CENN Electronic Bulletin 76 – 01/2005

Caucasus Environmental NGO Network


76 Electronic Bulletin:

Caucasus Environmental News

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).



1. Announcements

1.1. Pilot scheme for poverty reduction in the Kvemo Kartli and
Samtskhe Javakheti regions project

2. Job, Internship and Study Opportunities

2.1. Master’s Program in Energy and Resources

3. News from Georgia

3.1. BTC pipeline jointing system to be tested in Caucasian winter

3.2. “We are no longer afraid when our kids go to drink water”

3.3. Main gas pipeline needs rehabilitation

3.4. Deadline for accepting bids for tender on Georgia’s new
tourism symbol postponed

3.5. BP to provide $80 mln in grants to Georgia in 2005-2010

3.6. BP allots USD 50 million in grants to Georgia

3.7. Cleaning up Tbilisi’s act

3.8. Tourism relations boosting up between Iran and Georgia

3.9. BTC pipeline 93% complete

3.10. BTC pipeline on schedule

4. News from Azerbaijan

4.1. BP Azerbaijan reports on one-year activity

4.2. Ministry of youth, Sports and Tourism holds business seminar

4.3. South Caucasus pipeline project construction half completed

4.4. First oil from “Merkezi Azeri” to be produced in February

4.5. New wells put into operation in “Gunashli” field

4.6. BP increase oil production last year

4.7. Executive order of president of the Azerbaijan Republic on
Approval of the “Memorandum of Mutual Understanding Between the
Government of the Azerbaijan Republic and the Government of the Kingdom
of Denmark Cooperation in the Field of Realization of the Kyoto Protocol
of the Frame Convention the United Nations on Climatic Changes”, Signed
on December 8, 2004 in the City of Baku

4.8. MEGA wins BP’s contest

5. News from Armenia

5.1. Government approves food security concept

5.2. Ecologists want government control of GM food in Armenia

5.3. Armenia to be provided $20 million for agricultural programs

5.4. Tourism is a new field in Armenia

6. NGO News

6.1. “Project Harmony” opens internet centers in secondary schools

7. International News

7.1. Practical action plan to combat poverty unveiled at UN today

8. New Publications

8.1. Forest Planning and Practice Recommendation Guide – For the
Conservation and Enhancement of biodiversity in Georgian Forests

9. Calendar (International)

9.1. International Conference Women in Forestry



1.1. Pilot Scheme for Poverty Reduction in the Kvemo Kartli and
Samtskhe Javakheti regions project

Source: The Messenger, January 17, 2005


The European Commission Delegation to Georgia and Armenia (Delegation –
[email protected]) is seeking proposals for poverty reduction in rural
areas in Kvemo Kartli and Samtskhe Javakheti, Georgia with financial
assistance from the Tacis program of the European Communities. Budget: 3
000 000 EUR.

The full Guidelines for Applications are available for consultation at
the official journal and on the following Internet site:

The deadline for submission of proposals is March 31, 2005 at 16.00
local Georgia time.



We are currently seeking applicants for admission to our international
master’s program Energy and Resources at the University of Utrecht in
The Netherlands.

The program Energy and Resources is a two-year program offered by the
Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development and Innovation. The
focus of the programme is on Sustainability Energy Supply, Energy System
Analysis, Energy and Material Demand Efficiency and Energy Policy. The
program offers a varied combination of lectures, assignments, case
studies, excursions, multidisciplinary and internationally orientated
research projects and internships with external organizations.

For whom?

The master programme is intended for students that hold a bachelor
degree in natural or environmental sciences, engineering or technology
and that are interested in solving complex issues on energy, materials
and climate by using an interdisciplinary approach.

More information:

For more information about the content of the program, the course
outline, entrance requirements and admission procedures please visit our
website: <;

Please forward

We would appreciate if you could forward this information to your
students, colleagues or others who could be interested in the master’s
program Energy and Resources.

Best regards,

Martijn Rietbergen

Coordinator track Energy and Resources

Master Programme Sustainable Development

Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development and Innovation

Department of Science, Technology and Society

Heidelberglaan 2, 3584 CS Utrecht, The Netherlands

Tel: +31-30-2537621




3.1. BTC pipeline jointing system to be tested in Caucasian winter

Source: The Chartered Institute of Building, December 17, 2004

Temperatures in Azerbaijan and Georgia are currently well below the 10
degrees Celsius at which problems with the specified jointing system for
the BTC pipeline began to emerge last winter in the Caucasus.

