Caucasus Environmental NGO Network
71 Electronic Bulletin:
Caucasus Environmental News
Dear Colleagues! Dear Reader (DR)!
Welcome to the August issue of the Caucasus Environmental News
electronic bulletin prepared by participants of the Caucasus
Environmental NGO Network (CENN).
You are welcomed to share with us your opinions about the CENN bulletin.
If you have any comments or questions, we will be happy to consider and
Thank you in advance for your assistance and cooperation.
Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN) and the production of our
electronic bulletin – Caucasus Environmental News have been funded by
the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
We are happy to inform you that current number of CENN members
constitutes of 7120!
Thanks for your interest in CENN!
VISIT CENN WEB SITE:
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.1. Request for Proposals (RFP) Caucasus Regional Biodiversity Project
Theme of the Environmental Investment Programme
1.2. Sustainable development and the environmental security
2. Job, Internship and Study Opportunities
2.1. REC Caucasus Internship Programme
2.2. Ambassador Scholarship Program for Undergraduate International
3. News from Georgia
3.1. BP’s pipeline to nowhere: Georgia halts oil giant’s £2.4bn project
3.2. Georgia interested in gas via Iran-Armenia pipeline
3.3. Construction halts temporarily
3.4. Environmental concerns halt BTC
3.5. BTC responds to suspension
3.6. Georgia tells BP Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline will be ready in
3.7. BP awards contracts for environmental investment program along the
BTC pipeline route
3.8. BP Chief, Georgian president discuss BTC
3.9. Tetritskaro district Gamgeoba funds Social Service Network Program
3.10. Agricultural activities in village Khaishi
3.11. Georgia: Pipeline protesters demand compensation
3.12. BTC construction in Borjomi gorge may restart Wednesday
3.13. BP receives permission to restart construction in Borjomi gorge
3.14. Incident in Tabatstskuri
3.15. Construction of the BTC pipeline resumes
4. News from Azerbaijan
4.1. There are no problems in the construction of the BTC oil Pipeline
4.2. The president of BP – Azerbaijan acquainted with the course of the
BTC oil pipeline construction
4.3. The ombudsmen of Azerbaijan has received the international auditor
of the BTC oil pipeline
4.4. The draft environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA)
document produced by BP
4.5. Experts talking on Caspian ecology draft programs
4.6. Drinking water supply to be improved in Balakan province
4.7. Azeri project cost 4 bln. dollars
5. News from Armenia
5.1. Ecology supervisors dressed in uniforms and armed
5.2. Stop for green: Activists call on authorities to halt ecological
destruction in Yerevan
6. NGO News
6.1. Dumpsite in Bakuriani
7. International News
7.1. New nuclear test monitoring station established in Kazakhsan
7.2. New biomedical center on genetically modified crops to open in
7.3. Russia negotiating transport of spent nuclear fuel from Uzbekistan
7.4. World Bank Challenged: Are the Poor Really Helped?
8. New Publications
8.1. Little Green Data Book 2004
9. Calendar (International)
9.1. Information Technologies – International Youth Conference
9.2. Ninth European Ph.D workshop on International Climate Policy
1.1. REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP) CAUCASUS REGIONAL BIODIVERSITY PROJECT
THEME OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTMENT PROGRAMME
For Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Pipeline and Southern Caucasus Pipeline
(SCP) Operated by BP
Issuance Date: Monday 26th July 2004
Closing Date and Time: 17:00 local time in United Kingdom, Friday 10th
BP, acting as Operator for and on behalf of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan
Pipeline Company (BTC) and the South Caucasus Pipeline Company Ltd.
(SCP), is seeking applications from eligible organizations to design and
implement project under one of the key priority themes identified by BTC
and SCP as part the Environmental Investment Programme (EIP).
The EIP is divided up into a number of different themes, which were
identified during a process of consultation with national and
Proposals are now sought for projects exclusively within the following
EIP key priority theme: Caucasus Regional Biodiversity Project.
Objective of the theme is to develop and implement a regional
biodiversity project involving Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey to deliver
actions that promote and conserve biodiversity. The project must address
the socioeconomic, political and institutional sources of threats to and
opportunities for conservation of biodiversity in the region and be
undertaken within the framework of national biodiversity strategy and
action plans and international conventions to which the governments are
Applicants must be able to work in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey either
through their own structures or through the other Implementing Partners,
must be able to receive funds from BTC Co and SCP, be able to issue
invoices, receipts and be registered for any relevant tax. Applicants
will be expected to comply with all applicable local legal, civil and
Proposals for this EIP theme are solicited through the Request For
Proposals (RFP) document. The main purpose of the RFP is to provide
instructions and guidance to applicants submitting proposals.
Request for Proposal (RFP) documentation is available on the following
web sites at:
1.2. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY
Socio-economical development of the country significantly depends on the
stability and peace in the region. Sustainable management of the natural
resources greatly impacts the socio-economical development of the
country. Many conflicts around the world are driven by the lack of the
natural resource or inequitable access and benefit sharing. “Recent
studies have demonstrated though, that environmental stress can, under
certain circumstances, contribute to conflict and violence, and that
resource dependent communities are more likely to turn to violent means
when their livelihoods are threatened.”
In June CENN has launched interactive poll on the “Sustainable
development and the environmental security” to find out the position of
the CENN audience on the inter correlation of these two factors:
sustainable development and the environmental security. The results of
this interactive poll revealed that all the respondents, who
participated in this interactive think that the sustainable development
is unachievable without the environmental security. Since they think
that the development, poverty alleviation and sustainable management of
the environment ultimately depend on the stability and peace in the
region. 80% of the respondents think that the many conflicts around the
world are driven by the scarcity of the natural resources or inequitable
access to them and benefit sharing. 20% don’t agree with this position
71% of the respondents consider that the environmental security is the
relative public safety from environmental dangers caused by natural or
human processes due to ignorance, accident, mismanagement or design and
originating within or across national borders. 29% think that the
environmental security is the maintenance of the physical surroundings
of society for its needs without diminishing the natural stock
All of the respondents believe that for the human being the security in
its full sense means condition that is the consequence of the factors
within five sectors: military, political, social, economical, and
2. JOB, INTERNSHIP AND STUDY OPPORTUNITIES
2.1. REC CAUCASUS INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME
Objective: The Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus Internship
Programme offers an opportunity to last year students and graduates from
relevant academics departments from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia to
acquire basic knowledge of environmental issues, office and project
management skills through a two week competitive training scheme, as
well as specific work experience.
Scope: Internship Programme consists of two stage competitive training
courses including: 2 week general capacity building training in Tbilisi.
Participants in the training will undergo a test, and selection will be
made from among the winners to fill the vacancies of interns in the
on-the-job training course at the REC Caucasus office.
Two week general training course September 13-26, 2004
One month on-the-job training September 27 – October 25, 2004
Financial support: Selected candidates for the general training shall be
provided with full travel and accommodation support by the organizers.
The selected interns will be offered a stipend for the one-month period.
Criteria for participants:
o Applicant is to be a last year undergraduate student or graduate
student at the time of application;
o Applicant is to specialize in the field of biology, chemistry,
geography, journalism, economics, law, agriculture, architecture,
management and social sciences;
o Applicant is to possess good knowledge of the language of the country
whose citizen he/she is, also of the English and Russian languages.
Computer literacy and ability to work in multicultural environment is a
o Applicant is to be a resident of Armenia, Azerbaijan or Georgia.
How to apply:
Candidates must submit, an updated curriculum vitae (CV) and a letter of
motivation describing his/her interest in the REC Caucasus Internship
Programme (not more than 500 words). CV, letter of motivation and other
relevant documents (recommendation letters, certificates, etc.) are to
be delivered by post or via E-Mail to:
74 Chavchavadze Ave., office 901
0162 Tbilisi, Georgia
Tel/Fax: +99532 253649/253648
E-mail: [email protected]
Deadline for the application is 22 august 2004
Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for the interview
2.2. AMBASSADOR SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM FOR UNDERGRADUATE INTERNATIONAL
As part of our goals to offer select students from around the world the
opportunity to study at Michigan Tech and to support a globally aware
academic community here in Houghton, Michigan, we are proud to announce
the new Ambassador Scholarship Program for Undergraduate International
The Ambassador Scholarship carries a maximum award of $10,890 per year
to be applied towards tuition. All new international undergraduate
students may apply for the Ambassador Scholarship. Awards will be based
on the following criteria.
o Academic achievement
o Evidence of leadership
o English language competency
o Major field of academic interest
o Region of origin
o Financial need
Students receiving awards must maintain a 2.75 grade point average at
the end of each academic year and must provide evidence of leadership at
MTU in order to remain eligible for the continuation of the scholarship.
