Armenian Embassy hosts presentation on Armenian science & Lake Sevan

Armen Press
July 12 2004


YEREVAN, JULY 12, ARMENPRESS: The Armenian foreign affairs
ministry said that on July 7, 2004, the Embassy of Armenia in the USA
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. Arman Kirakosian, 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
Kirakosian 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 Kirakosian 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.