CENN Electronic Bulletin (English Version) – April 2004

Caucasus Environmental NGO Network
(CENN)

67 Electronic Bulletin:
Caucasus Environmental News

VISIT CENN WEB SITE:

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Announcements
1.1. Learning about mountains
1.2. EIA report on the project `Project on the production of the
polypropylene sacks for the foodstuff and non foodstuff products in
Rustavi” by the `Poliplastic’ Ltd.
1.3. EIA report on the project of the `Carpentry enterprise in Tbilisi.
” by the `Perjorjo & Temuri’ Ltd
1.4. EIA report on the project on `Drilling of the moonpool for the
technical water supply in Tbilisi and project on arranging the well for
the technical water supply in Khobi region. ” by the `Eco-Georgia’ Ltd.
1.5. Announcement of the Ministry of Environment of Georgia
1.6. Forestry in countries with economies in transition

2. News from Georgia
2.1. Population of Tsalka region demands compensation for ecological
pollution brought about by BTC project
2.2. NGO targets pipeline disclosure
2.3. Construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline is under way

2.4. BTC Co. gets $1.6 bln Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan project loan tranche
2.5. For examination BTC worker’s in Georgia
2.6. Issues with water supply in Sachkhere region
2.7. Georgia’s forest await aid
2.8. Baku-Supsa oil pipeline turns five

3. News from Azerbaijan
3.1. BTC Sangachal terminal construction works fits the schedule
3.2. Creation of alternative energy sources is dictate of time
3.3. Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline to be ready by mid-2005
3.4. Ecological balance in Azerbaijan to be reserved
3.5. Working in $130 mln realized in Azerbaijan section of BTC
3.6. EBRD may provide $170 mln for SOCAR share in Shah Deniz
3.7. Shah Deniz expenditure $341 mln in Q1
3.8. Number of tourists visiting Azerbaijan dramatically increases
3.9. Tourism information center opens in Lagij settlement
3.10. OSI-AF/Azerbaijan and BP are pleased to announce that they have
signed an agreement
3.11. OSCE office in Baku marks Earth Day
3.12. Archeological researches underway on BTC pipeline territories
3.13. Baku-Ceyhan to start pumping by mid 2005
3.14. Azerbaijan hopes for KfW credit

4. News from Armenia
4.1. `Reducing disaster risk. A challenge for development” Global report
presented
4.2. KFW Bank to give 4.7m euros to reconstruct of Alaverdi substation
4.3. Armenia to sell copper by end 2004
4.4. Yerevan municipality to crack down on illegal construction
4.5. Armenian industrial production up 10.5% in Q1
4.6. Armenian president says Iran pipeline to end energy dependency
4.7. Canadian company invests $10 mln in prospecting of gas and oil

5. Legal News
5.1. Governmental Working Group
5.2. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization announced a major
international initiative

6. NGO News
6.1. Youth social public Ecotourism organization NGO `Piligrim’

7. International News
7.1. Regional lawmakers call against privatization of forestland
7.2. European parliament approves law forcing polluting companies to pay
for cleanups
7.3. Meeting of OECD environment ministers

8. New Publications
8.1. New book sys farming is biggest global environmental threat
8.2. New book: International perspectives in environmental education

9. Calendar (International)
9.1. Update on the roundtable between ministers and NGOs in Budapest
-2004

SUBSCRIBING INFORMATION

1. ANNOUNCEMENTS
1.1. LEARNING ABOUT MOUNTAINS

An online guide to resources for teachers and kids

Explore mountains – go on adventure to discover the secrets of the
mountains. Navigate glaciers, meet a black bear, and listen to
Alpenhorns.

Find a resource – great teaching resources, including books, lesson
plans, websites, CDs and more to make mountain themes come alive.

Suggest a resource – share your recommendations for great teaching
resources related to the mountain themes, or give a feedback on this
online service.

Enjoy the great website “Learning About Mountains’:

1.2. EIA REPORT ON THE PROJECT `PROJECT ON THE PRODUCTION OF THE
POLYPROPYLENE SACKS FOR THE FOODSTUFF AND NON FOODSTUFF PRODUCTS IN
RUSTAVI” BY THE `POLIPLASTIC’ LTD.

Source: `Sakartvelos Respublica’ (`Republic of Georgia’), April 3, 2004

In accordance with the Georgian legislation, Ltd `Poliplastic’ submitted
EIA report to the Ministry of Environment of Georgia to obtain an
environmental permit for the activity of second category – Project on
the Production of the Polypropylene Sacks for the Foodstuff and Non
Foodstuff Products in Rustavi.

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 18, 2004.

Public hearing will be held on May 18, 2004 at 12:00, at the conference
hall of the Ministry of Environment.

1.3. EIA REPORT ON THE PROJECT OF THE `CARPENTRY ENTERPRISE IN TBILISI.
” BY THE `PERJORJO & TEMURI’ LTD

Source: `Sakartvelos Respublica’ (`Republic of Georgia’), March 17, 2004

In accordance with the Georgian legislation, Ltd `Perjorjo&Temuri’
submitted EIA report to the Ministry of Environment of Georgia to obtain
an environmental permit for the activity of second category – on the
Carpentry Enterprise in Tbilisi.

EIA report is available at the press-centre 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 June 1, 2004.

Public hearing will be held on June 1, 2004 at 12:00, at the conference
hall of the Ministry of Environment.

1.4. EIA REPORT ON THE PROJECT `ON DRILLING OF THE MOONPOOL FOR THE
TECHNICAL WATER SUPPLY IN TBILISI AND PROJECT ON ARRANGING THE WELL FOR
THE TECHNICAL WATER SUPPLY IN KHOBI REGION. ” BY THE `ECO-GEORGIA’ LTD.

Source: `Sakartvelos Respublica’ (`Republic of Georgia’), March 17, 2004

In accordance with the Georgian legislation, Ltd `Eco-Georgia’ submitted
EIA report to the Ministry of Environment of Georgia to obtain an
environmental permit for the activity of second category – Project on
Drilling of the moonpool for the Technical Water Supply in Tbilisi and
Project on arranging the Well for the = Technical Water Supply in Khobi
Region.

EIA report is available at the press-centre 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 25, 2004.

Public hearing will be held on May 25, 2004 at 12:00, at the conference
hall of the Ministry of Environment.

1.5. ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT OF GEORGIA

Source: `Sakartvelos Respublica’ (`Republic of Georgia’), April 22, 2004

In accordance with the Georgian legislation, Ltd `Gachiani – 2004′
submitted EIA report to the Ministry of Environment of Georgia to obtain
an environmental permit for the activity of first category – Project on
the Enterprise for Extracting copper from the Amortized utilizable Acid
Accumulators in Gardabani region, Village Gachiani.

In accordance with the Georgian legislation, entrepreneur Leri
Zeinkalashvili submitted EIA report to the Ministry of Environment of
Georgia to obtain an environmental permit for the activity of first
category – Project on Mini manganese Washing Enterprise in Chiatura.

EIA reports are available at the press-centre 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 June 8, 2004.

Public hearing will be held on June 8, 2004 at 12:00, at the conference
hall of the Ministry of Environment.

1.6. FORESTRY IN COUNTRIES WITH ECONOMIES IN TRANSITION

The end of the twenty-century was pretty dynamic from the political view
of point. More than 20 countries at different stages of development of
market economy appeared on the map of the world, particularly in Central
and Eastern Europe. Generally the main goals of these countries are:
substantial reduction of the state ownership and control of enterprises,
the removal of distortions caused by administered prices, the opening of
economies to foreign competition and investment, the convertibility of
currency, releasing the potential of free enterprise, etc. However,
there are quite large differences in the speed and manner in which these
goals are being achieved in these countries. The absence of assurance in
social-economical and political situation normally provokes
overexploitation of all nature resources, as there is no vision in
long-term natural resources management. The one of the most important
issue that these countries are facing is the overexploitation of the
natural resources, including forest, due to the lack of the management
and the absence of sustainable development vision.

In general the main deficiency of forest management in these countries
is centrally planned management, which were conservative, economically
inefficient and inflexible. Most of the countries had an explicit policy
of high-quality wood production, which was achieved through management
practices that were based on very high initial density at planting,
followed by intensive silviculture. In view of its very high costs, this
management practice cannot be justified easily in a market economy.

When talking about the forest management the key task is to bring the
issues related to this sector and then solve these problems based on
their nature and the situation in the region. The first question in the
CENN web based interactive poll was to determine the view of our
respondents about the prioritization of the issues in this sector. For
100% of CENN interactive poll respondents the key issues in forest
policy reform are the following: ownership of forests; division of
duties and functions in forest sector.