Students must also be enrolled full time each semester for continuation
of the award.
Ambassador Scholarship Program application forms are available at
Michigan Tech’s Center for International Education or can be printed
from the electronic version. Completed forms should be returned to CIE
with the admission application and all supporting documents.
We wish you success in your application process and look forward to
welcoming you to Michigan Technological University.
James P. Cross Ph.D.
Center for International Education
Mary Anne Brunner
Director, Office of International Services
Center for International Education
For the additional information please see:
3. NEWS FROM GEORGIA
3.1. BP’S PIPELINE TO NOWHERE: GEORGIA HALTS OIL GIANT’S ³2.4BN PROJECT
Source: The Observer, July 25, 2004
The government of the former Soviet republic of Georgia has ordered BP
to halt work on a section of a controversial £2.4 billion Caspian oil
pipeline project. The Minister of Environment of Georgia, Tamar
Lebanidze, said the company failed to provide contractually required
Mrs. Lebanidze said BP should not have started laying the 42 inch-wide
pipes until her government was convinced that BP had in place the best
technology to ensure it could withstand both landslides and terrorist
BP was on site for just one week in Borjormi before being told to stop.
Borjormi is considered an area of outstanding natural beauty with a
mineral water spring that provides a 10th of Georgia’s exports.
The minister added that she would have rejected the scheme agreed by
former president Edward Shevardnadze, who was forced out of office last
November. Mrs. Lebanidze fears oil leaks could devastate the region.
At 1,087 miles, the Caspian export pipeline will be the world’s longest,
taking Azerbaijani and Kazakhstani oil through Georgia to Turkey. It is
backed by US President George W Bush, who is keen to reduce US reliance
on Middle Eastern and Russian oil.
James Leaton of the World Wildlife Fund said: ‘BP considers itself above
the law on this project and has no respect for the environment.’
The news will take the gloss off BP second-quarter results, out this
week. Net profits could beat last quarter’s record £2.64 billion.
3.2. GEORGIA INTERESTED IN GAS VIA IRAN-ARMENIA PIPELINE
Source: Interfax, July 26, 2004
Georgia is interested in the idea of importing Iranian gas via the
Iran-Armenia pipeline, Georgian Foreign Minister Salome Zurabishvili
said in an interview with the Armenian press during a visit to Yervan
The Georgian authorities are ready to look at this idea as they aim to
develop transit shipments through the Caucuses, she said.
Earlier, Armenian Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian was cited as saying
that in talks held in Teheran at the start of July with Georgian
President Mikhail Saakashvili and Iranian authorities on cooperation in
Iranian gas transportation to Europe, two transit options were
discussed. One envisages transportation through Armenia and the other
through Azerbaijan. Iranian and Georgian media have reported that
Georgia’s Energy Ministry prefers the Azerbaijan option.
A government delegation from Armenia, headed by Prime Minister Andranik
Margarian, will visit Tbilisi next week, the Armenian government told
Interfax. The delegation will include Energy Minister Armen Movsisian.
During the visit, there will be a meeting of the intergovernmental
economic cooperation committee and discussions on cooperation in the
energy sector, including gas.
Earlier, Georgian Energy Minister Niki Gilauri said Saakashvili had
reached an agreement on natural gas supplies via Azerbaijan while he was
in Iran. The minister said deliveries could begin in January-February
3.3. CONSTRUCTION HALTS TEMPORARILY
Source: Interfax, July 26, 2004
BP, the operator for the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan
pipeline, halted work on the pipeline in the Borjomi gorge in Georgia on
July 23, 2004 at the request of the Georgian Environmental Protection
and Natural Resource Ministry, Tamara Lebanidze, press secretary to the
Georgia natural resource minister, said at a press conference in Friday.
She said that BP is meeting all its obligations to ensure environmental
safety when building the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. As the Borjomi
gorge is a protected area, on this 17-km section of the pipeline “the
company should provide additional environmental protection guarantees,
so that the risk connected with the implementation of this global
project are reduced to a minimum,” Lebanidze said.
She said that, according to experts, on the Borjomi gorge section of the
pipeline it is necessary “to deepen the pipeline trenches and to put in
protective barriers when they are being laid.” Lebanidze said that she
is confident that the pace of construction in Georgia will not suffer as
a result and that the work will be completed on schedule.
A source in the BP office in Georgia told Interfax that construction on
all other sections of the pipeline is continuing as usual. Over 60% of
all work has been carried out since May 2003, 207 km of pipes have been
welded and 138 km of pipes have been laid in trenches.
“The temporary halt in work will not affect the launch date for the
Georgian section of the pipeline,” the source said, adding that work
will be completed by the end of this year, as planned.
3.4. ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS HALT BTC
Source: Civil Georgia, July 27, 2004
Construction of the strategic Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline was
halted for at least two weeks on July 23, 2004 after the Georgian
authorities demanded the tightening of environmental security measures
along the 17-km long section of the pipeline that passes through the
ecologically sensitive Borjomi valley, in western Georgia.
BP, which heads-up the international consortium running the construction
of the BTC, says that the halt in Borjomi will not be a set back for the
$3.6-billion, 1750-km pipeline, which is projected to carry 800 thousand
barrels of crude oil per-day from Azerbaijan to the Turkish
Mediterranean port of Ceyhan via Georgia.
“We are complying with the Georgian government’s request and have
suspended construction works temporarily in the Borjomi sections of the
rout; however construction activities are ongoing in all other parts of
the route,” Rusudan Medzmariashvili, a spokesperson of the BP Tbilisi
office, told Civil Georgia on July 23.
The Georgian Ministry of Environment expects BP to submit paperwork
within two weeks guaranteeing specific environmental protections for a
section of the pipeline that passes close to the Borjomi valley, famous
for its mineral waters and unique ecology.
“We are seeking the observation of stricter environmental safety
measures in the Borjomi valley. The Borjomi district is of vital
importance, due to its natural resources. Thus, we are demanding
additional safety guarantees,” Georgian Minister of Environment Tamar
Lebanidze said at a news briefing on July 23, 2004.
The Minister also said that since the Borjomi valley is an area
susceptible to landslides, the construction works are endangered. “We
demand additional guarantees, which will envisage deeper pipe-laying in
order to protect both the pipeline and the environment against
landslides,” Tamar Lebanidze said.
The Minister’s statement was preceded by an open letter from more than
50 employees of various geological and ecological organizations and
institutions addressed to the Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili.
“The entire portion of the pipeline on the territory of the Borjomi
region is distinguished by high seismic activity. Hence, strict
observation of safety measures is of vital importance,” the open letter
The Georgian Ministry plans to assess the situation within the next two
weeks in order to further determine a plan of action. However, the
Georgian Ministry of Environment claims that the request does not
envisage a long-term suspension of the project or the changing of the
“We recognize the international commitment, which the Georgian
government has undertaken by giving a go-ahead to the project. So, its
long-term suspension is not anticipated,” the Georgian Minister of
“But we urge BP to also meet its commitments undertaken during the 2002
November agreement, particularly, the fulfillment of paragraph 9 of the
agreement which directly refers to the Borjomi portion of the oil
pipeline,” Tamar Lebanidze added.
The 17-kilometer portion of the route, which runs through the Borjomi
valley, has been a matter of controversy since 2002. The Georgian
authorities gave its go-ahead to the construction of the BTC through the
Borjomi valley after burdensome talks with the Georgian International
Oil Corporation and BP in December 2002. The Georgian leadership claimed
that consent was given only after the BP provided “unprecedented
measures of ecological security.”