The early stages of construction proved to be a field test for the
Specialty Polymer Coating which BP and its operating company decided to
adopt for the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline in the face of misgivings
among members of their own engineering staff as well as independent
pipeline consultants.

After the jointing problems were exposed in London’s Sunday Times
newspaper last February, a full review was undertaken by WorleyParsons
in order to reassure the BTC Lenders Group that the proposed method of
pipeline jointing was technically sound and would not give rise to an
environmental hazard.

The group includes Britain’s Export Credits Guarantee Department which
is one of the financial guarantors for the $ 4 bn project. Under
examination by the House of Commons Trade and Industry Committee, the
ECGD directors said they were satisfied that the reports had answered
their questions about the ability of this innovative method to meet the
requirements of a 40-year design life.

The failed joints on the BTC pipeline have long been repaired but the
same system is being used on the South Caucasus Pipeline now being built
from the Shah-Deniz gas field to the Turkish border. If the analysis by
WorleyParsons is as well founded as the Lenders Group believes it is,
this winter should provide a conclusive demonstration that, given the
correct method of application at low temperatures, a fusion-bonded epoxy
based material will bond with the polyethylene wrapping of the steel

This issue has divided opinion in the industry for some time, but it
looks as though this winter will at last provide a definitive answer to
the controversy.

3.2. “We are no longer afraid when our kids go to drink water”

Source: The Messenger, December 29, 2004

In the village Jandari I, in the Gardabani district, works have been
completed on the installation of an internal potable water system. The
project was implemented by Mercy Corps and local community members
within the framework of the Community Investment Program (CIP) – East,
which is initiated and funded by BP and its partners in the BTC/SCP

Head of the Sakrebulo Administration of Jandari I, Mrs. Sevil Mamedova,
combines her public service with a career as a teacher in the Jandari
School every day she has meetings with lots of people and she has vast
knowledge about the problems of her countrymen. “A huge problem was
solved in our village with the support of the BP project,” said Mrs.
Mamedova, adding “We did not have quality portable water for years. The
only solution was to dig wells in our yards. My house is in the lower
part of the village and we found water at 15 meters, but still, the
workers charges 250 dollars. Others paid much more. But this all had
negative consequences – many in the town became ill and when specialists
investigated, they found that the well water contained certain toxins.
That is why in April of last year, when we had first meeting with Mercy
Corps, our community decided to improve the situation with drinking
water in the village, namely to install an internal potable water

As leader of the Community Initiative Group, Mr. Olkhan Ibragimov said,
that project, apart from supplying the village with safe drinking water,
had another positive aspect: it brought the people together and
encouraged them to believe in their own strength. “The project was
implemented in two stages: first we made a 100-meter deep well, and
after the rehabilitation of the potable water system, we installed 30
taps. Community contribution in the first stage was 29%, in the second –
23%. We are happy, because we are no longer afraid when our kids go to
drink water.”

Aside from the lack of a potable water system, the people in Jandari I
also did not have natural gas because they could not afford consumption

“This problem also was solved by BP and Mercy Corps,” Sakrebulo Head
Roman Gasanov said. “The budget developed by our Community Initiative
Group, has already been approved: Mercy Corps is going to buy 55 gas
meters for us, and the community will pay for their installation”.

3.3. Main Gas pipeline needs rehabilitation

Source: The Messenger, January 14, 2005

The Georgian Gas Corporation and the Ministry of Energy jointly
presented a plan for the corporation’s long term sustainability for
discussion at the governmental session on January 12, 2005.

The authors of the plan put forward five different options: the selling
of the corporation, partial selling, changing of the management,
attracting donors and ensuring state financing. The government suggested
the unification of the corporation with the Georgian International Oil
Corporation as a survival plan.

Head of the Gas Corporation David Ingorokva and Minister of Energy Nika
Gilauri insisted on the need for urgent rehabilitation of the main gas
pipeline from Russia to Armenia through Georgia, saying that without
repair work, the pipeline will be completely unusable within 3-5 years.

The pipeline is crucial for the country’s energy supply, as it provides
Georgia and Armenia, with all its imports of Russian gas. However, the
pipeline which was built in the 1960s and since 1992 has received no
rehabilitation work is deteriorating fast. Initially planned to carry 16
billion cubic meters of natural gas, the pipeline now has a capacity of
just 7 bullion cubic meters.