67% of the respondents consider that all forests, private or state,
should be managed according to the established and approved management
plans of the country, 24% do not agree with this statement and 9% have
not thought about this at all. 80% of respondents believe that
decentralization is advantageous for the development of the forest
sector. 20% don not thinks so.

As was mentioned above there is an obvious need to realize reforms in
forestry sector, but the nature of this transformation should be
determined quite carefully. First of all there should be developed
National forest policy, then the strategy. 100% of our respondents agree
with this statement that national forest policy and strategy should be
the basis of institutional reforms, not vice versa and that the
transparency and the participation of all the stakeholders is essential
while implementing institutional reform this will ensure sustainability
of the results of this reform. Institutional reform should be supported
by political commitment and strong leadership; and founded on
participatory and inclusive processes that meet the needs of all
administrative levels and create ownership. 100% of our respondents
think that while developing institutional changes it should be carefully
considered geographical and socioeconomic characteristics of the region.

The most urgent issue of the countries with economies in transition is
unstable social-economical situation. There is no clear vision who is
owner of the forest, who is responsible for it management and naturally
everyone is inclined to increase their own benefit from forest even if
this would bring damage in long term vision. `Without confidence in
long-term stability of economic and social relationships – notably
property rights – the natural tendency is to give priority to the
short-term (income from wood harvesting) over more uncertain benefits to
be derived from prudent long-term forest management.’ 100% of CENN
respondents absolutely agree with this argument.

What is the outlook for the forestry sector in the transitional
countries of Central and Eastern Europe? This depends on the outcome of
the transition process in general and the establishment of stable
political, juridical, social and economic situations as well as the
resumption of economic growth. For the forestry sector, specifically, it
implies the clarification of ownership questions, the adaptation of
forest services, significant investments in forest industries and
widespread education and training. Other countries can help, notably as
regards investments, education and training, and by not closing their
own markets to exports from the transitional countries. However, the
main responsibility is with the governments, foresters and
industrialists of the countries in transition themselves
Prepared By CENN
Nino Tevzadze

2. NEWS FROM GEORGIA
2.1. POPULATION OF TSALKA REGION DEMANDS COMPENSATION FOR ECOLOGICAL
POLLUTION BROUGHT ABOUT BY BTC PROJECT

Source: International News Agency BatumiNews, April 5, 2004

The inhabitants of the Tsalka region, in the Javakheti district of
Georgia, are demanding compensation for the damage to the environment
caused by the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline project. The people, living
in villages 25 km away from the site of construction, say the
construction brought about ecological pollution.

However, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) project operator, British
Petroleum (BP), said it had disbursed compensations to the population of
Tsalka. The BP source said the landowners in the Tsalka villages
personally received money for the land sold to BP and for lost crops.

Regarding financial compensation for pastures, BP said the compensation
was rendered locally to the councils in the village. `We do not rule out
that money was embezzled by the council officials, abusing their posts.
Meanwhile, we need to study the case locally’, the BP source said.

2.2. NGO TARGETS PIPELINE DISCLOSURE

Source: Georgia’s English Language Daily, `The Messenger’, April 6, 2004

The Krtsanisi-Mtasminda District Court satisfied the appeal of the
Georgian NGO Green Alternative (GA) on April 2, 2004 and called for
parliament to guarantee the official publication of the
intergovernmental agreement on the BTC construction.

The agreement signed between Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey and its
appendixes were ratified by the Parliament on Amy 31, 2000, but the
Georgian government has not officially publicized these documents.

According to GA, `the public should be aware and interested of what is
written in these documents,’ because this agreement describes the legal
aspects behind the BTC project. As the representative from the NGO
stated: `maybe the document was not publicized because the government
should pay money for printing it and it is large.’

Meanwhile, BP claims it `did everything’ to make the public aware of the
text of the agreement and points to its online document collection. As
Rusudan Medmariashvili from BP explains, the company has a text of the
agreement on its website `presented in two languages’, Georgian and
English. She adds it is impossible to publicize the complete text of
agreement itself `is a large volume’.

Mrs. Medmariashvili says the agreement between governments is available
in the collection of the government to make such documents public’. The
text of the agreement as well as other documents on the BTC pipeline can
be found on: in Turkish, Azeri,
Georgian and English.

The environmental NGO actively working on monitoring the BTC pipeline,
GA has frequently appeared in court to challenge the pipeline project.
In late March the group appeared in the court on another case regarding
the BTC that it finally lost. GA brought a case against the Ministry of
Environment of Georgia and the BTC Co., in Tbilisi Regional Court. The
NGO asked the court to annul the document issued by the Ministry on
November 30, 202 that permitted the construction of the BTC pipeline on
Georgian territory.

GA claimed the permission was issued in violation of Georgian
legislation and citizens’ constitutional rights. It also claimed that
the process lacked transparency and that the public should have been
informed about the government’s decision.

As a result, the NGO claims the Aarhus Convention was violated a UN
sanctioned document that provides for proper access to information in
decision-making processes regarding environmental issues.

Defendants at the BTC Co. said it took all necessary measures to ensure
the proper access to information and public participation and therefore
met all obligations of the Georgian government.

In response to the court verdict, the environmental group argues `the
judges were biased’ and that is why they gave wrong interpretation to
the articles of the Georgian Constitution and the Aarhus Convention.

According to GA it plans to apply to the Supreme Court as well as to the
Aarhus Convention committee in Denmark to appeal the Tbilisi Regional
Court decision on that case.

2.3. CONSTRUCTION OF THE BAKU-TBILISI-CEYHAN (BTC) PIPELINE IS UNDER WAY

Source: International News Agency BatumiNews, April 7, 2004

Construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline is under way in
two sectors: on the 248-193 km. at the border with Turkey, and 0-193 km.
at the Georgian border with Azerbaijan.

A source at BTC project operator British Petroleum (BP) informs of the
involvement of `Punch Lloyd’, an Indian company, used to carry out more
extensive pipeline construction works.

The same source provides information that a 170-km stretch in the
Akhaltsikhe region of the pipeline corridor was cleaned. Pipes have been
installed at a length of 158 km. BP reports that the work is ongoing, on
schedule, and should be completely finished by the end of the year.

2.4. BTC CO. GETS $1.6 BLN BAKU-TBILISI-CEYHAN PROJECT LOAN TRANCHE

Source: Interfax, April 15, 2004

Operator for the building and use of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline
BTC Co. has received from international financial organizations the
first tranche of a construction credit in the amount of $1.6 billion.

President of the company BP-Azerbaijan David Woodward said at a
Wednesday press conference in Baku that the funds were received in late
March, and that $1 billion of it was returned to the BTC shareholders
for financing the construction work until the credit monies were
received.

The remaining $600 million will be used on work done until September
2004, he said. The second tranche is expected that month in the amount
of $400-$600 million, the next in the first quarter of 2004 in an amount
that will round out the overall credit size of $2.6 billion.

The initial loan funds were supposed to have been received in mid- 2003,
the project participants using their own money to finance the building
work until that time. However, talks with financial institutions were
drawn out and the BTC shareholder-companies continued to put money into
the project, spending an additional $1 billion in the period from
mid-2003 to March of 2004.

Woodward noted that a little under $2 billion has already been spent,
60% of the work has been done and 766 kilometers of pipeline have been
laid over three countries-44% of its overall length.

First-quarter spending this year came to $424 million against the
planned $1.371 billion for the year. Woodward said that additional
people and equipment will be found to make up for lost time in Georgia
and Turkey. Additional work is being down in the two countries, and the
issue of whether the spending will go against subcontractors or BTC Co.,
he said, but in any case the project cost will not go up, as additional
unforeseen spending funds have been built in.

The first tanker is scheduled to be filled with Azerbaijani oil in late
June 2005. This based on the first oil from the Azeri deposit being
extracted in the beginning of that year, so changes are possible.

Of the project price tag, $1 billion will come from the shareholders’
own pockets, $2.6 billion from credits. The European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and International Finance
Corporation (IFC) are lending $250, fifteen commercial banks $936
million, Japan Bank for International Cooperation $480 million, and four
company-participants-BP, Statoil, ConocoPhillips and Total-another $923
million.