The Borjomi valley is a picturesque, mountainous region with beautiful
gorges, pine forests and ski resorts. Georgian and foreign experts
believe that an oil leakage, caused either by a natural disaster
(landslide, earthquake) or the human factor (sabotage, mismanagement)
would inflict irreparable damage on this area, which is also famous for
its mineral waters that are exported to dozens of countries.
Manana Kochladze, of the Georgian non-governmental organization Green
Alternative, is among those critics of the BTC who were lobbying for a
change of the pipeline route. Manana Kochladze won the annual Goldman
Environmental Prize, the best-known award for environmentalists, in
April for advocating better environmental security guarantees for the
“From the very beginning we were against the construction of the oil
pipeline via Borjomi, since there are no sufficient guarantees that the
BP-led project would not have a negative impact on the fragile ecology
of the region,” Manana Kochladze of the Green Alternative told Civil
She hailed the decision of the Ministry of the Environment to halt
construction, however added, “two weeks are not enough to determine the
environmental safety measures.”
3.5. BTC RESPONDS TO SUSPENSION
Source: The Georgian Messenger, July 28, 2004
The builders of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline have provided all
the necessary documents regarding environmental impact and protection,
says the head of the project.
On July 23, 2004 the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of
Georgia suspended construction of the pipeline through the
environmentally sensitive Borjomi gorge, saying it needed time to
examine the documentation on the safety measures taken by BP.
Minister of Environment Tamar Lebanidze added last week that BP did not
fulfill some of the conditions of the agreement on the BTC construction
issued by the ministry on November 30, 2002 concerning the Borjomi
Meanwhile, the company itself claims safety and security are their key
priorities. “This 17 kilometer section of the pipeline is a very
important one,” said CEO of the BTC Co. Michael Townshend on July 27. He
added at a special press conference on Tuesdaythat the ministry must
analyze security measures taken by BP in the Borjomi gorge until August
Mr. Townshend claims that the company provided the government with all
possible documentation on security measures still in April but adds “we
are working with the government to provide them with all necessary
The BTC Co denies the route of the BTC can be changed in order to pass
the Borjomi gorge. “I can tell you with an absolute assurance that the
route would not be changed,” he said.
“President Saakashvili met with the president of BP group Lord John
Brown in London and assured him that there will be no delays in
pipeline’s construction,” said Mr. Townshend adding the first oil would
run the pipeline as scheduled in 2005. BP is the leading investor in the
1,750 km, USD 3.6 billion pipeline.
“We are currently working in the Borjomi region to stabilize slopes and
fight with erosion caused by recent heavy rains,” said Townshend.
According to him, “We have to make sure everything is kept as safe as
According to Michael Townshend, security of the pipeline must be
provided by both sides, BP and the government of three countries.
“Government has its obligations,” he stated.
Asked about the possible damages of the suspension to the construction,
Townshend replied “We are evaluating damages.” According to him, the
company had to move a lot of people and equipment out of the
construction section in Borjomi. Meanwhile, NGOs raising their voices
over the latest events regarding the BTC as well. The Georgian NGO
coalition “East-West Energy Corridor” addressed a letter to the EBRD,
IFC and WB asking them to respond to the situation.
According to the coalition, by not fulfilling the conditions under the
government’s environmental permit issued in 2002, this permit cannot
stay in force. As the letter reads, “the Ministry of Environment
requested to increase the depth of pipe burial and some additional
protective measures as the precondition for permitting construction
activities in Borjomi.”
Keti Dgebuadze, Coordinator of Georgian NGO Coalition, stresses “the
very passive and indifferent attitude” of the lending organizations like
the IFC towards the fulfillment of the conditions and to the situation
The NGO coalition also appeals to all stakeholders “to be more
responsible towards the unique nature of Borjomi region, as well as to
the BTC project,” pointing out this project is “extremely important” for
Georgia can be damaged by “mismanagement and violation of environmental
3.6. GEORGIA TELLS BP BAKU-TBILISI-CEYHAN PIPELINE WILL BE READY IN TIME
Source: Interfax, July 28, 2004
BP has received the assurance of Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili
that the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline project will be completed on
time, BP Chairman Lord John Browne said at a quarterly report
presentation on Tuesday. Construction is set to end in 2004.
Browne said that BP had temporarily stopped construction of the
pipeline. Work was stopped at the Borjomi valley in Georgia at the
request of the Georgian Environment and Natural Resources Ministry.
Tamara Lebanidze, The Ministry of Environment of Georgia, stated, that
BP needs to provide additional environmental protection guarantees so
that the risks linked with this global project can be reduced to a
The BP office in Georgia told Interfax earlier that over 60% of all the
work had been completed with 207km of welded pipe and 138km of pipeline
A temporary stoppage in construction work will not influence the launch
term for the Georgian section of the pipeline, the BP office said.
3.7. BP AWARDS CONTRACTS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTMENT PROGRAM ALONG THE
BTC PIPELINE ROUTE
BP as operator of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil export pipeline and
South Caucasus (SCP) gas projects is pleased to announce that in June
2004 it has awarded contract to NACRES – Noach’s Arch Center for
Recovery of Endangered Species NGO, to implement the “Ecosystem and
Species Conservation in Georgia: Brown Bear Project”. This is the second
contract award in the framework of the Environmental Investment Program
(EIP) for the BTC and SCP projects.
the principal objective of the Environmental Investment Program (EIP) is
delivery of actions that are of ebnefit in the promotion and
conservation of biodiversity. The USD 3 mln EIP is divided into number
of themes, which were identified through the Environmental and Social
Impact Assessment studies and trough the process of consultations with
the national and international stakeholders. Themes include: Rare
species conservation management; Sustainable forestry; Capacity building
for NGOs, Environmental Education, etc.
A request for proposals for the rare species conservation management was
publicly issued in late September 2003. Proposals were ought specially
for the Caucasian Black Grouse and Brown Bear conservation management.
However proposals related to other rare species were also considered, if
associated with pipeline. The contract for the Caucasian Black Grouse
research, monitoring and conservation management project was awarded to
the Georgian Center for the Conservation of Wildlife NGO in January
Through a review process, the Ecosystems and Species Conservation in
Georgia: Brown Bear project was now selected for funding under the above
theme. The grant award for the project is USD 250, 000.
Project activities include estimation of the Brown Bear population
parameters within the Trialeti range, appraisal of current levels of
threats, description of the underlying reasons for loss of bear habitat,
development of a Bear Conservation Action Plan for the Trialeti range,
establishment of basis for community involvement in conservation
The project will be implemented by NACRES Noach’s Arch Center for
Recovery of Endangered Species, an NGO founded in 1989 to research and
safeguard biodiversity, especially endanger species, in Georgia and
South Caucasus and to promote public awareness in the field of
Project activities stared in June 2004 and will finish in May 2006.
We believe that the Environmental Investment Program gives BP and the
selected NGOs a unique opportunity to make a positive difference to the
preservation of Georgia’s wildlife.
For the more information please contact:
Communication Department, BP Georgia
Tel: (995 32) 59 34 00
Fax: (995 32) 59 34 80
3.8. BP CHIEF, GEORGIAN PRESIDENT DISCUSS BTC
Source: Civil Georgia, July 28, 2004
Lord Browne, the BP chief executive, has been in contact with Georgian
President Micheal Saakashvili over problems regarding the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline and confirmed that construction at
the Borjomi section of the route in western Georgia has stopped, the
Guardian reported on July 28, 2004.
He said there were “security” issues to be dealt with and also that he
had reassurances that work would not be held up.
Construction of the BTC was halted for at least two weeks on July 23,
2004 after the Georgian authorities demanded the tightening of
environmental security measures along the 17-km long section of the
pipeline that passes through the ecologically sensitive Borjomi valley.
BP leads the international consortium that runs the construction of the
BTC, designed to carry Azeri oil, via Georgia and the Turkish
Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, to western markets.
