CENN Daily Digest – 05/05/2004

Table of Contents:
1. BTC Progress Report
2. Expo Touts Tourism
3. Positive/Negatives: The Unity of Film Exhibit At Forest Lawn
4. Warning: Poisonous Coffee
5. UAF’s 128th Airlift Delivers $3.3 Million of Aid to Armenia
6. Yerevan Zoo Opens to Visitors
7. Margarian Meets FESB Delegation
8. IMF Completes 5th Review Under PRGF for Armenia…
9. A Warning for the World Bank
10. IUCN Suggest Measures for Sustainable Water Supplies at CSD
11. EIA Report on the Project of the Plant for Extraction the
Sand-Gravel (along the Tbilisi-Rustavi Highway, by the side of the Right
Bank of the River Mtkvari) and Producing form this material Construction
12. The Ministry of Environment of Georgia Announces Contest


Source: The Messenger, My 5, 2004

The conflict between the central government an Adjaran authorities has
no `direct impact’ on the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline
construction and BP activities in Georgia, report senior company
officials. In their latest assessment of the project, the company
representatives also state they are satisfied with all aspects of the
BTC project, including human rights and labor practices.

In the wake of the destruction of bridges along the Adjaran border and
the halt of rail transportation, Director General of the BTC Co., Ed
Johnson, says that the company will continue to strictly follow all
security measures, but optimistically added `we are all set.’

“The government said it will try to find a peaceful resolution for the
Adjaran conflict and we support this:’ said Johnson, who is also the
General Manager of BP Georgia, during a roundtable meeting with
journalists on Tuesday. Johnson claims that the company has already
taken all pipes from the Batumi Port needed for the BTC project. “There
will be no disruption on the construction of the BTC pipeline due to the
latest events:’ he said. As for shipping oil through Batumi, the company
says only “a very small portion of BP oil is traded through Batumi

According to BP, the construction of the Baku- Tbilisi-Erzerum natural
gas pipeline would be their largest project that foresees using the
Batumi port. But Johnson says they already have contingency plans: if
they cannot ship pipes for gas pipeline through the Batumi Port, they
will utilize facilities in Poti instead. As for the USD 3 billion BTC
project, Johnson says that construction on the Georgian section of the
pipeline will speed up after weather improves and snow in the high
mountains starts melting. “You can see major progress in the
construction of pump stations in Tetritskharo and Gardabani – you can
see the actual buildings being constructed:’ says Johnson.

CEO of the BTC Co. Michael Townshend also notes good progress in the
construction of the Sanchagal Oil Terminal. “BTC construction works are
over 60 percent complete:’ said Townshend during the same roundtable on
Tuesday. Right now there are activities in over 17 construction sites
along the BTC route.

According to the BTC Co., over USD 4 million is spend towards the
project every day, ‘the same number as last year.’ During the first
quarter of 2004, the BTC project spent USD 424 million of the USD 1.371
billion planned expenditures for 2004. Today the project employs over
14.000 people in three countries; including about 4.000 in Georgia the
majority of them are Georgian citizens.

The company reports that pipe laying and construction of pump stations
are progressing according to schedule in Georgia. Of the total 249 km of
the pipeline in Georgia, about 171 km of the route has been already

But, according to Johnson currently the company is not only working on
construction issues. `We have already began recruiting a staff that will
operate the pipeline when it is constructed,’ he says. Mr. Johnson adds
that the company has already sent its `Oil Response Plan’ to the
government that details its emergency procedures in the event of an oil

As he explains, the government itself must organize patrolling and
securing the pipeline, so that `there will be no influence of a third
party.’ if an oil spill happens, which the company thinks is an unlikely
event the company must deal with the consequences as soon as possible.
`If it happens, we will first think about who is guilty,’ says Mr.