The urgent repair work will cost USD 40 million, but for the sustainable
development of the system and further rehabilitation, an additional USD
60 million is needed. To rehabilitate the system completely will cost
some USD 613 million, an astronomically high sum for Georgia.

Where such huge sums are to be found is an issue of some urgency: it is
nonrealistic to say that the money could be allotted from the state
budget, or that the Corporation could receive the money form the
organizations which have not paid for consumed gas.

Meanwhile, the Georgian government is actively pursuing alternative
suppliers by discussing possible gas shipments from Iran via Azerbaijan.
This too requires substantial investment and the government must decide
where its money is mot useful.

Given the serious situation, the possibility of finding a foreign
investor willing to buy the corporation remains on the agenda, despite
the fact that the Georgian constitution forbids the sale of the
corporation, and the pipeline, as they considered object of vital
strategic importance.

Russian energy giant Gazprom has been eyeing the Georgian gas pipeline
for a long time despite the poor condition it is in. But Gazprom does
not plan to pay for the pipeline, offering instead to cancel Georgia’s
substantial debts for past gas imports.

This is unlikely to solve the problem, as the pipeline needs hard cash
to rehabilitate it, and so for now the unification of the Gas
Corporation with the Georgian International Oil Corporation is planned
as a temporary step, although it is hard to say how this will contribute
to the rehabilitation of the pipeline.


Source: Sarke, January 17, 2005

The tender on the creation of Georgia’s new tourism symbol was announced
at the end of last year but designers have not shown special interest
since then. Only 5-6 applications have been submitted although the
deadline for applications was today.

3.5. BP to provide $80 mln in grants to Georgia in 2005-2010

Source: Interfax, January 20, 2005

BP, the operator of the Baku-Tbilisi- Ceyhan project, plans to provide
Georgia with $80 million in grants in 2005-2010 for social and economic
projects, BP-Georgia General manager Rif Diggins told journalists in

He said that as part of a program agreed with the government at the end
of 2004, the company has already paid a grant of $9 million to the state
budget, which will be used in 2005 to finance social programs for
students and to increase pensions in the regions through which the
pipeline passes.

He said that after the pipeline starts operating in the second half of
2005, the company plans to provide the Georgian government with a grant
of $11 million and starting in 2006 it will provide $4 million per year.

In parallel, BP will carry out other grant programs in Georgia, one of
which involves providing $10 million to finance education and health
programs over a two-three year period.

Mr. Diggins said that specific projects are currently being discussed
with government representatives.

3.6. BP Allots USD 50 Million in Grants to Georgia

Source: The Messenger, January 24, 2005

Money will be used to fund improvements in the health system, pensions
and other projects

The BTC pipeline is 80% complete and the South Caucasus gas pipeline 54%
complete, says BP

BP shareholders plan to allot USD 40 million in grants to Georgia over
the next six years, and in addition, the company itself has decided to
allot USD 10 million for various projects.

The agreement between BP and the government was signed in October 2004,
and the first grant of USD 9 million has already been allotted.

According to BP Georgia General Manager Wref Diggings, “The government
will use it to support the state budget.”

The grant is specially aimed at the student voucher system, supporting
people below the poverty line and pension increase in the regions.

Diggings says that “when the oil will start to flow through the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline” in 2005, BP shareholders plan to allot a
further USD 11 million.

Then, from 2006 to 2010, the shareholders will transfer USD 4 million
per year to the Georgian government account.

In addition, BP has decided to allot a further USD 10 million to the
Georgian government to fund different programs.

The company is currently consulting the Ministry of Finance on how this
money will be spent, although Diggings thinks that the grant will go on
projects in primary healthcare and education.

“We have already met with the Minister of Healthcare to discuss a
hospital program”, he said at a BP roundtable meeting with journalists
last week.

At the meeting, Diggings stressed that “the government must give a
public account on how they spend these grants.”

According to BP, the construction of BTC pipeline is 80% complete in
Georgia, while the construction of pump stations is 86% compete. “The
first cargo of oil is expected in the second part of this year,” said

Last week he also gave an update on the construction of the South
Caucasus gas pipeline, which he said was 54% complete, adding that
construction work will be finished in Georgia by the end of this year.

“It will be an important new energy source for Georgia,” Diggings
thinks. According to the agreement, Georgia will receive 500 million
cubic meters of gas per year – half of Georgia’s gas demand – and will
also have the option to buy gas at discount price.