3.9. TETRITSKARO DISTRICT GAMGEOBA FUNDS SOCIAL SERVICE NETWORK PROGRAM
Source: Georgian Messenger, July 28, 2004
Community Investment Program-East has been working in Tetritkaro
district for over a year now. It is initiated and funded by BP and its
partners in BTC/SCP projects and is implemented by the consortia of
Georgian NGOs with leadership of the international organization Mercy
One-program partners, Curatio International Foundation is working on
implantation of the Social Service Network models that is to equip local
ambulatories, provide medicines, train medical personnel and have
medical group visiting different villages. A good example of this
program is regular visits of the Tsinskaro ambulatory team to the
village Ivanovka where all medical costs are by local businessman.
After successful implementation of the Ivanovka model Tetritskaro
district Gamgeoba has kindly expressed willingness to allocate 500GEL
each month as a co-funder to cover the expenses of he medical team
visits to the villages of Khaishi, Kosolari, Samshvilde, Didi and Patara
Durnuli, Tsintskaro and Skhalsopeli. This amount will also provide
salaries to the local nurses while Community Investment Program East
will provide free medical equipment to the ambulatories of Kosolari,
Khaishi, Akhalsopeli and Samshvilde ambulatories.
This initiative is a very good example of collaboration among community,
local government and NGOs and serves as a strong foundation for building
3.10. AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES IN VILLAGE KHAISHI
Source: Georgian Messenger, July 28, 2004
Within the framework of the Community Investment Program East initiated
and funded by BP and its partners BTC/SCP projects Mercy Corps and its
partner organizations have been implementing various activities in the
communities along the pipeline route for the purpose of mobilizing and
In village Khaishi of Tetritskaro district CIP-E partner Biological
Association Elkana has been successfully implementing agricultural
activities. With assistance from this organization all of the families
of the village have receive high quality fruit tree saplings of their
choice and the monitoring has shown that all of the trees are blooming
According to the request of the village population Elkana has
demonstrated a model of Autumn wheat seed production and planted
certified wheat on 5 hectares of the village land. This model has
already shown its results – the harvest has been equally distributed
among the population of Khaishi and created bank for fruit second
reproduction seed material. Besides, in September each family will
receive another lot of elite of first reproduction seed material and as
a result all of them will seed 1 hectare of land and receive harvest the
It is important that implementation of this program will help
Tetritskaro villages along pipeline to generate elite or first
reproduction certificated wheat seeds that will enable the population o
produce quality seeds for 3-4 years.
3.11. GEORGIA: PIPELINE PROTESTERS DEMAND COMPENSATION
Source: The Georgian Messenger, July 30, 2004
Residents of areas adjoining planned Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline fear
construction work may trigger landslides
For over a month, huge pipes over a metre in diameter have lined the
roads leading to mountain villages in the Borjomi and Akhaltsikhe
districts of Georgia. Destined to form a section of the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, BTC, oil pipeline, they have become a focus of
protest in surrounding villages, all of which lie in an active landslide
“Heavy rain is enough to cause landslides that put our village at risk,”
said David Gogoladze, of Dgvari village in Borjomi. “Imagine what impact
40 tone vehicles would have.” Villagers are appealing for resettlement
or an end to the construction.
When it is competed, the BTC will have the capacity to carry one million
barrels of oil a day. Plans for the project began in 1995 and oil is
scheduled to start flowing in spring 2005. Georgia has the shortest
section, at 248 kilometers, but had the lengthiest and most problematic
negotiations. Construction work has been met with constant hostility
from the local population, both in Kvemo Kartli Samtskhe-Javakheti,
eastern and southern provinces respectively.
The mountain villages of Dgvari, Tadzrisi, Tiseli an Tkemalana sit on
the landslide zone. A total of 300 families live there and they say the
construction work has multiplied the risk to their homes. “Back under
the Communists, there was a study on this but the documents have
disappeared. There should have been a new geological study before this
decision was made,” said head of the Tiseli community Giorgi
The ministry of the interior has registered seventy instances of
picketing along the length of the pipeline. In June, riot police were
used to disperse an action in the village of Sartichala, in the
Residents of Dgvari village recently blockaded construction workers on
the road adjoining their village, demanding resettlement. “We need money
or a plot of land to enable us to go elsewhere. I love my village, but I
cannot sacrifice my family for it,” said villager Mamuka Gogoladze.
BP, who will operate the pipeline, says almost 24 million lari or 12
million US dollars in compensation to people living within the Georgian
section of the living within the Georgian section of the construction
In a letter to the villagers, BP manager ED Johnson wrote, “The route
that has been chosen for the pipeline is safe and landslide activity
poses no threat to the pipeline, However, I agree that the situation is
grave and needs an immediate response from the government.”
The local authorities have became indifferent to road blockades,
however, so villagers eventually resorted o taking local journalist
Tsaulina Malazonia hostage, demanding that officials from Tbilisi come
to visit. As a result, the head f the Borjomi municipality, Ivane
Gelashvili, promised that the prime minister would receive some village
representatives shortly to discuss their problems.
“If we are deceived again, we will reblockade the road. They have left
us no alternative,” said villager Leva Lomidze, “In 30 years, we have
been offered no solution. We have no time for politics, cinema or the
Olympic Games. All we care about is the weather. Rain is forecast for
tomorrow so I will spend today fixing holes in my house. It has already
been destroyed once and I rebuilt it. But I will have nothing left if
that happens again.”
While the BTC has become a visible and dramatic focus of discontent, it
has also offered villagers new leverage with authorities, which have
been ignoring them for years. Two weeks ago, BP representatives
succeeded in lifting a road blockade by promising to use their influence
with the local authorities on behalf of the villagers.
A precedent may have been set.
3.12. BTC CONSTRUCTION IN BORJOMI GORGE MAY RESTART WEDNESDAY
Source: Interfax, August 5, 2004
Construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in the Borjomi gorge
may restart on August 5, 2004, BP- Azerbaijan President David Woodward
said on August 4, 2004, after two days of consultations between
investors and the Georgian government in Tbilisi.
He said that the company hopes that it will be able to restart work from
August 5, 2004.
Tamara Lebanidze, the Minister of Environment of Georgia, stated that
earlier the construction of this section of the pipeline, which was
halted on July 23, 204 would restart at the start of this week. Mr.
Woodward said that at the final stage, constructive meetings were held
with the Georgian prime minister and that at the moment there are no
At the request of the Ministry of Environment of Georgia construction in
the Borjomi gorge was halted to analyze safety measures for the
construction and operation of the pipeline.
The ministry said that on the Borjomi gorge section of the pipeline it
is necessary to deepen the pipeline trenches and to put in protective
barriers when they are being laid.
3.13. BP RECEIVES PERMISSION TO RESTART CONSTRUCTION IN BORJHOMI GORGE
Source: Interfax, August 5, 2004
The Georgian Environment and Natural Resource Ministry has given BP, the
operator for the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline,
permission to restart construction in Borjomi gorge, Georgian Natural
Resource Minister Tamara Lebanidze said Wednesday.
Mrs. Lebanidze said that the ministry explained its position in full to
the operator and was satisfied with the guarantees received from BP.
“By August 6, 2004 the company will invite experts to Georgia, who will
develop a special plan for the integrated management of the oil
pipeline,” she said.
The minister said that along with this, it has been agreed to lay pipes
in the Borjomi gorge at a greater depth than had originally been
planned. “Additional protective measures will also be used,” she said.
3.14. INCIDENT IN TABATSTSKURI
Source: Rustavi2, August 9, 2004
The residents of the village Tabatstskuri held a protest rally against
the Construction of the Georgian section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil
According to the spread news, the members of the rally threw stones
towards the law enforcement agents, who had come at the site.
Due to the incident the two police officers of the regional police
department were slightly injured.
3.15. CONSTRUCTION OF THE BTC PIPELINE RESUMES
Source: The Georgian Messenger, August 10, 2004
BP resumed construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline on August 6,
2004, after the Georgian government issued its permission to do so while
Mikheil Saakashvili was on three-day visit to the United Stats.
The Georgian president took the opportunity to call on BP to guarantee
the safety of the Borjomi gorge region through which the BTC pipeline
currently being constructed.
