular water and health.
The WGWH discussed the following events:
– Workshop on water management and health in the framework of
– ECWATECH-2004, Moscow, 1-2 June
– Round table in Oslo, 1-2 June, organized by Norwegian Government and
the WHO. The Round table is an initiative to increase efficiency in
non-infrastructure cooperation in the area of water and health, aimed at
the implementation of the Protocol on Water and Health. The round table
provides an opportunity for countries to drive priority setting, and for
donors to examine their current cooperation programmes in the light of
these national health priorities. There will be a trust fund established
under the Water Convention for supporting implementation of the
– Preparatory activities to CSD-12 in April 2004,
– Preparatory activities to the First Meeting of the Parties to the
The following technical and methodological items were discussed:
à) Preparation of the Conference on Enclosed Recreational Waters in
Budapest in May 2005 b) Development of distance learning programmes for
public health professionals;
c) Portugal suggested organizing a conference on man-made water bodies;
d) Several presentations were made concerning antibacteriological
resistance spreading through drinking-water systems.
The WGWH discussed preparatory issues for the Fourth Ministerial
Conference on Environment and Health (Budapest-2004). Before the opening
of the Conference, on 22 June, the WGWH will meet in Budapest for final
arrangements concerning participation in the Conference. The main
suggestion of the WGWH relates to the Children’s Environment and Health
Action Plan for Europe (CEHAPE). This suggestion was made by WHO
Collaborating Centers at Rome meeting in February 2004. It is about
giving mandate to the network of WHO Collaborating Centers to act as a
technical board to CEHAPE.
Documentation of WGWH:
For more information contact:
Coordinator of Water Issue Group of European ECO-Forum,
E-mail: [email protected]
7. INVEST NOW, SAVE LATER
Source: UICN, April 28, 2004
The conservation of ecosystems is the basis for development, rather than
an obstacle to it. At the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD)
meeting underway in New York, Switzerland and Japan presented how the
application of the ecosystem approach can prevent huge costs, especially
with regard to water resources management. `We have drawn lessons from
the mistakes we have made in the past. In Switzerland, our waters still
suffer from the pollution of old landfills, which we have to clean at
huge costs. One such site alone cost us US$ 600 million,’ said
Ambassador Mr. Beat Nobs of the Swiss Agency of Environment, Forests and
8. 10 PERSONAL ACTIONS THAT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Source: Earth Day Network, April 22, 2004
1. Get a home energy audit and follow the recommendations.
Energy audits are a great way to see where the energy and energy
expenditures in your house are going. Your local power company may have
an energy-audit program, or you can do one yourself with the Home Energy
Checkup Guide from the Alliance to Save Energy.
2. Insulate and caulk your home.
Insulation keeps warm air warm and cool air cool. Caulking and weather
stripping are a good start. Insulating your attic, walls, and crawl
spaces will also make a huge difference. Window-mounted air conditioning
units may also be leaking out of poorly insulated windows. Check for
drafts by wetting your finger and running it around the window edges.
3. Set your water heater to a lower temperature and insulate it and
replace wasteful showerheads.
Insulating your water heater decreases the energy needed to heat it up.
Jackets are available at hardware stores and sometimes given away free
with a new water heater. Also, you should keep the heater on low, or at
no more 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which is adequate to meet all home
needs. And replace your showerheads with energy-efficient models. A
recent study showed that making the switch could save 27 cents a day on
water and 51 cents on electricity. They’ll pay for themselves in just
4. Turn off lights, replace your incandescent bulbs with compact
fluorescents, and use timers.
It’s elementary to say, turn off lights and appliances when you leave a
room. Indeed, lighting accounts for 25 percent of home energy use.
Another no-brainer way to cut lighting use and costs is to use compact
fluorescent light bulbs in place of traditional incandescent bulbs. Not
to be mistaken for the harsh white lights still found in many offices,
compact fluorescents emit pleasing warm light. And although they are
more expensive than incandescent bulbs, they will last ages longer and
slash your energy bill. Also, invest in timers or motion-sensitive
switches for both inside and outside lights. You’ll never walk into a
dark house and your power bills will drop.
5. Wash bigger loads in the clothes washer and turn the refrigerator
To save energy in the laundry, wash only full loads in short cycles. And
use the air-dry setting or turn the dishwasher off after the final rinse
and open the door.
Your refrigerator also uses a great deal of energy, as much as 25
percent of a home energy bill in some cities. The temperature should be
38 to 42 degrees Fahrenheit, and the freezer should be between zero and
five degrees. Check the seals for cracks, and keep the condenser coils
clean. If you’re in the market for a new one, consider whether a smaller
fridge might suit your needs.
In shopping for any major appliance, look for the Energy Star label,
awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department
of Energy to products that are ahead of the curve on energy efficiency.
6. Close blinds and drapes in warm weather and turn off the AC.
A little air conditioning can go a long way during the day if you close
the blinds or drapes so that the sun can’t get in and warm up the house.
If you’re going to be gone for a while, turn the AC off. Do the same as
soon as the temperature cools down outside, and then open the windows so
you get a cross breeze. Also air conditioners work better when they are
cool themselves, so if your air conditioner is outside under any direct
sun, build a screen. While you’re at it, check the filter. An air
conditioner with a clogged filter will use5 percent more energy than one
with a clean filter.
7. Curb your car, carpool, and take public transit.
Take public or mass transit as much as you can. When you do, your energy
use is 25 times less than if you had used your car. If you absolutely
need your car, see if you can give someone else a lift too. Think of
ways you can cut down on the use of your car: Make fewer trips, carpool,
or bus it once a week. Try riding your bike to the grocery store or to
work if it’s not too far. Every little bit counts.
8. Tune up your car … and do you really need a Hummer?
A tune-up on your car will improve its fuel economy by 6 to 9 percent
and save you repair costs in the long run. And don’t be a speed demon:
For every mile per hour slower you drive than 65, you improve your car’s
fuel efficiency by about 2%. And keep your tires filled to capacity:
Soft tires make the engine work harder, making your car more wasteful.
When shopping for a new car, don’t forget to factor in fuel efficiency.
You’ll reduce your gasoline costs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil,
and reduce the damage being done to the atmosphere. If everyone in the
United States bought the most efficient vehicle in the class they’d
ordinarily buy, the total savings would be 1.47 billion gallons of
gasoline every year.
9. Work at home
Employers are becoming more flexible about what defines a workday. By
working four 10-hour days or working from home one day a week, you
commute less and become part of the pollution solution. Over a year,
that’s 50 fewer days you waste in traffic.
10. At the office …
Computer monitors use the same amount of electricity as a 60-watt light
bulb. So rest your screen when you rest your eyes. Don’t wait for your
screen saver to kick in; if you are going to be away from your computer
for more than 10 minutes, turn the monitor off. You can also reduce the
energy consumption of your copier: Look for a stand-by button or mode,
and make sure that it gets used. Copiers consume a lot of energy sitting
there running during times of non-use.
Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN)
Tel: ++995 32 92 39 46
Fax: ++995 32 92 39 47
E-mail: [email protected]