The commercial banks are extending loans under guarantees from the EBRD,
IFC and seven import-export and insurance agencies at an average rate of
Libor+3.5% for 10-12 years. Payback begins at the end of 2006 and will
run until 2015. Participants in the BTC project are: British Petroleum
(30.1%), SOCAR (25%), Unocal (8.9%), Statoil (8.71%), TPAO (6.53%), ENI
(5%), Itochu (3.4%), ConocoPhillips (2.5%), Inpex (2.5%), TotalFinaElf
(5%), and Amerada Hess (2.36%).

2.5. FOR EXAMINATION BTC WORK’S IN GEORGIA

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

Natiq Aliyev, the president SOCAR (The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan)
and David Woodward the president of BP Azerbaijan have paid joint visit
to Georgia.

The two oil chiefs have examined the construction work in the Georgian
sector of Baku- Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline.

Mr. Aliyev and Mr. Woodward have met with Georgian Prime Minister Zurab
Zhvania and the president of Georgian International Oil Corporation
Giorgi Chanturia in Tbilisi.

Mr. Woodward has told reporters he was satisfied with the BTC’s
construction pace. Woodward said, he was confident that the BTC pipeline
would be ready for exploitation in the first part of 2005.

2.6. ISSUES WITH WATER SUPPLY IN SACHKHERE REGION

Source: Newspaper `Resonans’, April 16, 2004

Sachkhere, Georgia – The population of Sachkhere region is supplied with
non-chlorinated water. The water supply system is damaged that could
cause mixing of the faeces with the drinking water that could provoke
break out of an epidemic. This statement was made by Gizo Machavariani,
Chief of the State sanitarian Supervising Regional Inspection Service.
Mr. Machavariani advised people to drink only boiled water. According to
the information provided by Mr. Machavariani the samples of water that
are taken from October 31, 2004 proves that city is supplied with
non-chlorinated water, as for the villages in the region the water
supplied to them did not meets standards for along time. .

Concerning this matter the sanitarian service of the region demanded
even in 2003 to stop the operation of the LTD. `Sacheris Tskalkanali’
before the improvement of the situation due to the unsatisfactory
sanitarian technical conditions of the unit, irregular chlorination of
the water, damaged system of water supply. This demand in 2003 caused
close of the entity only for 3-day.

Bondo Mgebrishvili, director of the LTD. `Sacheris Tskalkanali’ refused
the information provided by the chief of the sanitarian-supervising
service of the region. Mr. Mgebrishvili declared regarding this issue
that the water without chlorination was provided to the population only
during one month and at present the situation is satisfactory.

2.7. GEORGIA’S FOREST AWAIT AID

Source: The Messenger, April 16, 2004

The Forest Development Project of the World Bank will begin drafting
national policy on the forestry sector this April. With the financial
help of the Food and Agriculture Organization and active public
participation, the analysts working on the project hope that as a result
the country will have an actual plan for utilizing forest resources and
fighting deforestation.

Mike Garforth, who works in Georgia on improving Georgian legislation on
forests, believes the government can find solutions to the problem of
illegal logging and deforestation, only “if there is political will.”

Given this political will, Mr. Garforth has a list of necessary steps
that must be taken. “People in the sector should get adequate salaries,
and also there should be investments to modernize business plans and
develop successful management and accounting policies,” he advises. The
elimination of corruption and development of the energy sector are other
conditions affecting forestry he adds.

According to Giorgi Gachechiladze, the leader of Georgian Green Party,
Georgia’s best timber is all
going for export leaving Georgian’s with a lower quality to work with.
“70 percent of trees in Georgia are old and plus the variety of forest
types is falling rapidly as a result of illegal logging,” he, says.
Gachechiladze explains the most affected forests are near populated
areas (cities, villages). According to official statistics, forests
occupy 45 percent of the territory of Georgia. Of the 400 different
flora species in Georgian forests, 61 are native to Georgia and another
43 are found only in the Caucasus region.

Still, there is no verified data regarding the volume of forest products
cut and how much timber and other forest products are exported from
Georgia. For example, according to the Forestry Department, officially
400,000 cubic meters of timber are cut with permission each year, while
the Custom Department claims up to 2 million cubic meters was exported
in 2002. According to the World Bank data, “total timber harvest in
Georgia is composed of legal and illegal harvest and equals nearly, 1.2
million cubic meters.” Mr. Gachechiladze claims all official data should
be at least multiplied by 2 to arrived at the real numbers.

The Forestry Department usually points out that often illegal harvesting
is carried out by local populations who rely on the forest products for
fuel or other needs. But, according to the Georgian Environmental NGO
Network-CENN, there are no statistics showing how much timber is being
cut by locals for their private needs. Mr. Gachechiladze and his party
estimate that a Georgian family annually uses 6-10 cubic metres of
forest products. Environmentalist from Green Alternative and CEE
Bankwatch, Network Manana Kochladze, says that the poverty and energy
crisis forced people to turn to forest resources as a fuel. Although,
“the main reason of the deforestation is the illegal commercial
logging,” she adds. “It should also be underlined that while timber
export is free, the import is taxed by 34. 76 percent which creates
economic incentives for export,” reads a report compiled by Green
Alternative and CENN.

Mr. Gachechiladze thinks that legalization of the illegal logging cat be
a solution. “Let them pay at least some money for this into the budget,”
he says. Kochladze agrees, “This will increase our revenues.”

Environmental NGOs ask for reduction of import tax on timber products
and imposing a tax on timber export. In this case, they argue, the
Georgian budget will benefit from the exploitation of natural resources.

“We are not exporting timber just to Australia,” jokes Gachechiladze,
saying the list of export countries includes four continents and
identified China and India and Iran as well as European countries as
some of the largest importers of Georgian forestry products. Meanwhile,
during the Soviet period Georgia did not even use its own domestic
resources for industries that produced finished wood products, rather it
imported timber from Russia.

Kochladze agrees with Mike Garforth that the government should properly
finance the sector. The Green Party claims the central budget
transferred only 6 tetri on each hectare of the state owned forests last
year. The analysts working for the Forest Development Project laugh that
forests did not receive even half of this tiny sum. “How can one
forester protect dozens of hectares of forests from people who want it
for fuel or for export? They are so poor that they do not even have
shoes to wear,” says Gachechiladze.

On December 3,2002 an agreement was reached between Government of
Georgia and IDA (World Bank group), on implementation of the Forestry
Development project. The project should be implemented from 2003 to
2008.

Five districts (Oni, Ambrolauri, Lentekhi, Tsageri and Mestia) have been
selected as target areas for the project.

The World Bank project will work not only on developing the national
policy but also on improvements in legislation governing sector. In
1997, the Georgian Parliament passed a law putting a moratorium on
timber export for seven years, but the former president Eduard
Shevardnadze vetoed the law. The next law did not envisage either a
moratorium on timber exports or any taxation for exported forest
products. In 2001 the Parliament introduced a one-year ban on timber
export, which it opted not to prolong a year later

The government also created two commissions to address the forestry
sector in 2002 however the public was not presented with the findings
and recommendations of these commissions. Kochladze says the public
should be closely involved in discussing the problems in the sector and
decision-making. According to Mr. Garforth it will take 5-10 years for
Georgia to learn to maintain its forests well.

2.8. BAKU-SUPSA OIL PIPELINE TURNS FIVE

Source: RIA Novosti, April 16, 2004
The Messenger, April 19, 2004

Before there ever was the giant BTC pipeline, oil was flowing through
Georgia and out to the west through the Baku-Supsa pipeline, which this
year celebrates five years of operation. The oil pipeline via which the
“early” Caspian oil is transported on the Western route Baku-Supsa,
turns 5 on April 17, 2004.

The Supsa terminal on Georgia’s Black Sea coast hosted on April 17, 1999
a ceremony of opening the route attended by the Georgian, Azeri and
Ukrainian presidents.

The Novosti-Georgia news agency was told in the British Petroleum
company office in Georgia that for five years, over 200 million tons of
oil was transported via the oil pipeline, with 216 tankers shipped in
Supsa. The oil pipeline’s capacity is 150,000 barrels per day.
Efficiency of work within the project of “early” oil is 99.5%.

The personnel working on the oil pipeline consists have Georgian and
Azeri nationals who fully replaced foreign specialists. The project
received the ISO 14001 certificate for ensuring safe work of the
pipeline and observance of all norms of operation.

The Baku-Supsa oil pipeline’s length is 833 km. Six pipe stations make
part of the oil pipeline’s system – three on Azeri territory and three
on Georgian territory. The pipeline starts its route at the Sangachal
Terminal on the Caspian Sea shore near Baku and finishes at a loading
buoy in the Black Sea linked to the Supsa terminal in Georgia. The first
oil was pumped into the pipeline from the terminal at Sangachal on
December 1998.