“BP must take all measures to ensure the ecological safety of the
Borjomi gorge. The company tried to complain to us in Washington but it
will not work,” he said at a press conference in Washington.
Mr. Saakashvili added that the Georgian government had demanded that BP
laid the pipes deeper in the gorge to protect the pipeline from natural
disasters and from possible terrorists acts as well as to buy the
special equipment needed to guarantee the ecology of the region.
“The BTC pipeline has very great value for us, because this project
underlines the strategic importance of Georgia. But the health of the
citizens is also important for me,” said Saakashvili.
He claimed that BP had fulfilled all the governmental conditions for now
and as a result the construction had been resumed. “BP ha taken the
first steps to satisfy the demands of the Georgian sides,” said
Saakashvili. “But the pipes will not be operated if all safety
conditions are not met.”
The Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Tamar Lebanidze told
journalists this week that the government accepted the guarantees to BP.
But she added that some “additional security mechanisms” would be
considered during construction.
The Georgian Ministry of Environment suspended the construction of the
pipeline in the Borjomi district for environmental reasons on July 23,
2004. The Ministry claimed the construction had violated several items
of the environmental contract and demanded that BP provide all necessary
documents on safety measures being taken in the region.
Meanwhile the United States is carefully monitoring the process of
construction of the BTC pipeline. During her last visit to Georgia last
month, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Beth Jones visited various
sections of the pipeline. Talking at a press briefing in Tbilisi she
said, “I am convinced of the environmental integrity and sanctity of the
pipeline. The security issues involved with the pipeline are being taken
Mrs. Jones evaluated the importance of the pipeline for Georgia. “The
construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and
Baku-Tbilisi-Erzerum gas pipeline which transit through Georgia allow
the country to find its independence in the energy sector,” she said.
BP always denied neglecting environmental damage and ecological safety.
On the contrary, it claimed, safety and security are key priorities. “We
have to make sure everything is kept as safe as possible,” GEO of the
BTC Company Michael Townshend commented on the issue recently in
But environmentalists claim that these are mere words, “BP has made all
kinds of promises about how the BTC project would boost Georgian
sovereignty, yet as soon as Georgian law no longer fits their schedule,
they violate it without hesitation,” said James Leaton of WWF.
The environmental groups worry about the fate of the Borjomi district,
particularly its national park and mineral water springs. The Georgian
media even quoted the Minister of Environment Lebanidze saying she would
not have approved the route through Borjomi selected by BP in November
2002, because of the risk of environmental damage.
Be that as it may, the route cannot be changed says BP. “I can tell you
with absolute assurance that the route will not be changed,” Townshend
But environmental group Friends of the Earth question the quality of
construction “BP has repeatedly said that it will construct this
pipeline to the highest standards,” said representative Friends of the
Earth Hannah Griffiths. “But whenever the standards get in the way of
the construction schedule, they get jettisoned.”
4. NEWS FROM AZERBAIJAN
4.1. THERE ARE NO PROBLEMS IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE BTC OIL PIPELINE
Source: , July 15, 2004
This announcement was made by the vice premier of Azerbaijan Abid
Sharipov, who visited Turkey in order to observe the construction works
on the Turkish section of the BTC oil pipeline. The works are carried
out in the rapid tempo.
During this visit was held meeting of the vice premier of Azerbaijan
with the management of the BOTAS and the Ministry of Energy of Turkey.
“There are no problems connected to the construction of the pipeline. In
Turkey is held the construction of the four pumping stations. Moreover
there are no problems on the two sections of the pipeline and in the
construction of the terminal. In the end of this year the works would be
completed,” – stated vice premier. Mr. Sharipov mentioned that
construction works are carried out according o the schedule in
Azerbaijan and Georgia as well. Contractor of the construction works on
the Azerbaijan section of the pipeline is Greek company Consolidated
Contractors International Company, Georgian section — Spie Capag/
Petrofag that is the contractor of the construction of the pumping
stations on the territories of the both counties as well. Contractor of
the construction works on the Turkish section of the pipeline is BOTAS.
The length of the BTC pipeline is 1762 km, out of which 443 km is on
territory of Azerbaijan, 249 km – Georgia, 1070 km – Turkey. Carrying
capacity of the pipeline is 50 mln. tones per year. The construction
works are planned to be completed in the beginning of the year of 2005.
4.2. THE PRESIDENT OF BP – AZERBAIJAN ACQUAINTED WITH THE COURSE OF THE
BTC OIL PIPELINE CONSTRUCTION
Source: , July 20, 2004
The president of BP-Azerbaijan David Woodward, became familiar with the
course of the BTC oil pipeline construction in Georgia. “We are sure
that the first oil will flow through the BTC pipeline in early of the
next year,” stated Mr. Woodward during the meeting with the journalists.
The head of the BP Azerbaijan visited Georgia in the last Saturday. Mr.
Woodward participated in the session of the Georgian National Security
of Counsel that was dedicated to the construction works along the BTC
route. Moreover, he visited the sites of the pipeline constructions. Mr.
Woodward noted that the works on the Georgian section of the BTC are
held according to the schedule, and there is no necessity to increase
security measures of the pipeline construction concerning the situation
4.3. THE OMBUDSMEN OF AZERBAIJAN HAS RECEIVED THE INTERNATIONAL AUDITOR
OF THE BTC OIL PIPELINE
Source: CAN, July 26, 2004
Elmira Suleimanova, ombudsman of Azerbaijan, has received the
international auditor of the BTC oil pipeline Robert Bekli. During this
visit Mrs. Suleimanova spoke about the human rights protection issue in
Azerbaijan. Moreover there were discussed the concerns and the issues of
ensuring the rights of the BTC pipeline works and the people living
along the BTC pipeline route. Cooperation in this fields suggested by
Mr. Bekli was met with the approval by Mrs. Suleimanova.
Mrs. Sileimanova suggested to carry out the works in education of the
people along the pipeline concerning their economical, social and
environmental rights and in instruction them about cases of emergency.
4.4. THE DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT (ESIA)
DOCUMENT PRODUCED BY BP
Source: State Telegraph Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, AzerTag,
August 5, 2004
BP as the operator on behalf of its partners in Azerbaijan International
Operating Company (AIOC) announces that as part of its work programme
for Azeri-Chirag and Deepwater Gunashli (ACG) Full Field Development
(FFD) Phase-3, the Draft Environmental and Social Impact Assessment
(ESIA) Document has been produced and published by BP on behalf of AIOC
The document examines the potential environmental and social impacts of
the full ACG Phase-3 project activities, and describes the recommended
There are the following major components of the Phase-3 project:
o An offshore Production, Compression, Water Injection and Utilities
platform (PCWU), bridge linked to an offshore Drilling, Utilities and
Quarters platform (DUQ) will be put in place at Deep Water Gunashli
sector of the offshore ACG contract area;
o Two subsea water injection well developments will be installed
approximately 4km to the northwest and 5km to the southwest of the PWCU
and DUQ platforms;
o New in-field pipelines will be installed offshore to facilitate export
of oil and gas into the existing Azeri project pipeline infrastructure
that extends to the onshore terminal;
o The existing onshore oil and gas reception facilities at Sangachal
Terminal will be further expanded, within the existing terminal
boundary, to process incoming crude oil to a specification suitable for
Central Azeri C&WP jacket successfully launched
As reports AzerTAj om the Azerbaijan International Operating Company’s
(AIOC) press release, the jacket for the Central Azeri Compressor and
Water Injection Platform (C&WP) sailed away on Saturday, July 31, from
Heydar Aliyev Baku Deepwater Jackets Factory (BDJF) yard to be installed
at its permanent location in the Azeri field. The jacket reached its
location and was successfully launched into the water yesterday, August
The parties to the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) Production Sharing
Agreement are: BP (operator – 34.1%), Unocal (10.3%), SOCAR (10%), INPEX
(10.,0%), Statoil (8,6%), ExxonMobil (8%), TPAO (6.8%), Devon (5.6%),
Itochu (3.9%), Amerada Hess (2.7%).
