Embassy in DC Hosts Presentation on Armenian Science and Lake Sevan

July 9, 2004
Embassy of the Republic of Armenia
2225 R Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20008
Tel: 202-319-1976, x. 348; Fax: 202-319-2982
Email: [email protected]

Embassy of Armenia Hosts Presentation on Armenian Science and Lake Sevan

On July 7, 2004, the Embassy of Armenia hosted members of the Federal Water
Quality Association and the Greater Metropolitan Washington Area Section of
the Armenian Engineers and Scientists of America for a presentation on
Armenian science and environmental issues. Dr. Arman Kirakossian, Armenian
Ambassador to the U.S., delivered the keynote address, entitled “The State
of the Science in Armenia, with a View Toward the Water Environment of Lake
Sevan,” to an audience of some 60 experts, researchers, and officials from
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture, Nuclear
Regulatory Commission, Civilian Research & Development Foundation, and other
public and private entities.

In his presentation and the Q&A that followed, Ambassador Kirakossian
presented the modern state of scientific infrastructure, policies, and
directions in Armenia. He described the many challenges facing the Armenian
scientists today, such as drastic decrease in government funding, greater
need for commercial viability and involvement of the private sector in
directing and funding R&D, and curtailing the so-called ‘brain-drain.’
Despite these challenges, the Armenian scientists continue to make progress
in many areas of fundamental and applied science due to perseverance and
support from their foreign colleagues and international donors, the
Ambassador noted. He also presented the government’s plans to strengthen
science and education sectors.

Turning to Lake Sevan, Ambassador Kirakossian described the severity of the
man-made ecological problems in Lake Sevan during the twentieth century,
caused by extensive irrigation and hydropower usage. The resulting 18-meter
drop in water level and disruption of water balance in the lake was a good
example of Soviet era environmental damage, he added. The Ambassador then
noted the current positive trends in Lake Sevan ecology, but stressed the
need for continuing attention for and greater international cooperation to
preserve the unique environment of Lake Sevan.