Diggings thinks that BP shareholders will work to transport oil from
sources other than Azerbaijan, naming Kazakhstan which he said “will
become an important oil exporter.”

In an interview with The Messenger last year CanArgo CEO David Robson
did not rule out the possibility that the company would transport its
oil by the BTC pipeline as well, assuming that CanArgo’s explorations in
Georgia result in the oil the company expects.

3.7. Cleaning up Tbilisi’s act

Source: The Messenger, January 24, 2005

City government reintroduces street cleaners to Tbilisi streets

The institution of street cleaner, abolished in Tbilisi in the
mid-1990s, began functioning again on January 22, 2005.

Some 1000 street cleaners will ensure that Tbilisi is a cleaner,
brighter city and on Saturday Tbilisi Mayor Zurab Chiaberashvili and
Premier Temur Kurkhuli visited those Tbilisi districts where street
cleaners have already started work.

The street cleaners will earn a salary of GEL 100 per month and those
interviewed by Georgian media said they were satisfied with the salary,
although some said that having to clean 4000 square meters of territory
per day was too much.

“It is very difficult for us to clean such a huge territory, because
there are so many buildings,” which mean lots of rubbish said cleaner
Gulnara Alieva.

However, the Tbilisi city authorities believe that such is the
deplorable sanitary situation in the town, the street cleaners alone
will not be able to tidy the place up, and that a company is needed to
take over responsibility for the cleaning of Tbilisi’s districts.

“We want to contract a company which will be both interested and
actively involved in this sphere,” Tbilisi vice-premier Ucha Gelashvili
stated on Rustavi-2.

It has not been decided yet which company the town authorities will work
with, although it is already known that the decision will be made by
tender, and that interested companies should submit proposals.

One firm has already submitted its tender – the Israeli Alon group has
said it is prepared to take on the responsibility of ensuring the
cleanliness of the town and also of collecting money from Tbilisi
residents to pay for the service.

“This is a program we want to implement in the current year.
Negotiations are underway right now, and I think that we cannot delay
this program,” Tbilisi Premier Temur Kurkhuli said, adding that it is
not known yet whether or not the negotiations will prove successful or

If all goes to plan, however, and negotiations are concluded
successfully the company will start work in summer. Up until that time,
the premier himself will be responsible to overseeing street cleaners’

“We will choose the districts and we will be able to settle this problem
until the end of the year,” he said.

3.8. Tourism Relations Boosting up Between Iran and Georgia

Source: The Messenger, January 31, 2005

On January 24, 2005 Chairmen of the Tourism Department of Georgia Saba
Kiknadze and Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran signed a
special program worked out in order to expand cooperation between
Georgia and Iran in tourism field as Saba Kiknadze declared after the
official visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

According to the Chairman of the Tourism Department of Georgia the
aforementioned program will facilitate traveling between the two states
and envisages exchange programs of tourism specialists in order to
raiser level of efficiency.

“Meanwhile, investments will be built in Georgia,” Mr. Kiknadze said.

For the background, earlier on December 21, 2004 Georgian Foreign
Minister has received Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mohsen Aminzadeh
paying official visit to Georgia.

During the meeting the parties have discussed the prospects of
Georgian-Iran relations in future and issues of regional cooperation.

Deputy Foreign Minister of Islamic Republic of Iran had meetings with
the Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania and Georgian Parliamentary
Chairperson Nino Burdjanadze.

During the meeting with the Parliamentary Chairperson of Georgia Nino
Burdjanadze Deputy Foreign Minister Mohsen Aminzadeh emphasized
necessity of further development of trade economic cooperation as well
as intensification of scientific relationships between two countries,
despite tight interactions in scores of spheres.

Mr. Aminzadeh stressed that he watches Georgia’s current developments
closely and is happy that he visited Georgia when it faces new
perspectives for advance. He went on saying that this is the right
period for real chances in development of relations between two states.

The Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iran Mohsen Aminzadeh gave
Nino Burdjanadze best regards of her Iranian counterpart and stated that
Iran will gladly host a top level delegation of the Parliament of

On its part, Nino Burdjanadze expressed gratitude for invitation and
said that she would be also happy to receive the Parliamentary
delegation of Iran. The speaker underlined that the authorities of
Georgia attribute it great importance to relations with Iran and “within
its competence the Parliament of Georgia will maximally foster
cooperation boosting up between the countries,” she noted.