The jacket was set on STB-1 Transportation barge on July 18th, 2004 and
since then had been sea-fastened ready to sail away to its location at
Central Azeri (CA). The C&WP jacket will be installed next to the
Drilling and Production Platform (PDQ) jacket. We expect offshore
installation activities to be completed by the end of September 2004.
The jacket has been fully built in the country using local construction
infrastructure including BDJF facilities. It is the second largest
structure after the CA PDQ jacket to be installed in the Caspian Sea.
The jacket has 12 piles. The total weight of these piles, which are 128
metres long each, is 6,120 tonnes, while the total weight of the jacket
itself is 13250 tonnes including the floatation tanks. The height of the
jacket is 143 metres and it will be installed at the location where the
depth of the water is 128 metres.
The offshore installation will use two strategic vessels: the Derrick
Barge Azerbaijan (DBA) and the Transportation Barge STB -1. The offshore
activities will also involve Anchor Handler Tugs and support vessels
that will be leased from the Khazardanizneftdonanmasi (KMNF) fleet.
The construction of the C&WP jacket started at the BDJF fabrication yard
in February 2003 and was completed in July 2004. The jacket was built by
BOS Shelf as a joint venture with SOCAR. The construction contractor has
used ten main local subcontractors. Some 600 (total local workforce on
jackets is 1550) local Azerbaijan citizens including subcontractors (90%
of the total labour-force) were involved in the jacket construction
activities, which expended in excess of two million manhours.
Since the beginning of the project a major training programme has been
provided for the national staff. Most of the local staff have been
successfully trained and re-trained in various disciplines, with Health,
Safety and Environment (HSE) set as our priority training area. The
jacket site has currently achieved 1.6 million manhours without a single
Day Away From Work Case (DAFWC).
The Central Azeri C&WP will be bridge-linked to CA PDQ and will be
responsible for providing all the gas and water injection to the Azeri
field. A maximum of ten gas injection wells, 12 water injection wells
and two cutting injection wells will be drilled on the Azeri field and
the platform will have a final gas injection capacity of 1050 million
cfd and water injection capacity of 900,000 bpd.
The ACG Project targets the development of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli
contract area. The remaining part of the ACG field, with estimated
recoverable reserves of 5.4 billion barrels of oil, will be developed in
three phases, the two sanctioned phases being Central Azeri, West & East
Azeri, which require four offshore facilities, a major terminal
expansion at Sangachal near Baku and over 600 km of subsea pipelines.
The third phase is expected to be sanctioned in the third quarter of
Central Azeri targets the development of the central area of the Azeri
field. Central Azeri comprises a 48-slot production, drilling and
quarters (PDQ) platform, a 30″ oil pipeline and a 28″ gas pipeline from
CA to the Sangachal Terminal, expansion of the existing onshore terminal
in Sangachal, a gas compression and water injection platform (C&WP)
which will be will be bridge-linked to CA. Construction activities for
Central Azeri are now over 97% complete and remain on schedule to
achieve First Oil production in the first quarter of 2005.
Development of the West and East areas of the Azeri field, in
conjunction with Central Azeri will complete the Azeri field
development. West and East Azeri facilities will be integrated with
Central Azeri facilities to create an Azeri offshore and onshore
development complex. West and East Azeri facilities comprise two 48-slot
production, drilling and quarters platforms, an additional 30″ oil
pipeline to the Sangachal Terminal, expansion of the existing onshore
terminal at Sangachal, and expansion of the Central Azeri gas
compression and water injection platform.
The start of first oil production from the West Azeri and East Azeri
platforms in the second quarter of 2006 and the first quarter of 2007
respectively will add production of more than 20 million tonnes per year
(420 thousand barrels per day).
West and East Azeri field reserves expected to be produced during the
PSA period are 210 million tonnes (1.6 billion barrels). To achieve this
production up to 96 additional production, water injection and gas
injection wells will be drilled followed by approximately 113 additional
sidetrack wells through the life of the Azeri field.
The project will bring significant benefits to Azerbaijan including
enormous long-term oil revenues, upgraded infrastructure for use on
potential future projects, increased involvement of local supply of
materials and services, significant employment opportunities, and
substantial investment in the communities ($4.7 million which will be
spent by 2007).
4.5. EXPERTS TALKING ON CASPIAN ECOLOGY DRAFT PROGRAMS
Source: State Telegraph Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, AzerTag,
August 7, 2004
Meetings with head of the EU expert group on Sustainable Management of
Caspian Fishery K. Mathews and head of the Caspian Ecology Program H.
Gafarzadeh (Iran) took place in the Fishery Committee of Kazakhstan
Agriculture Ministry within implementation of the Caspian ecology
Such issues as regional fishery management, admissible catch volume
definition methodology, technical interaction and funding of projects
The projects are supposed to cover five Caspian states – Azerbaijan,
Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan.
As part of execution of the Program an office will be opened in Astana.
The total sum of the Ecology Program projects amounts to 6.8 million
4.6. DRINKING WATER SUPPLY TO BE IMPROVED IN BALAKAN PROVINCE
Source: State Telegraph Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, AzerTag,
August 7, 2004
Construction of the new water-drainage system is approaching the end in
Implementation of the new project under financial support of the
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will completely solve
water problems in the region.
ˆ 84 thousand has already been transferred to the account of the Agency
for recovery and reconstruction of the territories released from the
occupation, AzerTAj correspondent was told at Balakan water-sewer system
and constructions area. Agency prepared design estimates for
construction of water-drainage system. A construction tender winner will
be announced in August 10. The construction is expected to start in
4.7. AZERI PROJECT COST 4 BLN. DOLLARS
Source: State Telegraph Agency of the Republic of Armenia, August 10,
4 billion US dollars has been spent on the Azeri offshore oil project in
Azerbaijan up to date, said Neil Shaw, BP-Azerbaijan’s vice president.
Mr.Shaw told reporters that at the Sangachal terminal construction at
the central Azeri field – part of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG)
project – is 97% complete, the West Azeri rig 63%, the East Azeri rig
31% and the gas compressor and water injection platform 77% complete.
Supports for the compressor and water injection terminal will be in
place during September, when the Central Azeri rig will be floated out
to sea. Azeri should yield its first oil between the end of December
2004 and the end of January 2005, Shaw said.
Other BP-Azerbaijan officials said construction of the gas compressor
and water injection platform’s upper modules was 55% complete. The
platform will be fitted with four of the world’s most powerful water
A 30-inch oil pipeline and a 28-inch gas pipeline that will link Central
Azeri and the Sangachal terminal have been tested. Half of a fiber optic
cable between the platform and the terminal is in place.
A first reservoir, capacity 880,000 barrels, has been built. A third
reservoir is 75%-complete. All of them will be ready by the end of this
Phase-1 of the ACG project involves building a rig with 48 wells in the
central section of the Azeri field. During the phase, Azeri will yield
1.425 billion standard barrels of oil or about 200 million tonnes.
Production will peak at 18.7 million tonnes a year or 375,000 barrels a
Phase-2 involves building two 48-well platforms in the eastern and
western sections of the Azeri field. Production is due to begin at West
Azeri in the second quarter of 2006 and at East Azeri in the first
quarter of 2007. More than 20 million tonnes a year or 420,000 barrels a
day will be produced from the two platforms. The phase should yield a
total of 210 million tonnes of 1.6 billion barrels of oil.
5. NEWS FROM ARMENIA
5.1. ECOLOGY SUPERVISORS DRESSED IN UNIFORMS AND ARMED
Source: AZG Daily #137, July 24, 2004
The law project of “Ecology supervision” was presented to the Minister
of Environment of Azerbaijan Vartan Aivazian on July 21, 2004. The
Minister said that the ecology supervision employees will have their
special uniforms and will have license for carrying guns but they shall
not turn into ecological police. Only the supervisors will be armed, as
those employees working in the labs or the analytical center have no
need of a gun.
Concerning the illegal woodcutting, Minister said that the person
involved in this crime is being fined. The size of the fine depends on
the market price of the wood; for instance, if it costs 5000 AMD then
the fine will be 8000 AMD instead of 6600 as it used to be. Vartan
Aivazian said that the wood is not being confiscated in this case.