According to BP, the personnel of the pipeline currently consists of
only Azerbaijan and Georgian citizens, who `demonstrate `remarkable
safety performance’.

`Over the past five years the pipeline employees have demonstrated top
performance in transportation operations with consistent reliability and
top quartile economies of delivering Caspian oil to world markets,’
praised Neil McCleary, BP’s Vice President, ACG Operations, in
statements in recognition of the anniversary.

In addition, quartile thanked all workers along the pipeline `for their
24 hour a day support and excellent achievement.’

Hikmet Islamov, BP’s Operations Manager in Azerbaijan told reporters,
‘We are proud of our safety achievement, that is based on the pipeline
personnel’s safe attitude to what they do.’

Until recently AOIC has been delivering Azerbaijani oil through two oil
pipelines – Baku-Novorossiysk and Baku-Supsa.

Azeri media reported this month AIOC has decided to stop using the
Baku-Novorossiysk oil pipeline after the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan stars it
operation in 2005. According to the AIOC President David Woodward Baku –
Novorossiysk will as a backup route. Meanwhile officials claim that the
BTC pipeline will not affect the Baku-Supsa project.

3. NEWS FROM AZERBAIJAN
3.1. BTC SANGACHAL TERMINAL CONSTRUCTION WORKS FITS THE SCHEDULE

Source: State Telegraph Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, AzerTag,
April 5, 2004

The construction works, carried out on Sangachal terminal, within the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan project, fits the schedule.

How report experts, 60% of works on BTC head pumping station PS-A1
construction works have been completed by the present time. The station
will consist of four main and one additional pump. The pumps have been
delivered to the terminal and installed, currently; they are being
connected to the pumping station.

An alliance Spie Capag/Petrofag is the contractor on the BTC pumping
stations construction on the territory of Azerbaijan and Georgia, which
at the same time carried out construction of the Georgian pipeline
section.

The length of BTC pipeline is 1,762 km, diameter is 42 inches, has eight
pumping stations (4 on the territory of Turkey, 2 on the territories of
each Azerbaijan and Georgia) and 98 stations with stopcocks.

Sangachal terminal extension works have been completed by 90% within the
project of full-scale ACG (Azeri-Chyrag-Guneshli) field’s development.
According to experts, the frameworks of the first and second oil storage
reservoirs each with an 800 thousand barrel (110 thousand tons) capacity
have been already assembled. Currently the reservoirs are painted. Apart
from that the construction of associated water storage reservoir with a
50 thousand barrel capacity has started. In particular, the reservoir
foundation is being prepared.

A French company CMP Enterpose realizes the construction of storage
reservoirs on Sangachal terminal. The contract includes the construction
of two oil storage reservoirs each with a 110 thousand ton (800 thousand
barrels) capacity and the smaller associated water storage reservoir
with a 50 thousand barrel capacity. The oil storage reservoirs must be
ready by June 2004. As per the estimation, the cost of works will make
$16 million.

In the future the construction of another 800 thousand barrel capacity
reservoir is planned, which will allow bringing the oil storage
capacities to 2.5 million barrels.

The Sangachal terminal extension is run by Azfen/Tekfen. Its total cost
will equal approximately $345 million. The new terminal total area will
make 540 hectares.

On the peak of ACG oil extraction in 2008 the terminal capacity will
reach 1 million barrels of oil and 700 million cubic feet of natural gas
per day.

3.2. CREATION OF ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES IS DICTATE OF TIME

Source: State Telegraph Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, AzerTag,
April 5, 2004

Natural climatic conditions in Azerbaijan open wide possibilities for
use solar and wind energy as alternative sources. According to Chair of
the Milli Majlis Standing Commission on Natural Resources, Energy and
Ecology Asya Manafova, the `State Program of Social and Economic
Development of Regions of the Azerbaijan Republic’ underlines the
necessity of use of the alternative energy sources to supply to the
country’s population with electric power in full measure in 2004-2008.
`No state duty will be collected for import of necessary technical
equipment for creation of alternative energy sources,’ she said.

3.3. BAKU-TBILISI-CEYHAN OIL PIPELINE TO BE READY BY MID-2005

Source: Interfax, April 7, 2004

The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil export pipeline will be ready for use in the
first half of 2005, David Woodward, president of British Petroleum
Azerbaijan, said in Tbilisi on Tuesday after a meeting between an
Azerbaijani delegation and Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania.

He said that at the moment 60% of construction work has been completed
on the Georgian side: pipes have been welded on 150 km of the 248-km
section. “The pipeline will be ready for use in the first half of next
year,” Woodward said.

In turn, Natik Aliyev, president of the State Oil Company of the
Azerbaijani Republic (SOCAR), said that the pipeline is being built
according to plan and will be completed on schedule. “For us, as for
international financial and oil circles, this has been and continues to
be a priority,” Aliyev said.

The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan project will cost $3.6 billion. The future
pipeline will stretch 1,767 kilometers (443 km through Azerbaijan, 248
km through Georgia and 1,076 km through Turkey) and will have a capacity
of 50 million tonnes of oil per annum.

3.4. ECOLOGICAL BALANCE IN AZERBAIJAN TO BE PRESERVED

Source: State Telegraph Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, AzerTag,
April 12, 2004

`Ecological balance in Azerbaijan should be preserved’, the Minister of
ecology and natural resources Huseyngulu Bagirov has stated at the press
conference which have been held in the HQ of the «Yeni Azerbaijan’
Party.

As correspondent of AzerTAj informs, the Minister has told about the
necessary measures which are carried out by the state for wildlife
management, value of projects realized in this sphere. He told: `In
Azerbaijan, national programs for restoration of the grounds subject to
erosion, prevention of pollution of waters of the rivers and lakes,
laying new forest belts have been prepared’.

Having emphasized successful continuation of execution of
recommendations and assignments of the national leader Heydar Aliyev in
the field of protection of ecological stability in the Country, the
Minister has told that the public also should participate in this
business actively.

Speaking that from neighboring countries, basically from territory of
Armenia through the rivers in water pools of our country is coming not
only sewage, but also chemical substances, G. Bagirov has told: `As a
result of the carried out supervision, the volume and structure of these
pollution and on the international actions world community are
determined and experts are periodically informed on it.

Speaking about value of carrying out of monitoring of the environment
and natural resources, the Minister told that national programs for
maintenance of villages in regions by the potable water corresponding to
standards, studying of ecological condition of the lakes on Absheron
peninsula are prepared on behalf of President Ilham Aliyev. The estimate
of forthcoming design – research works for carrying out re-cultivation
is made in connection with drainage of small ponds between Sumgait and
Hovsan residential areas.

Then Minister has answered questions of media representatives as well.

3.5. WORK IN $130 MLN REALIZED IN AZERBAIJAN SECTION OF BTC

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

$130 mln has been already spent for Azerbaijan section of the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan main export pipeline up to now.

The sum approximately makes up 40% of the funds envisaged for
implementation of these works. These expenses connected with lying of
pipeline and construction of two pumping stations in Sangachal and
Yevlakh region.

It should be reminded that about 200 local companies and organizations
were attracted to construction of Azerbaijan pipe run.

3.6. EBRD MAY PROVIDE $170 MLN FOR SOCAR SHARE IN SHAH DENIZ

Source: Interfax, April 13, 2004

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development may provide the
State Oil Company of the Azerbaijani Republic (SOCAR) with a credit of
$170 million to finance its share in Phase-1 of the Shah Deniz project
in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea.

A source in SOCAR told Interfax that the EBRD board of directors has
already given preliminary agreement to the credit. “Now various legal
and financial issues are being desalt with. A credit agreement might be
signed by June,” the source said.

The EBRD will provide half of the $170 million credit itself, and will
organize a syndicate for the other half.

The cost of Phase-1 is $3.2 billion, of which $2.3 billion will be spent
on the development of the Shah Deniz field and $900 million – on the
Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline. SOCAR needs $320 million to finance
its share in the project.

The first gas from the field should be produced in 2006. Recoverable
reserves at Shah Deniz amount to 625 billion cubic meters of gas and 101
million tonnes of gas condensate.

Phase-1 of the development of the field involves production of 178 bcm
of gas and 34 million tonnes of condensate. During the period of maximum
production in Phase-1 the field will produce 8.4 bcm of gas per annum
and 2 million tonnes of condensate. In total, at further stages of
development it is planned to produce about 16 bcm of gas per annum.