But oil is not online item on the company `s agenda and Mr. Johnson says
the company plans to work on the construction of a waste management
plans and we have to create them ourselves,’ he adds. According to Mr.
Johnson waste management is one of the top of the priorities for the

Asked about some villages who claim BP took their land without giving
compensation, the director general defended the land compensation
processes `very transparent,’ even in the wake of the continuous
protests. According to BP, the population must be better informed about
BTC. As a result, the company is creating special information centers in
the regions. Mr. Johnson adds, `Our pipeline is the most sophisticated

Questioned about the recent appeal of Rustavi residents to the IFC, Mr.
Johnson attributed it to a misunderstanding. In March, Rustavi residents
sent a letter to the IFC saying that the pipeline comes too close to
their houses. As Mr. Johnson said, `This issue has been already
addressed. We explained the issue to Rustavi administration.’

Mr. Johnson says that residents followed the `Soviet security code’, in
saying the pipeline could not pass close to residential areas. According
to Mr. Johnson, with the existing technologies and small diameter pipes,
pipelines can be closer; the BTC pipe in Georgia is 46 inches in

One other hot topic in Georgia has been labor policy and Mr. Townshend
claims that the human rights of the workers along the BTC route are
fully protected. NGOs and even Georgian Union of Workers have repeatedly
claimed that Georgian workers of BTC get small salaries and are not
provided with elementary working conditions. Mr. Townshend says some
`minor’ problems concerning salaries existed, but cites an international
study when saying, `all workers are treated with respect.’


Source: The Messenger, My 5, 2004

ExpoGeorgia hosted the Sixth International Tourism Fair of the Silk Road
Countries on April 29 – May 1, 2003. Companies based out of Russia,
Greece, Turkey, Austria, United States, Italy, Germany, Armenia, Iran
and others were on display along side local companies. `The entire
tourism potential of the Caucasus region was presented during the
exhibition,’ says Chairmen of ExpoGeorgia Co., Kakha Gvelesiani.
Specoial dislaus featured Georgian regions including Kakheti, Imereti,
Guria, Mtskheta-Mtianeti, and Racha-Lechkhumi. The Borjomi resorts and
Kolkheti National Park were also featured at the fair. Among the future
exhibitions ExpoGeorgia will host this year are Caucasus Build, the 9th
International Fair for Construction, Renovation, Furnishing and Design
on Amy 25-28; the 5th International Agro+Food+Drink+Tech Expo on June
10-13; and TrnasCommCaucasus, the 2nd International Transport and
Logistics Exhibition, on October 26-29.


Source: Business Wire, May 3, 2004

An exciting new exhibit at the Forest Lawn Museum explores the art of
photography through the lenses of seven unique photographers. Their
photography ranges from landscapes and those living on skid row to
obsolete film equipment and much more.

A VIP and media reception with the photographers will take place May 6th
at 6:00 p.m. at the Forest Lawn Museum at 1712 S. Glendale Avenue in

Throughout the duration of the exhibit, special activities will take
place, including:

May 9: Mother’s Day: Create a Keepsake for Mom – Kids can make a
beautiful sun catcher craft for mom! From 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

May 16: Meet the Artist: Jacob Demirdjian – Jacob will lead a
question-and-answer session about his work and its significance to the
Armenian community. From 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

May 23 and 30: Photography Workshop with Kevin Tidmore for Adults and
Children – Join Kevin for a photography workshop. Participants will be
given a single-use camera to take their own shots. Participants will
then be able to return on May 30 to have Kevin discuss the results. From
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

June 6: Ronald Dietel: Landscape Photography – From Large Format to
Digital (adults and children) – Bring your digital camera to a hands-on
workshop, which traces the evolution of the camera and its influence on
California history. Led by photographer Ron Dietel, participants will
have an opportunity to view Dietel’s large-format photography, currently
on display, followed by an opportunity to enhance their own photography
skills. From 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

June 19: Father’s Day Activity: Make a Memory for Dad Children can make
a unique and special mosaic tile frame for Dad’s big day. From 1:00 p.m.
– 3:00 p.m.