Meanwhile he informed that recently confiscated 30 tones of illegally
caught fish were distributed to the orphanages. Thus, the law is
enforced differently in case of fish and in case of wood.
5.2. STOP FOR GREEN: ACTIVISTS CALL ON AUTHORITIES TO HALT ECOLOGICAL
DESTRUCTION IN YEREVAN
Source: ArmeniaNow, August 6, 2004
A group of environmental activists is taking steps to alert the highest
authorities in Armenia to what they see as a serious and dangerous
hazard concerning “green areas” in Yerevan.
The group has prepared a letter to the Government of Armenia in which it
brings to attention the destruction of several major Yerevan parks that
have been denuded to make space for new cafes.
The letter calls upon the Government of Armenia and the Municipality of
Yerevan to stop all “legal” and “illegal” construction in the areas of
the Tsitsernakaberd, Circular Park, Hrazdan Canyon, Freedom Square and
some central streets in the capital.
In 1998, there were 197 cafes in the center of Yerevan, serving a
population of about 75,000. As of 2002 the number had increased to 415
and has risen even higher in the past two years. (ArmeniaNow asks city
officials for the latest number and was told a written request must be
Ecologists argue that the construction of cafes robs the city of its
aesthetic value and leaves citizens with no place for solitude.
The activists are demanding that officials (many of the cafes are owned
by various ministers and government authorities) who are responsible for
the destruction of green areas be held to account. And they say they are
ready to bring a lawsuit against the President of Armenia, the Prime
Minister, present and former mayors, city architects and others, if
appropriate action is not taken.
But even the activists aren’t optimistic about Yerevan’s future
“It is a hopeless situation,” says Armen Dovlatyan, president of
Armenian Ecological Benevolent Union. “If the destruction of green zones
will continue, soon Yerevan will become a desert zone”.
According to Mr. Dovlatyan, beginning from the 1990s Yerevan lost more
than 1,500 hectares from 2,000 hectares of its green zone.
“Everybody tries to blame war and energetic problems in 1990-1995, when
people in order do get warmth in winter cut trees,” he says. “But
according to our investigations, the cut area was only 430 hectares in
1990-1995, and between 1995-2003, 1,000 hectares of green zone.”
Today in Yerevan, ecologists claim, there are less than 500 hectares of
green zone left, due, they say, which are also endangered due to
political wrongdoing and ignorance.
Mr. Dovlatyan says that every official of Yerevan guarantees that there
will be no permission to build new buildings and cafes. But the promises
are broken and green zones are destroyed especially by the officials and
their relatives, in order to build personal homes or entertainment
ArmeniaNow asked Former Yerevan City Chief Architect, Narek Sargsyan
(under whose administration most cafes were built) if he was aware of a
potential lawsuit against the city. “Yes, when you build something in
this town, at the end you will be sued,” Sargsyan said.
The Chief Architect would not say whether he had issued permits for the
structures that the ecologists say are illegal.
“For the last few years the summer heat became awful, which is also the
result of the green zones destruction. There is no air for breathing,”
says the leader of the Armenian Aryan Community Armen Avetisyan, who
also joined the ecologists. “This is a cultural-historical massacre,
which needs to be stopped.”
Mr. Dovlatyan says, that besides the heat, the destruction of the green
zones in the capital became the reason for strong winds as well as the
rise of heart and respiratory diseases.
“I can give you an example from Nork Forest, next to which I live,” says
National Assembly deputy Arshak Sadoyan, citing a green area scheduled
to be reduced by 80 percent for construction. “When I look at the forest
it hurts me and I start to think: ‘What are we doing to the future of
our children? Yerevan has to have lungs, but we have already lost those
lungs. And by this action (the letter) we will try to protect our
citizens and give back lungs to Yerevan.”
The coalition of ecologists is starting a signature campaign to collect
endorsements by citizens who share their concern. Since it started a
week ago, some 2,500 signatures have been collected. The group hopes to
gather 10,000 signatures, and, if demands are not met, plans to sue the
6 NGO NEWS
6.1. DUMPSITE IN BAKURIANI
Movement towards solution of Bakuriani waste management problems was
launched a couple of months ago. First step that was taken in the
framework of this campaign was arrangement of the meeting with the local
citizens, where the needs and the concerns of the population were
identified. On May 25, 2004 with the initiative of the CENN Bakuriani
Public Environmental and Information Center (PEIC) and with the support
of different non-governmental organizations from Tbilisi the
environmental campaign “Rest from Waste” has been carried out in
Bakuriani. Local population took active part in the action. The group of
activists from the local population continued arranging meetings and
roundtables systematically at the CENN Bakuriani PEIC after the
above-mentioned action. Local government was imposed to purchase the
special truck for waste collection.
However, the problem of the dumpsite still remains unsettled. There are
a couple of illegal sites in Bakuriani, which cause serious problems for
the sanitary state of the village.
On August 6, 2004, the meeting on waste management problems has been
arranged at the CENN Bakuriani PEIC. The specialists from The Ministry
of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Georgia, regional
department of Forest Management, local government, businessmen and the
representatives of the civil society participated in the round table.
The meeting mainly focused on solution of current waste management
problems in Bakuriani through arrangement of a dumpsite. The
participants agreed upon launching joint efforts towards this direction.
Prepared by Bakuriani Public Environmental; and Information Center
(PEIC) of Bakuriani
7. INTERNATIONAL NEWS
71. NEW NUCLEAR-TEST-MONITORING STATION ESTABLISHED IN KAZAKHSTAN
Source: RFE/RL Newsline, August 6, 2004
Officials of the National Nuclear Center of Kazakhstan announced on
August 4, 2004 that its new Akbulak nuclear-test-monitoring facility
will be fully operational in the coming days, “Kazakhstan Today”
reported. The new facility, located 200 kilometers south of Astana, is a
joint project by Kazakhstan and the U.S. Air Force and will conduct
extensive monitoring of underground nuclear tests.
72. NEW BIOMEDICAL CENTER ON GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS TO OPEN IN
Source: RFE/RL Newsline, August 6, 2004
Kyrgyz officials announced plans on 5 August to open the country’s first
scientific center on genetically modified products, according to
Kyrgyzinfo. The biomedical center is a joint effort with the Russian
Academy of Sciences and is to “control and create” a number of
genetically modified agricultural products.
7.3. RUSSIA NEGOTIATING TRANSPORT OF SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL FROM UZBEKISTAN
Source: RFE/RL Newsline, August 6, 2004
Officials of the Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency confirmed on
August 5, 2004 that they are currently negotiating with Uzbek
authorities to import spent nuclear fuel from a scientific reactor in
Uzbekistan, Interfax reported. The negotiations are to include two
separate contracts — one for the transportation and another for the
handling and processing of the spent fuel — and are expected to be
concluded in 2005. The deal is described as a “pilot project” for the
two countries that “may run [into] hundreds of thousands of dollars,”
according to an agency official quoted by Interfax. The removal of spent
nuclear fuel from Uzbekistan is seen as an important measure to prevent
7.4. WORLD BANK CHALLENGED: ARE THE POOR REALLY HELPED?
Source: EIR-NOW!, July 28, 2004
Wealthy nations and international organizations, including the World
Bank, spend more than $55 billion annually to better the lot of the
world’s 2.7 billion poor people. Yet they have scant evidence that the
myriad projects they finance have made any real difference, many
That important fact has left some critics of the World Bank, the largest
financier of antipoverty programs in developing countries, dissatisfied,
and they have begun throwing down an essential challenge. It is not
enough, they say, just to measure how many miles of roads are built,
schools constructed or microcredit loans provided. You must also measure
whether those investments actually help poor people live longer, more
It is a common-sense approach that is harder than it sounds, just like
the question it seeks to answer: Does aid really work?
A small band of development economists, who a year ago founded the
Poverty Action Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have
become influential advocates for randomized evaluations as the best way
to answer that question. Such trials, generally regarded as the gold
standard in social policy research, involve randomly assigning people
eligible for an antipoverty program to get the help or not, then
comparing outcomes to see whether those who got the help fared better
than those who did not.
It is the same approach that has helped drug companies figure out what
medicines are effective and Americans decide how best to reform welfare.