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%.

3.7. SHAH DENIZ EXPENDITURE $341 MLN IN Q1

Source: Interfax, April 15, 2004

Spending on the development of the Shah Deniz gas field in Azerbaijan in
the first quarter 2004 amounted to $341 million, David Woodward,
president of the project’s operator BP Azerbaijan, said at a press
conference in Baku on Wednesday.

He said that the company is continuing pre-drilling a third well and
will complete it in the third quarter this year. He also said that
construction of the upper module of the TPG-500 platform is continuing
in Singapore and has been 60% completed. Woodward said that in total the
company would spend $1.081 billion on the project in 2004.

In turn, BP Azerbaijan Vice President Rob Kelly said that 30% of the
work in Phase-1 has been completed. He said that the company plans to
start gas production on October 1,2006. He said that the third pre-
drilled well is a reserve and it will be used if there is a problem with
the other two.

Kelly said that construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline would
begin in the third quarter 2004. Pipe supplies are already underway, he
said.

The contract for the Shah Deniz field was signed in June 1996.
Shareholders in the project include also SOCAR – 10%, British Petroleum
– 25.5%, Norway’s Statoil – 25.5%, NICO – 10%, Total -10% and TPAO – 9%.

Recoverable reserves at Shah Deniz amount to 625 billion cubic meters of
gas and 101 million tonnes of gas condensate.

Phase-1 of the development of the field involves production of 178 bcm
of gas and 34 million tonnes of condensate. During the period of maximum
production in Phase-1 the field will produce 8.4 bcm of gas per annum
and 2 million tonnes of condensate. Gas will be produced from the
TPG-500 platform at 15 wells, with water depth of 105 meters.

In total, at further stages of development it is planned to produce
about 16 bcm of gas per annum.

Phase-1 also includes the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum
pipeline. The future pipeline will stretch 1,767 kilometers (443 km
through Azerbaijan, 248 km through Georgia and 1,076 km through Turkey).
The cost of Phase-1 is $3.2 billion, of which $2.3 billion will be spent
on the development of the Shah Deniz field and $900 million – on the
Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline.

3.8. NUMBER OF TOURISTS VISITING AZERBAIJAN DRAMATICALLY INCREASES

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

The number of tourists visiting Azerbaijan increased 10-fold over passed
two years, representative of the head department of the Ministry of
Youth, Sports and Tourism of Azerbaijan Khanoglan Gulaliyev said.

According to the State Stats Committee, the number of foreign citizens
who visited Azerbaijan in 2003 totaled 1 million 66 thousand 299 people.
Of them, 25 thousand 543 came on a traveler’s visa against officially
registered 2294 in 2002 of total 793 thousand 345.

However, these stats are based on travel agencies’ information. The
figure would massively increase if calculations were made in accordance
with World Tourism Organization’s standards.

`Entrepreneurs arriving in Azerbaijan on a business mission must be
registered in the section `business tourism’ as well as athletes must be
included into the `sport tourism”, added Khanoglan Gulaliyev.

3.9. TOURISM INFORMATION CENTER OPENS IN LAGIJ SETTLEMENT

Source: State Telegraph Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, AzerTag,
April 20, 2004

Ismayilli province is one of the regions of Azerbaijan having great
tourism potential. Lagij, ancient settlement with perfect flora and
fauna, is even now known for its picturesque landscapes and handicrafts.
Specialists wonder at underground duct whose age is still remains
unknown.

Lagij is picturesque and favorable land not only for domestic but also
foreign tourism. To this end, tourism information center was opened
there.

Rustam Samadov, Chief of the Youth, Sports and Tourism Department of
Ismayilli province stated that director was appointed to that office.

Information center will gather necessary data regarding tourism
possibilities in the province.

3.10. OSI-AF/AZERBAIJAN AND BP ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THAT THEY HAVE
SIGNED AN AGREEMENT

OSI-AF/Azerbaijan and BP are pleased to announce that they have signed
an agreement under which OSI-AF will co-ordinate monitoring of the BTC
pipeline construction by NGOs in Azerbaijan. For more information,
please find the press release below.

For Immediate Release
Contact:
Rovshan Bagirov: (99412) 986933, 412722

PRESS RELEASE

BAKU, April 22, 2004. OSI-AF and BP are pleased to announce that they
have signed an agreement under which OSI will co-ordinate monitoring of
the BTC pipeline construction by NGOs in Azerbaijan.

Under the agreement, which lasts until construction of the pipeline is
complete, OSI-AF will act as facilitator between the participating NGOs,
and as the principal liaison point between the NGOs and BP.

Over the coming weeks OSI-AF will work with the NGOs on themes,
timescale and processes for their monitoring activities. The NGOs taking
part in the monitoring will receive information about the pipeline
project and about BTC health, safety, and environmental and social
standards. External experts will provide them with training in
monitoring and evaluation techniques and report writing.

OSI-AF will contribute financially to the NGO monitoring activities,
while BP will pay for the training costs.

The monitoring process is aiming to increase public awareness about BTC
project development, about challenges and concerns raised during
construction period and also serve for the establishment of healthy
cooperation between all stakeholders to develop a good practice of civic
involvement.

3.11. OSCE OFFICE IN BAKU MARKS EARTH DAY

On April 22, 2004 a series of events and outdoor activities for
Azerbaijani children, aimed at teaching them to understand the global
environmental challenges and to be more responsible towards nature were
held throughout the country as part of a campaign dedicated to Earth
Day.

`It is the duty of the government and the people to make sure that the
land is preserved, the air is clean and the water is pure,” said
Ambassador Peter Burkhard, Head of the OSCE Office in Baku. “Our Office
is ready to provide assistance and support to ensure that Azerbaijan can
effectively address the environmental challenges it faces”.

Several non-governmental organizations, including Ecosphere, Gulum (My
flower) and Green Patrol, are leading a campaign, supported by the OSCE
Office in Baku, under the educational and awareness raising programmes
of the Aarhus Centre. Among the activities are seminars, opinion polls
on environmental awareness, cleanups of public parks and areas around
schools, as well as tree planting and water testing events.

Commenting on the results of the project, Firuza Sultanzadeh, Chair of
Ecosphere said: `Although Earth Day is celebrated once a year, we want
to encourage people to be more active in preserving the environment, and
making the world a better place to live. When people learn to care for
the Earth, we will have a healthier planet.’

Earth Day has been commemorated since 22 April 1970, when some 20
million people held peaceful demonstrations in cities across the United
States of America to draw attention to increasing environmental problems
in their neighborhoods and around the world.

For further information, please contact:

Ulvi Akhundlu
Media and Political Assistant
OSCE Office in Baku
4 Magomayev Lane 2nd floor Icheri Sheher
37004, Baku, Azerbaijan
Tel.: +994-12 97 23 73
Fax: +994-12 97 23 77
E-mail: [email protected]

3.12. ARCHEOLOGICAL RESEARCHES UNDERWAY ON BTC PIPELINE TERRITORIES

Source: State Telegraph Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, AzerTag,
April 21, 2004

In accordance with the plan of archeological researches on the
territories, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline lays, archeological digs
are carried out on the ancient settlement of Saidlar of Samukh region,
early March, AzerTAj correspondent learnt from the research officer of
the Institute of Archeology and ethnography of Azerbaijan National
Academy of Sciences, PhD of historical sciences Safar Ashurov. It was
ascertained that ancient parking refers to II- I B.C.

The archaeologist noted that Moslem graves have been also revealed with
adornments – gold ear- rings, about 400 beads as a result of digs
carried out in the environs of Gushgara River. The graves are
presupposed refers to VII-VI B.C.

3.13. BAKU-CEYHAN TO START PUMPING BY MID 2005

Source: The Messenger, April 23, 2004

According to the Ekho Baku, USD 2 billion has already been spent on the
project to construct the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. David
Woodward, President of BP Azerbaijan, stated that the first oil to be
shipped through BTC pipeline might take place in June next year.
According to him the process filling the pipeline is plannd to be
started only after the reception of the first oil from the oilfield
`Central Azeri’ (CA) and the conclusion of all technical works connected
to its delivery onto the shore.

It is also planed to transport mixed oil from CA as well as from the
staging platform `Chirag’. `We decided not to start the infill of BTC
before the reception of the first oil from `Chirag’, but as for the
launching of the oil plant at the Sangachal terminal we expect to use
the oil from `Chirag’ stated the president of BP Azerbaijan. Mr.
Woodward also said that costs on using the BTC will total more than USD
4 million per 24 hours. The building of the pipeline requires USD 2.95
billion and USD 3.6 billion is the entire cost of the project, including
the infill of the pipeline and the interest on loans used to finance the
construction.