June 27: Meet the Artist: William Ortiz – Meet William and hear about
photographic manipulation as art. From 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

July 18: Photojournalism – Meet Patrick Liotta, whose photographs are
currently on display, and join him for a discussion on photojournalism
as both art and presentation of fact. From 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

July 25: Meet the Artist: Vince Gonzales – Join Vince as he talks about
his photographic inspirations. From 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

July 31: Meditative Art: Art in a Yantra Style with Kelly Mason – Yantra
means mantra except in image not word. In this demonstration, Kelly will
use repetitive imagery to help the viewer see beyond the obvious core
presence to benefit their entire being physically, emotionally and
spiritually. From 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

WHEN: Reception, May 6th at 6:00 p.m., Forest Lawn Museum, Glendale
Opening Day, May 8th, from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Daily through August
1st, from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

WHERE: Forest Lawn Museum
Forest Lawn-Glendale
1712 S. Glendale Ave.
Glendale, CA 91205

COST: Free

INFO: 1-800-204-3131

WHO: All art enthusiasts

INFORMATION: “Positive/Negatives: The Unity of Film” is an exhibit that
explores the art of photography through a collection of works by seven
photographers of varying ethnic backgrounds — Armenian, African
American, Latino, South American, and Caucasian — whose photography
will be the featured exhibit at The Forest Lawn Museum in Forest
Lawn-Glendale from May 8th through August 1st. The photography
represented in the exhibit ranges from landscapes to people living on
skid row to obsolete film equipment and more, and adds to the
distinctive vision of the photographers.

“Positive/Negatives: The Unity of Film” is part of the Forest Lawn
Museum’s presentation of events which are designed to bring a diverse
mix of community, cultural, and historic art and artists to the greater
Los Angeles community. The exhibit is open to the public at no charge
seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m.

The following photographers’ work will be included in the exhibit: Jacob
Demirdjian, Kevin Tidmore, Ronald J. Dietel, William Ortiz, Patrick
Liotta, Vince Gonzales, and Kelly Mason.


Source: A1 Plus, May 3, 2 004

After careful examination of coffee abundant in Armenian market, PR
Association reported the most popular kinds of ground coffee, especially
those containing prizes in packs to attract consumers, such as Fero,
Cardinal, Premier, Maxwell and Super Argo, have poisonous elements –
cadmium and copper – in their composition.

Professor Ojugaryan said at todays news conference cadmium amount
exceeded the allowed norm 10-15 %. In his words, cadmium is reckoned
among the first-degree-risk metals and lead to cancer, infertility toxic
disorders etc.

Experts found also great amount of starch, pea and other legumes in


1101 N. Pacific Avenue # 301
Glendale, CA 91202
Tel: 818.241.8900
Fax: 818.241.6900

For Immediate Release
3 May 2004
Contact: 818.241.8900

Glendale, CA – The United Armenian Fund’s 128th airlift arrived in
Yerevan on May 1, 2004 delivering $3.3 million of humanitarian

The UAF itself collected $2.9 million of medicines and medical supplies
for this flight, most of which were donated by the Catholic Medical
Mission Board ($2.5 million); Health Partners ($150,000); MAP
International ($108,000); and AmeriCares ($103,000).

Other organizations, which contributed goods for this airlift, were: Dr.
Stephen Kashian of Illinois ($57,000); Armenian Canadian Medical
Association ($52,000); Dr. Viken Garabedian of California ($52,000);
Chene France ($39,000); and Shoebox Sharing ($31,000).

Also contributing to this airlift were: Armenian General Benevolent
Union ($17,000); Harut Chantikian of New Jersey ($15,000); Armenian
Eyecare Project ($14,000); Prof. Ernst Leumann of Switzerland ($13,000);
and U.S. Department of Agriculture ($12,000).

Since its inception in 1989, the UAF has sent $383 million of
humanitarian assistance to Armenia on board 128 airlifts and 1,043 sea

The UAF is the collective effort of the Armenian Assembly of America,
the Armenian General Benevolent Union, the Armenian Missionary
Association of America, the Armenian Relief Society, the Diocese of the
Armenian Church of America, the Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church
of America and the Lincy Foundation.