Advocates for rigorous evaluations hope to make aid more effective, not
by directing money to particular countries, but by spending it on
programs proven to work.
The Poverty Action Lab scholars have made startling discoveries in their
own randomized evaluations.
Adding an extra teacher to classrooms in rural India did not improve
children’s test scores. But hiring high-school graduates who were paid
only $10 to $15 a month to give remedial tutoring to groups of lagging
students in a Bombay slum markedly improved reading and math skills.
A series of education experiments in Kenya found that providing poor
students with free uniforms or a simple porridge breakfast substantially
increased attendance. But giving them drugs to treat the intestinal
worms that infect more than a quarter of the world’s population was more
cost effective, with a price tag of only $3.50 for each extra year of
schooling achieved. Healthier children are more likely to go to school.
“You can’t answer the general question: Doesaid work?” said Esther
Duflo, an economist and co-founder of the Poverty Action Lab. “You have
to go project by project and accumulate the evidence.”
The World Bank, a lumbering giant that employs more than 1,200 Ph.D.’s,
is beginning to listen to critics like her. This summer, it is
organizing large-scale impact evaluations, including randomized trials,
of programs to upgrade slums, improve the performance of schools and
keep children healthy and in class. The programs will be tested in
dozens of countries.
FranÃois Bourguignon, the bank’s chief economist, said he hoped this new
effort would help the bank, other donors and developing countries “learn
what does and does not work.”
Rigorous impact evaluations should become part of the bank’s culture, he
That will require deep change. A recent in-house review of bank projects
during the past four to five years found that only 2 percent had been
properly evaluated for whether they made a difference, according to Mr.
When Lant Pritchett, an economist who has spent a dozen years at the
bank, pondered why there was so little good evidence on the impact of
projects it financed, a tune from an old game show spoof that his Mom
used to sing popped into his head: “It pays to be ignorant, to be dumb,
to be dense . . .”
Bank economists have recently produced assessments of huge development
initiatives that acknowledge weaknesses in the evidence.
A critical review of the bank’s $7 billion portfolio of programs that
involve local communities in their design and management concluded
recently that “there are, unfortunately, a dearth of well-designed
evaluations of such projects.”
Another review of a $1.3 billion initiative in India found similar
problems. Bank economists in New Delhi examined more than 200 studies of
projects in India that ranged from teacher training to school
construction, enrollment drives to textbook revision.
They concluded that none of the studies were rigorous enough to measure
whether the initiatives made a difference, except for one that found it
increased enrollment by a disappointing 1.3 percent. “The World Bank
spent more than a billion dollars without knowing why they were doing
what they were doing – that’s the tragedy,” said Abhijit Banerjee, an
M.I.T. economics professor and co-founder of the Poverty Action Lab.
But even as aid agencies lagged in conducting stringent evaluations,
Professors Banerjee and Duflo at M.I.T., Michael Kremer at Harvard and
other economists associated with the lab have been conducting randomized
trials of antipoverty programs in India, Kenya, South Africa, Peru and
Even they acknowledge that random evaluations are not a panacea. For
example, a program that works in Asia may not work in Africa. Still,
they say, the trials offer the best evidence.
“This rigorous testing has made a huge difference in medicine and has
improved human welfare due to better drugs,” said Professor Kremer. “If
we could use randomized evaluations to really find out what works,
foreign aid donors could implement better health and education policies
and so could developing countries.”
Mr. Pritchett, a veteran bank economist, tried to explain why rigorous
evaluations were such a rarity in the culture of the bank. Its highly
trained, well-meaning professionals too often think they know the
solutions. “They have too little doubt,” he said.
They also worry that modest, proven gains for the poor will lose out to
inflated, unproven claims for, say, tax cuts to the rich or a new
weapons system – a concern he shares. “You wan to know what works and
what doesn’t, but until you subject the full range of government
spending to the same discipline, why are you disadvantaging things for
poor people?” he asked.
But Professor Banerjee is optimistic that reliable evaluations will give
advocates ammunition to lobby for increased foreign aid.
He pointed to the success of a rigorously studied Mexican program that
paid poor mothers a small sum if they kept their children in school and
got them immunized. The model has spread across Latin America in large
measure because a large randomized trial, published in 2001, showed that
the children who participated were healthier and stayed in school
“In the development business,” he said, “it would be really good to get
away from the need to have people promising miracles.”
8. NEW PUBLICATIONS
8.1. LITTLE GREEN DATA BOOK 2004
Source: Eco-Accordance, July 29, 2004
The WB has published the Little Green Data Book 2004. This pocket size
publication summarizes basic data on the environment in the world, in
separate regions and countries.
In the guidebook you could find information on the key indicators in the
following fields: agriculture, forestry, biodiversity, energy,
discharges and pollution, water and sanitary. The whole page is
dedicated to each country.
The guidebook gives you opportunity to carry out the comparison between
countries and regions.
The Little Green Data Book 2004 in English language is available on the
If you would like to receive a copy by mail, please send your request to
9. CALENDAR (INTERNATIONAL)
9.1. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES – INTERNATIONAL YOUTH CONFERENCE
We invite you to participate in the activities of the International
Youth Conference that will take place on the 11-14 October 2004,
The conference will be convened according to the following directions:
o Information technologies in the sociological science
o Information technologies in the field of the biological medicine
o Information technologies in the technical sciences
The conference working languages are Armenian, Russian, and English.
Students (bachelors, masters), post-graduate students, candidates, and
researchers up to the age of 35 can participate in the conference.
The Section of Biological Medicine of the conference will take place in
the Yerevan State Medical University after M. Heratsi.
The conference materials are accepted prior to September 1, 2004.
The conference materials must be submitted in Armenian, Russian, or
English, volume of 3-4 pages, with MS Word text format, according to the
following criterion: Working field is 11.5×17.5 cm (for example, for A4
(21.0×29.7) paper size Top-6cm, Bottom-6.5cm, Left-5cm, Right-4.5cm),
line spacing-1.2, font- Arial Armenian, Times New Roman, size-10.
Report materials can only be considered by e-mail delivery to the
following e-mail addresses:
o Information Technologies in the Sociological Science [email protected]
o Information technologies in the field of the biological medicine
o Information technologies in the technical sciences [email protected]
7 Hasratyan St., 375014, Yerevan RA
Tel/Fax: + 374 1 282061
9.2. NINTH EUROPEAN PH.D WORKSHOP ON INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE POLICY
October 15-16, 2004
The Ninth European Ph.D workshop on International Climate Policy will be
held a the university of Tuscia, hosted by the Department of Forest
Science and Resources on October 15-16, 2004 in Viterbo, Italy.
The workshop is open for Ph.D students and researchers from all
disciplines working on different aspects of International Climate
Policy. It offers a forum to present preliminary Ph.D research ideas and
results and discus them with other students and researchers working in
the field. The workshop will be held in English. The is no workshop fee.
How ever we may ask for you financial participation in to the drinks and
snacks that will be provided during the two days. We could not offer
funding to cover travel costs accommodation.
Further information id available on the
Registration deadline September 10, 2004.
This CENN lists are created to maintain e-mail discussions of Caucasus
Environmental NGO Network members. By sending the letter on address
[email protected], all subscribers will receive it.
To subscribe or unsubscribe from CENN mailing list service, please send
an email message to [email protected] and places the subscribe or
unsubscribe command as the first line of the message body. For example,
if a mailing list called CENN, one would subscribe or unsubscribe by
placing the value: SUBSCRIBE CENN or UNSUBSCRIBE CENN as the first line
of the message body. The message subject is irrelevant and can be left
blank. For more information, please visit CENN web page at:
CENN, on behalf of the Caucasus Environmental NGOs, would like to
express gratitude to the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
(SDC) for provision of financial support for regional environmental
For more information about the program, please visit CENN web-page:
Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN)
E-mail: [email protected]
Editorial policy: CENN both solicits and accepts submissions for
environmental information to the Caucasus Environmental News Bulletin.
Although, CENN retains the right to edit all materials both for content
and length. The information provided for the Bulletin does not
necessarily represent the opinion of CENN and SDC.