`It is enough for the construction on the pipeline to be finished by the
end of the first quarter of next year,’ noted Mr. Woodward. He also said
that USD 1 billion from already received credits is being directed to
the return of extra investments deposited by stockholders. `This year we
held negotiations with our contractors and they decided to recruit
additional employees for this process and acquire equipment needed to
complete the construction of the pipeline schedule’, stated Mr.
Woodward.

Regarding concerns with the Georgian parliament, Mr. Woodward said, `In
the near future we intend to present a document in which our actions in
connection with the project will be fixed, and we think that this
information will be satisfactory for them and that there will be no
problems.’

A for Turkey, Mr. Woodward said that the Turkish Company BOTAS agreed to
open one more work site in Turkey near the Georgian boarder and to work
out an integrated plan in connection with the pump stations for
providing the timely completion of the project.

3.14. AZERBAIJAN HOPES FOR KFW CREDIT

Source: Interfax, April 26, 1004

Azerbaijan plans to sign an agreement with the German state bank
Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau (KfW) in the near future for a credit of
37 million euros to reconstruct water supply and drainage systems in the
city of Gyanji and Sheki.

“The German government has confirmed its readiness to finance the
project to reconstruct water supply and drainage systems in Gyanji and
Sheki. The credit agreement is ready and will be signed in the near
future,” Azerbaijani Economic Development Minister Farkhad Aliyev told
journalists.

The total cost of the two-year project will amount to 54 million euros,
of which the German bank will provide 37 million euros, the Swiss
organization SECO – 10 million euros and the Azerbaijani government – 7
million euros.

KfW and SECO will provide soft credits at 0.75% per annum.

4. NEWS FROM ARMENIA
4.1. `REDUCING DISASTER RISK. A CHALLENGE FOR DEVELOPMENT” GLOBAL REPORT
PRESENTED

Source: ArmenPress, April 1, 2004

The Emergency Management Agency of Armenia (EMA) and United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP) presented the “Reducing Disaster Risk; A
Challenge for Development” global report to the general public. Aram
Tananyan, Deputy Head of EMA and Lise Grande, UN Resident
Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative presided over the event. In the
framework of the event, Mr. Tananyan appealed to the donor community of
Armenia to support the Government’s efforts in minimizing the effects of
recent floods that occurred in a number of regions of Armenia. The
“Reducing Disaster Risk. A Challenge for Development” global report was
prepared by UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery and presented
worldwide. The report examined three major types of natural disasters:
earthquakes, tropical cyclones and floods within two decades between
1980 and 2000. According to the Report, billions of people in more that
100 countries are periodically exposed to at least on event of
earthquake, tropical cyclone, flood or drought. As a result of natural
disasters more than 184 deaths per day are recorded in different
countries.

The report also indicated that the achievement of the Millennium
Development Goals are endangered in many countries that are exposed to
natural disasters, because they destruct the infrastructure and cause
financial, social, economic and environmental shocks. According to Ms.
Grande: “Unfortunately, according to the report Armenia ranks second in
the world in terms of exposure to earthquakes. The recognition of this
fact shall lead us to consolidate our efforts to improve the national
capacity to cope with emergencies lie earthquake and to increase
country’s preparedness to confront all types of natural as well as
men-made disasters.”

Despite the relatively small territory (about 30,000 sq. km), Armenia’s
landscape is diverse. Armenia has different climatic zones on its
territory and is exposed to a great deal of natural disasters,
including: earthquakes, floods, landslides, hailstorms, and others. In
addition, Armenia is also exposed to a number of technological or
man-made disasters. The reason is existence of a nuclear power plant (in
a seismic active zone), as well as chemical and hazardous productions,
which are not necessarily well maintained.

4.2. KFW BANK TO GIVE 4.7M EUROS TO RECONSTRUCT OF ALAVERDI SUBSTATION

Source: ArmenPress, April 5, 2004

on April 5, 2004 Vartan Khachatrian, the minister finance and economy of
Armenian and Germany’s ambassador Hans Wulf-Bartels signed an agreement
by which the German KFW bank will allocate a 4.7 million euro credit for
reconstruction of a major power sub-station in the northern Armenian
town of Alaverdi to ensure a better transmission of Armenia-generated
electricity to neighboring Georgia.

A KFW representative in Armenia, Karapet Gevorkian, recalled that KFW
had already released loans for major reconstruction of two other major
sub-stations in Vanadzor and Kamo. The reconstruction of Alaverdi
sub-station will increase its reliability and capacities to allow an
uninterrupted transmission of electricity to Georgia and through it to
also other countries.

The project is part of a major program aimed to reform the power grid.
Unlike other previous two loans this one is given not to the government,
but to High Voltage Electricity Lines Company with the government
assuming to guarantee its return. The loan is given with two-year grace
period, for five years at 2 percent of annual interest rate. The amount
of German loans to Armenia since 1995 has amounted to 110 million euros.

4.3. ARMENIA TO SELL COPPER MINE BY END 2004

Source: Interfax, 15 Apr 2004

According to the information of Ashot Shakhnazarian, a first deputy
trade and economic development minister, Armenia plans to sell the
zangezur Copper-Molybdenum Combine by the end of this year.

A tender called in March has drawn interest from leading international
companies such as Rio Tinto, BHP and Glencore Interm, and Russia’s RusAl
and Norilsk Nickel.

Shakhnazarian said the deadline for submitting bids would be in
September. Although Armenia is offering up to 75% of the Zangezur
plant’s shares at the tender, the government will agree to sell all of
the stock to an investor that makes the right offer, he said.

The Zangezur combine is profitable, Shakhnazarian said. Last year, its
net profits topped $7 million.

The government expects to raise at least $130 million from the sale of
the shares and licenses to the Kadjaran field, which contains the big
molybdenum reserves. Shakhnazarian said he did not consider the price to
betoo high in view of current metal prices.

The government will require the Zangezur plantTs new owner to triple or
even quintuple output to 30 million-40 million tones of ore per year and
to implement new, more environmentally friendly mining technology.

Zangezur obtained 6,300 tones of molybdenum concentrate and 11,000 tones
of copper in copper concentrate from 8.1 million tones of ore in 2003.

4.4. YEREVAN MUNICIPALITY TO CRACK DOWN ON ILLEGAL CONSTRUCTION

Source: A1 Plus- News agency, April 19, 2004

On April 19, 2004 Yerevan’s Architect General Narek Sargssyan, speaking
at a news conference, said Ancient Rome, the restaurant complex built in
the center of Armenian capital, was illegal construction.

He said Yerevan’s municipality intended to impose fines on all illegal
constructions or destroy them.

Mr. Sargssyan says the government’s second building and House of
Artists’ Union and Sevan hotel construction is under way now. He also
said pedestrian subways would be built in Baghramyan Avenue soon.

4.5. ARMENIAN INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION UP 10.5% IN Q1

Source: Interfax, April 19, 2004

Industrial production in Armenia in the first quarter 2004 increased
10.5% year-on-year to 69.5 million dram, not including industrial
production in the electricity sector, Economic Development and Trade
Minister Ashot Shakhnazarian told journalists.

He said that the mining and diamond cutting industries accounted for the
largest share in industrial production in the reporting period.

The minister said that exports of industrial products from Armenia
increased 27% year-on-year to amount to 43.2 million dram in the first
quarter this year. The official exchange rate on April 16 was 558.16
dram to the dollar.

4.6. ARMENIAN PRESIDENT SAYS IRAN PIPELINE TO END ENERGY DEPENDENCY

Source: Mediamax news agency, April 20, 2004

On April 20, 2004 Robert Kocharyan the President of Armenia stated in
Yerevan that gas pipeline to link Iran and Armenia would only be used to
meet Armenia’s energy needs. “We do not discuss any other options with
the Iranian side,” Robert Kocharyan said in reply to a question about
the possible use of the pipeline for shipping gas to Europe.

Mediamax quoted Kocharyan as telling a news conference in Yerevan today
“the construction of the gas pipeline is very important as this will
make Armenia independent in terms of energy supplies”.

4.7. CANADIAN COMPANY INVESTS $10 MLN IN PROSPECTING OF GAS AND OIL

Source: Arminfo, April 23, 2004

The Canadian company Indusmiin Energy invests $10 mln in prospecting of
oil and gas in Armenia, Armenian Minister of Energy Armen Movsisyan said
at a press conference.