For more information, contact the UAF office at 1101 North Pacific
Suite 301, Glendale, CA 91202 or call (818) 241-8900.


Source: ArmenPress, May 3, 2004

Yerevan Zoo opened its doors to visitors on May 1, 2004 according to
tradition. Yerevan deputy mayor Arman Sahakian was present at the
opening ceremony, saying that animals are taken care of with the help of
70 million drams allocations from the state budget, municipality funds
and sponsors. Only Grand Candy provides 200,000 drams monthly for
feeding the elephant. The felines are sponsored by Multi Group.

The head of the zoo, Sahak Abovian, said they would have some new
animals this year, which will be brought from Kiev, Nikolaev and
Kaliningrad zoos. He also said that talks are held with Indian
government and it is expected that a new elephant will come in the
running year. Talking on problems of the zoo, S. Abovian said that it is
necessary to enlarge the open-air-cages of the felines, which are in a
miserable state. “If other zoos are trying to create green zones, this
zoo is naturally in a green area. Funds are needed only to renovate the
area. There is 2300 animal of 190-200 species in the zoo now. The zoo
head said all of them are in proper hygienic conditions.

The entrance is free for children up to 3, for children 3-12 it is 100
drams and for adults – 150 drams. There are no such low fees in the zoos
of other countries and the zoo is not going to rise them soon, S.
Abovian said. He also noted that about 120,000 people visited the zoo
last year bringing 10 million drams. Most of the visitors, about 70
percent, visit it in May – June, according to zoo head.


Source: ArmenPress, April 28, 2004

Armenian Prime Minister Andranik Margarian received today a delegation
of the Federation of European Biochemistry Societies (FEBS), led by
Professor Guy Dirheimer. Welcoming members of the delegation, Margarian
said he was pleased to see prominent scientists representing different
countries to have come to Armenia to explore ways for assisting its
biochemistry’s development. Margarian thanked FEBS for its assistance to
several Armenian research institutes and helping the Armenian
Association of Biochemists to become FEBS member.

Margarian was also quoted by government’s press office as saying that he
expects FEBS’s to identify most perspective achievements of Armenian
biochemists and outline ways for attracting European funds to support
new studies.

Founded in 1964, the Federation of Biochemical Societies is one of the
largest organizations in European life sciences, with nearly 40.000
members distributed among 36 Constituent Societies and 5 Associated
Member Societies throughout Europe seeking to promote, encourage and
support biochemistry, molecular cell biology and molecular biophysics
throughout Europe in a variety of different ways through funding
advanced courses, providing various types of fellowships, publishing
primary research through their publications, facilitating the exchange
of information and awarding prizes and medals in recognition of
scientific distinction.


Source: noticias.info (press release), Spain, May 4, 2004

IMF Completes Fifth Review Under PRGF for the Republic of Armenia,
Approves Request for Extension of the Arrangement Through December 2004.

On May 4, 2004 the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund
(IMF) today completed the fifth review of the Republic of Armenia’s
economic performance under a three-year Poverty Reduction and Growth
Facility (PRGF) arrangement, and approved a request for the extension of
the arrangement by seven months to December 31, 2004. The completion of
the review enables Armenia to draw an amount equivalent to SDR 10
million (about US$15 million).

Armenia’s PRGF arrangement for the equivalent of SDR 69 million (about
US$100 million) was approved on May 21, 2001 (see Press Release No.
01/25). So far, the equivalent of SDR 50 million (about US$73 million)
have been disbursed.

The PRGF is the IMF’s concessional facility for low-income countries.
PRGF-supported programs are based on country-owned poverty reduction
strategies adopted in a participatory process involving civil society
and development partners, and articulated in a Poverty Reduction
Strategy Paper, or PRSP. This is intended to ensure that each
PRGF-supported program is consistent with a comprehensive framework for
macroeconomic, structural, and social policies, to foster growth and
reduce poverty. PRGF loans carry an annual interest rate of 0.5 percent,
and are repayable over 10 years with a 5 ½-year grace period on
principal payments.