He said that a preliminary agreement on this has already been reached
with the Armenian Government, with the funds to be invested mainly in
prospecting of gas in Armavir region. The minister said that gas
reserves are not enough for industrial extraction; however, they are of
great importance for Armenia. Movsisyan said that Armenian President
Robert Kocharyan instructed that the whole energy potential of the
country be researched. As a result, Armenia proved to have rather great
potential of geothermal energy. At present, the Canadian company
continues this research and the exact volumes of oil and gas reserves of
Armenia can be determined in three months. “The preliminary indicators
are attractive enough,” the minister said.

He said that the prospecting on oil and gas were carried out yet in the
Soviet period, but they were not completed for lack of funds.

5. LEGAL NEWS
5.1. GOVERNMENTAL WORKING GROUP

On April 3, 2004 the Government of Georgia adopted Resolution N13 on the
establishment of Governmental Working Group to verify the status of
implementation of conditions specified in the environmental permit
issued for Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline project.

The Governmental Working Group has the following composition:

Mr. Zaal Lomtadze – Head of the Group, Deputy Minister, Ministry for the
Protection of Environment and Natural Resources;
Mr. Lado Kakhetelidze – Deputy Head of Division for the Protection of
Pipeline and other objects, Special State Protection Service of Georgia;

Mr. Vakhtang Lezhava – Deputy Minister, Ministry for Infrastructure and
Development;
Mr. Irakli Kelbakiani – Chief Projects’ Executive Manager, Georgian
International Oil Corporation;
Mr. Giorgi Chkheidze – Head of International Law Department, Ministry of
Justice of Georgia;
Mr. Alexandre Khetaguri – Deputy Minister, Ministry for Power Energy

According to the above Governmental Resolution the Governmental Working
Group should ensure participation of two relevant experts and one
representative of non-governmental organisations in its work.

State organs are requested to render required assistance to the Working
Group. The Working Group was to submit preliminary findings in a week’s
time.

5.2. UNITED NATIONS FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION ANNOUNCED A MAJOR
INTERNATIONAL INITIATIVE

Source:

On 28 April 2004 the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
announced a major international initiative to promote sustainable
agriculture and rural development ecologically fragile areas – mountain
regions. About 720 million people live in such regions covering more
than a fifth of the world’s land surface.
Mountains cover 22 per cent of the world’s land surface and provide a
home for 12 per cent of the world’s population. Of these 720 million
people 271 million, mostly rural, are vulnerable to food insecurity, and
around 135 million of them are chronically hungry. High levels of
malnutrition and hunger have much to do with the inaccessibility,
complexity and fragility of mountain environments, and the extent to
which mountain people are often marginalized.
The above-mentioned project formulated with the support of Switzerland
and the participation of governments, non-governmental and other
international organizations, follows an international conference on
Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in Mountain Regions held
in Adelboden, Switzerland, in 2002.
FAO announced that this project provides a unique opportunity for
stakeholders around the world to identify common priorities and develop
joint initiatives to achieve sustainable development. This project
represents an excellent opportunity for northern and southern countries
to tackle the challenges of sustainable livelihoods in mountain regions.

6. NGO NEWS
6.1. YOUTH SOCIAL PUBLIC ECOTOURISM ORGANIZATION NGO `PILIGRIM’

Press Release

Yuryi Valuev
Tel: 40 58 19
E-mail: [email protected]

Consultations with the public in order to discuss the environmental
priorities in the framework of the `Project of the urgent environmental
investment’

The project aimed to strengthen the structure of environmental
protection and strategy to carry out the dialogue between the third
sector and governmental organizations. The project is implemented to
realize the most urgent measures in the future determined in the
Azerbaijan National Environmental Action Plan.

In the framework of these activities will be held several regional
seminars and one final national consultative seminar. These works will
be doned by the consulting company Currie&Brown, on demand of the
Ministry of Environment of Azerbaijan, with the financial support oft eh
World Bank.

During these seminars will be organized broad consultations with the
representatives of the NGO sector and the governmental organizations in
order to introduce new strategy of environmental protection. Also will
be discussed issues of the involvement of the public in the dialogue
with the interested parties from the governmental organizations for
submitting the joint recommendations concerning the general content of
the monthly magazine `Environment and Natural Resources’ for improving
the relationship and exchange of information with the public.

Environmental NGOs of Baku are empowered to organize and realize these
seminars. They are already carrying out constructive dialogue with the
Ministry of Environment of Azerbaijan and between each other to solve
the environmental issues. Already is organized focus group that is
playing quite active role in the arraignments aiming to introduce this
constructive dialogue. The representatives of the following NGOs are
members of this focus group: A Gatway of Environmental Law «ECOLEX»,
`Ecosphere’ Social -Ecology Center, NGO `Human and Environment’,
Azerbaijan Demographers’ Association, Azerbaijan Society for the
Protection of Animals, NGO `Piligrim’, National Counsel of the Youth
Organizations of the Azerbaijan, Mountain Sport Club, Publishing house
`Aina’, Newspaper `Zerkalo’.

Goals and objectives of the focus group: preparation of the proposals on
the improvement of the environmental protection system, selection of the
optimal methods of public participation in the decision making process,
in the stakeholder disclosure process. The focus groups have already
determined regions where would be held consultations and seminars.

On April 24, 2004 was held first regional seminar in Kuba regional
resources educational center of the national NGO – Forum. On this
seminar were discussed proposals of the focus groups on the strategy of
dialogue between NGOs and governmental sector, recommendations on
structure and content of the magazine `Environment and Natural
Resources’. Also were discussed issues of poverty reduction and ways of
resolving this issue. The representatives of the public organizations of
Kuba and Kuba Region participated in the seminar and took their
contributed to the discussions. More than 30 representatives of the
governmental organizations took part in the seminar, public
organizations and municipal structures.

Representatives of the Kuba regional Committee of the Youth Sport and
Tourism, Regional Forestry Department of Kuba, Khachmaz Sub-Department
of the Ministry of Environment of Azerbaijan, `Nurlu Sabah’
organization, officials and the pupils of the educational oragiron of
Kuba, leaders of the school environmental communities of Afurdja and
Tengialti, representatives of mass media.

During the seminar among participants of the event were distributed
publication of the Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus (REC
Caucasus), including directory of the governmental organizations
managing environmental protection process in Azerbaijan, issues of the
newsletter `News from the REC Caucasus’. All these materials were
submitted by the informational center of the REC Caucasus in Azerbaijan.

In conclusion of the seminar were distributed checklists. The
participants of the seminar filled these checklists and in this way
expressed their attitude towards conducting the dialogue, achievement of
consensus in the preparation process of the decision-making. The seminar
was highlighted through the mass media and television of Kuba, as well
as by the journalists of `Zerkalo’.

The organizers of the seminar express their appreciations for the
support in this initiative to the executive authority of the Kuba region
A. Aliev, representative of the Regional Committee of Youth, Sport and
Tourism F. Orudjiev, Coordinator of the Kuba Regional resources
education center national NGO -Forum E. Heirulaev.

7. INTERNATIONAL NEWS
7.1. REGIONAL LAWMAKERS CALL AGAINST PRIVATIZATION OF FOREST LAND

Source: Information Agency RIA NOVOSTI, March 31, 2004

The Russian Council of Legislators, which unites the speakers of all of
the nation’s eighty-nine regional parliaments, has called upon the
executive branch of government to stop short of privatizing forestland.

At today’s session in Moscow, the Council of Legislators considered a
draft Forestry Code elaborated by the federal Economic Development &
Trade Ministry. Session participants welcomed as positive the document’s
provisions on market mechanisms for land and property management,
including lease, sublease, sale, and change in the original use of
forestland. On the other hand, many of the attendees, including the
speaker of the federal legislature’s upper house, Sergei Mironov,
pronounced themselves against the introduction of private ownership of
forestland. Doubtful of whether this measure will be able to solve the
problems of Russia’s forestry sector, the lawmakers recommended to the
Cabinet that it enhance government regulation of all forestlands in
Russian territory.

Some also criticized the draft Forest Code for not being up to the tasks
and goals of forestry legislation reform.

7.2. EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES LAW FORCING POLLUTING COMPANIES TO PAY
FOR CLEANUPS

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

The European Parliament gave its final approval on March 31, 2004 to a
compromise bill setting up new European Union-wide legislation to force
polluting companies to cover full costs of cleaning up the damage they
make to the environment.