Following the Executive Board discussion, Agustín Carstens, Deputy
Managing Director and Acting Chair, said: “The Armenian authorities
should be commended for the satisfactory implementation of macroeconomic
policies and structural measures under the PRGF-supported program. These
policies have contributed to an improved business environment and a
strong economic performance in 2003.

“Raising revenues and reforming tax and customs administration remain
critical objectives in the period immediately ahead. The recent
reduction in VAT exemptions and reform of the profit tax are welcomed
steps in this regard, but further efforts are needed to improve the tax
system and generate resources for poverty reduction. In particular, it
will be important to improve the transparency of tax and customs
operations, ensure the equal treatment of taxpayers, and implement
risk-based audit systems. Additional steps are needed in the medium term
to strengthen the overall coherence of the tax system and the management
of the tax and customs agencies.

“Recent increases in bread and utility prices pose the risk of
rekindling inflationary expectations, and the central bank will need to
maintain a tight monetary policy to bring inflation down to its goal of
3 percent by end-2004. To further develop Armenia’s financial system, it
will be important to build capacity and promote sound corporate
governance in the banking system, and strengthen the legal framework and
the judiciary.

“The recent process of fiscal decentralization has the potential to
improve the quality and efficiency of services delivered by state-owned
noncommercial organizations in the health, water, and education sectors.
Complementary capacity building initiatives and a properly functioning
reporting framework remain essential to ensure transparency and
accountability in the operations of these entities.

“Other structural reforms will be important to sustain growth and reduce
poverty in the medium term. The anti-corruption strategy needs to be
implemented forcefully and in consultation with civil society. The
authorities are encouraged to move forward with their plans to reform
the energy and water sectors, including establishing market rules for
electricity trading, and liquidating the state-owned company Armenergo,”
Mr. Carstens said.

Public Affairs: 202-623-7300 – Fax: 202-623-6278
Media Relations: 202-623-7100 – Fax: 202-623-6772


Source: Financial Times, May 3, 2004

How do you translate a country’s mineral and oil wealth into economic
wealth, in a way that reduces poverty, protects the environment and
upholds social stability? This is a critical, complex question faced by
resource-rich countries across the developing world. Currently before
the World Bank Group are the conclusions of a review of its involvement
in the extractive sector conducted by Emil Salim, a former Indonesian
environment minister. I was on an advisory panel to Dr. Salim while he
was preparing his report. However, his final recommendations – which the
bank is considering – concern me deeply. Though laudable in their aims,
and praised by activist groups, some of them could harm the very
countries they seek to help.

Resource wealth can be a blessing or curse, depending on how it is used.
Some nations have seen revenues from oil and mining projects squandered
through corruption or used to fund conflict. Other problems have also
been evident: for example, communities have sometimes received too small
a share of the economic benefits from projects, thus exacerbating social

On the other hand, some countries have clearly succeeded in using their
mineral wealth to help drive economic and social development – among
them Chile, Botswana, South Africa and Malaysia (as once did America and
Britain). For countries that are still mired in poverty and have few
other economic opportunities, developing their natural resources may
present their only realistic hope for participation in the global

Dr Salim’s report contains much to applaud. It rightly focuses
attention, for example, on upholding human rights, and on the need for
transparency. Nor is this a call on my part for less pressure on
companies to behave responsibly. My concern is that Dr Salim’s
recommendations would limit the World Bank’s ability to leverage higher
standards and thereby help countries translate their resources into a

While in principle supporting the bank’s continued participation in the
sector, the report proposes various restrictions that together would
limit its involvement in mining and oil projects, whatever their
characteristics. For example, it recommends supporting projects in a
country only after comprehensive governance criteria are met.
Encouraging better governance is clearly important. But constraining the
bank’s involvement before standards are met could mean that the poorest
countries find it more difficult to take the first steps towards
exploiting their natural resources effectively and thereby starting on a
path towards poverty reduction and better standards of governance.

Meanwhile, those countries that can attract sufficient private
investment to exploit their minerals and oil without the bank’s
assistance will do so – and the bank will be less able to influence
governments and companies to develop these resources in the right way.

Importantly, the bank has its own social and environmental “safeguard”
policies applied to projects. In certain cases these policies may need

Nonetheless – as noted by the International Council on Mining and
Metals, an industry association established to promote good practice in
the mining sector – the current policies already help set standards for
private investors. The bank’s continued involvement in projects is thus
important for improving performance across the board.

The report’s proposals that the bank phase out investments in oil by
2008 and immediately avoid new coal developments are flawed for similar
reasons. Those least developed countries that depend on the bank’s
assistance to develop their coal or oil as well as shape their overall
energy policies may have to forgo important economic opportunities.
Meanwhile, other countries will continue to exploit their coal and oil
through private investment – but with the bank exerting less influence
on standards. In this and other areas, the consultation process
underlying the report I believe paid insufficient attention to the views
of governments, particularly of developing countries.

Another potentially counter-productive proposal is that extractive
projects should require the “free prior and informed consent” of local
communities. Without doubt, the rights of local and indigenous peoples
need to be carefully protected. But requiring that all elements of a
community are able to show benefit raises the bar to a level that, if
observed in developed countries, would mean no road or major development
would ever happen. Wholly accountable governments may thereby be
prevented from undertaking projects key to their national development.

In short, driven by the laudable desire to ensure that the bank supports
only projects guaranteed to have positive impact, the report’s
recommendations could actually limit its ability to help countries
exploit their natural resources successfully and responsibly. As the
bank mulls its final response to the report, it should keep in mind:
this is too important an issue for an unthinking response.

Soren Ambrose
New Voices on Globalization /
50 Years Is Enough Network
3628 12th St., N.E.
Washington, DC 20017 USA
office: +1-202-636-6097
mobile: +1-202-285-5836
[email protected]


Source: IUCN, April 30, 2004

IUCN suggested practical tools to ensure sustainable supplies of water
and freshwater biodiversity products to the poor in its address to the
Ministers attending the 12th session of the Commission on Sustainable
Development yesterday. `We need to include ecosystem functions in our
development decisions if we are to secure supplies of clean water and
safeguard those livelihoods dependent on freshwater biodiversity
products’, said Dr. Ger Bergkamp in the statement. His address put
particular emphasis on the implementation of environmental flows to
maintain river health, and on the development of innovative financing
mechanisms to pay for ecosystem services. `Those who manage forests to
control erosion, or restore wetlands to reduce flood peaks and improve
water quality, need to receive rewards’, he said.


`Sakartvelos Respublica’ (`Republic of Georgia’), May 4, 2004

In accordance with the Georgian legislation, Entrepreneur Paata
Tandiashvili submitted EIA report to the Ministry of Environment of
Georgia to obtain an environmental permit for the activity of second
category – Project on the Plant for Extraction the Sand-Gravel (along
the Tbilisi-Rustavi Highway, by the side of the Right Bank of the River
Mtkvari) and Producing form this material Construction materials

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 June 17, 2003.

Public hearing will be held on June 17, 2003 at 12:00, at the conference
hall of the Ministry of Environment.


`Sakartvelos Respublica’ (`Republic of Georgia’), May 3, 2004

The Ministry of Environment of Georgia announces contest on granting the
licenses for exploitation of the low carbonated water well for
extracting water for the technical purposes in Tbilisi.

The licenses will be granted for 20 year.

Deadline for submitting the documents May 15, 2004.

For the more detailed information please contact: 995 32 25 31 53/54/56

The Ministry of Environment of Georgia announces contest on granting the
licenses for exploitation the mineral deposit for extracting the spring
water of Mukhran-Teleti in Gardabani Region.

The licenses will be granted for 20 year.

Deadline for submitting the documents May 15, 2004.

For the more detailed information please contact: 995 32 25 31 53/54/56

Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN)

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