The EU assembly, meeting in Strasbourg, France, approved the measure by
a show of hands. The 15 EU governments were expected to ratify the bill
in a few weeks.

EU governments and the parliament reached a compromise on new “polluter
pays” rules in February, reflecting government concerns that
too-stringent legislation could harm business.

In particular, EU nations wanted to avoid forcing industries to have
insurance against pollution risks. Under the compromise such guarantees
will be voluntary for at least six years, when the EU will again
consider a mandatory scheme.

The directive sets out rules holding polluters liable for damage they
cause to wildlife, natural habitats, water resources, and contamination
of land that threatens human health.

“EU governments will in future have to ensure either that environmental
damage is prevented or that the mess is soon cleaned up again,” the
parliament said.

The European Commission says there are some 300,000 polluted sites in
the EU Cleaning them up is expected to cost some US$129 billion.
However, the new law will not apply retroactively to cover past
environmental damage.

The legal norm across the EU now is that polluters are not liable for
the full costs of repairing the damage they do to water, soil, and
animal habitats.

EU nations will have three years to implement the new law

7.3. MEETING OF OECD ENVIRONMENT MINISTERS

Source: European ECO-Forum News Digest, N 81, April 2004

OECD environment ministers met on 20-21 April 2004 to assess their
progress in implementing the OECD Environmental Strategy for the First
Decade of the 21st Century, adopted in 2001.

The three key policy issues for discussion at the ministerial meeting
were: assessment and reporting; improving efficiency and effectiveness
of domestic policies; and partnerships.

Ministers discussed OECD’s role in implementing the Johannesburg Plan of
Implementation, the challenges facing environment ministers in the
context of policy integration, and how to overcome obstacles to reform
environmentally harmful subsidies.

The main conclusion of Environment Ministers meeting was that OECD
countries will not meet the environmental targets that they set for 2010
in the OECD Environmental Strategy unless they introduce more ambitious
policies supported by stronger political will. In particular, action is
needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, address the impact of climate
change, limit biodiversity loss, and allow economic growth without
seriously damaging the environment. Phasing out environmentally harmful
subsidies will be a priority, necessitating close co-operation between
Environment and other ministries.

The Ministers stressed the need for OECD countries to work in
partnerships with non-members to meet environmental challenges. The
Ministers endorsed a Statement outlining priorities for Further Work at
the OECD on Sustainable Development. Ministers also asked OECD to
produce a new Environmental Outlook.

More at:

8. NEW PUBLICATIONS
8.1. NEW BOOK SAYS FARMING IS BIGGEST GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL THREAT

Source: Environmental News Network, April 8, 2004

Inefficient farming practices are helping to drive deforestation,
pollution, ocean degradation and species loss, and constitute the most
serious environmental threat in the world today, according to a new
global survey by Dr. Jason Clay, head of the Center for Conservation
Innovation at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and noted expert on the
economics of agriculture.

Agriculture is the world’s largest industry, employing some 1.3 billion
people and producing about $1.3 trillion worth of goods annually. But in
World Agriculture and the Environment, Clay also finds that agriculture
contributes to serious environmental, social and economic problems,
particularly in developing countries.

Offering detailed analysis of the issues and practices of some of the
world’s biggest crops, from coffee and orange juice to cocoa and
tobacco, Clay finds that agriculture uses more than 50 percent of the
habitable area of the planet, including land that should not be farmed,
and destroys some 100,000 square miles of forests and other critical
species habitat annually.

Among the findings in Clay’s book: Agriculture wastes 60 per cent, or
1,500 trillion liters, of the 2.5 trillion liters of water that it uses
each year. Water resources are already being used close to or beyond
their limit, particularly in the Americas, North Africa, the Arabian
Peninsula, China, and India. The impacts of global warming are likely to
further disrupt water supplies.

The book warns that government subsidies encourage intensive monoculture
farming practices that use chemicals and heavy machinery that harm the
environment. “U.S. farmers are on a treadmill: the more subsidies they
receive, the more they need them to remain competitive globally,” said
Clay.

For further information: -Martha Wilson, WWF-US Communications,
[email protected], Tel. (202) 778-9517 -To review copies of World
Agriculture and the Environment, published by Island Press (April 14
April 2004), contact Taryn Roeder, Senior Publicist, Island Press, Tel.
(202) 232-7933 (ext. 20), [email protected]

The book is available at , or through online
or local booksellers.

8.2. NEW BOOK: INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES IN ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION

INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES IN ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
Edited by Walter Leal Filho (Hamburg) & Michael
Littledyke (Gloucester)
Peter Lang Scientific Publishers, Bern, Brussels,
Frankfurt, New York, Oxford, Vienna
Volume 16 of the series `Environmental Education,
Communication and Sustainability’
ISBN: 3-631-52296-7 – US ISBN: 0-8204-6583-6,
Paperback, 340pp. , 49.80 / US$ 55.95
On-line orders from: or from:
E-mail: [email protected]

This book is one of the outcomes of the First World Environmental
Education Congress (FWEEC) held in Espinho, Portugal on 20-24 May 2003.
FWEEC gathered 282 participants from 38 countries, offering an
international platform for educators, scientists, researchers, scholars,
politicians, technicians, activists, media and teachers to present and
debate key issues in environmental education worldwide. It includes many
of the papers delivered in the Congress and a few additional ones, in an
attempt to both document international experiences and promote them to a
wide audience. The scope of this publication is comprehensive and it
approaches a wide range of issues such as:

§ Environmental education through interactive means
§ Environmental education and fieldwork
§ Environmental education in formal education
§ Environmental education and information technologies
§ Environmental education in waste management
§ Environmental education and partnerships
§ Environmental education and fauna awareness
§ Environmental education society and conservation units
§ Environmental education in higher education
§ Environmental education and citizenship
§ Environmental education and adult education
§ Environmental education and teacher education
§ Environmental education and Agenda 21

9. CALENDAR (INTERNATIONAL)
9.1. UPDATE ON THE ROUND-TABLE BETWEEN MINISTERS AND NGOs IN
BUDAPEST-2004

Source: European ECO-Forum News Digest, N 81, April 2004

The Round-table between Ministers and NGOs with speakers from civil
society will take place on 24 June 2004, at the second day of the Fourth
Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health (Budapest-2004). The
Round-table runs under general title “Implementation of CEHAPE’s
Regional Priority Goals: effective policies, practical tools and
functioning alliances to protect our children’s health”.

European ECO-Forum and European Public Health Alliance organize the
Round-table in cooperation with the Healthy Planet Steering Committee
and the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe. The
overall duration is 1 hour 45 minutes.

The general objectives of the Round-table are:

§ an informal and frank discussion between health and environment
organizations and Ministers, with participation of trade unions, local
authorities, youth and women’s organizations and business, about the
challenges related to efficient implementation of CEHAPE by looking at
the Regional Priority Goals;
§ discuss good examples of health and environmental policy development,
tools for implementation and cooperation models in the pan-European
region, review their potential benefits and consider ways to promote
them;
§ -clarify the roles of governments and mayor groups and their
complementarity.

The session will not negotiate a common declaration.

The Round Table will consist of an introduction (by youth) and two panel
discussion sessions as follows:

Session I: Reducing chemicals in society and cleaner water to promote
child health (Regional Priority Goals 4 and 1)

Session II: Cleaner air and reducing accident risks for improving child
health (Regional Priority Goals 2 and 3)

Facilitator and co-chairs:

Facilitator: Jan Pronk, Former Environment Minister of the Netherlands
and special advisor of Kofi Annan for the WSSD, has agreed to chair the
session, with support of two co-chairs: from European ECO-Forum and
European Public Health Alliance.

Keynote introductions:

For each of the two sessions, a citizen’s NGO has been asked to kick-off
the debate with an introductory presentation on best practice.

Panel Participants:

Participants in the roundtable discussion will be health ministers and
environment ministers, citizen’s organizations, academia, trade unions,
local authorities, as well as experts from other civil society groups
invited by the ECO-Forum and EPHA. The facilitator and chairs will ask
panel participants to respond to the speakers, highlighting relevant
experience on what works and does not work within their country/region.
At the end of each session, young people will ask questions from the
floor. The facilitator and co-chairs will summarize after each session.

For more information and programme of the Round-table contact:

Genon Jensen
European Public Health Alliance
E-mail: [email protected]
Sascha Gabizon
Coordinator of Environment & Health Issue Group of European ECO-Forum
E-mail: [email protected]


*******************************************
CENN INFO
Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN)

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

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