3.9. BTC Pipeline 93% Complete

Source: The Messenger, January 31, 2005

93% of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) crude oil pipeline project has been
completed as of January 9th, 2005, said authorities today, January 30,

The project aims to unlock a vast store of energy from the Caspian Sea
by providing a new crude oil pipeline from Azerbaijan, through Georgia,
to Turkey for onward delivery to world markets.

Traversing 1,760 km of terrain, the BTC pipeline will be able to
transport up to one million barrels of crude oil per day from a cluster
of discoveries in the Caspian Sea. 1,760 km of the pipeline will be on
Turkish territory,

By creating the first direct pipeline link between the landlocked
Caspian Sea and the Mediterranean, the BTC project will bring positive
economic advantage to the region and avoid increasing oil tariff through
the Turkish straits.

The BTC pipeline is due to become operational in early 2005 with first
oil planned to be exported from the Ceyhan marine terminal during the
second half of the year.

3.10. BTC Pipeline on Schedule

Source: The Messenger, February 1, 2005

Construction of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline is on schedule and
transportation of oil from the Ceyhan terminal will start in the second
half of 2005, Finance Minister Zurab Nogaideli declared at a conference
on Monday, January 31, 2005.

According to Mr. Nogaideli, the Georgian section of the pipeline is 80%
complete, and pump stations in the country 86% complete, Prime News


4.1. BP Azerbaijan reports on one-year activity

Source: AssA-Irada, December 21, 2004

BP Azerbaijan predicts that by the end of the year it will have spent $
90 mm in operating expenses, as expected, and $ 2.491 bn in capital
expenses versus the 2004 target of $ 2.364 bn, under the
Azeri-Chirac-Guneshli project.

The increase in the cost of capital expenses was due to additional
operations carried out on the East and West Azeri fields and the
replacement of a platform, BP Azerbaijan President David Woodward told.
He said that this year 50 mm man/hours have been implemented and six
work-days lost as a result of accidents. Mr. Woodward said that 76 % of
hook-up and commissioning on the Central Azeri PDQ platform offshore has
been carried out, with the first oil to be produced from the well in the
first quarter of 2005, as planned.

The entire pipe laid tie-in and testing work for the oil and gas
pipelines from Central Azeri to the Sangachal terminal has been
completed, along with installation and commissioning of the 187 km fibre
communications cable, which is now operational.

The pipe lay barge Israfil Huseynov is currently completing its re-fit
work and will be ready to commence the ACG Phase-2 pipe-lay work by the
end of December. In October the barge was successfully used to support
the Central Azeri hook-up, providing accommodation next to Central Azeri
for 200 construction workers.

The Compressor and Water Injection Platform topsides fabrication in
Bibi-Heybat is 82 % complete and is on target for sailaway and offshore
installation in the third quarter of 2005 and for the first gas
injection in November.

Woodward said that construction operations on the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan
(BTC) oil and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline are on schedule and will
complete next year.

The activities of BP Azerbaijan in 2005 will focus on completing the
fabrication and assembly of the TPG 500 at Zykh and at the Yusif
Ibrahimov Floating Dry Dock, laying of subsea pipelines, construction of
the Shah Deniz section of the Sangachal terminal and the SCP pipeline,
ahead of commissioning and first gas supplies in 2006.

In 2005, the company plans to spend $ 154 mm in operating expenses and $
2.311 bn in capital expenses on ACG activities.


Source: State Telegraphic Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Azertag,
January 17, 2005

The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Tourism in cooperation with the
Economic Reforms Center, marketing society, Azerbaijan Banks
Association, “Eurasia” Fund conducted a two-day seminar “Credit Policy
in Azerbaijan and Drawing up Business Plans” for the heads of regional
departments of Ministry, representatives of tourist companies and
hotels. Lectures on peculiarities of credit policy in Azerbaijan,
filling in credits documents and drawing up business-plans, introduction
to marketing, and development of tourism in regions was delivered at the


Source: State Telegraphic Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Azertag,
January 18, 2005

According to the information of the BP press service 55% of the works at
the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum MEP have been realized. Preparatory works to
pump the first gas from the Shah-Deniz prospect to the pipeline will be
completed in 2005. The works include delivery of the technological
processing equipment for modernization of the Zikh construction-mounting
workshop from Singapore, delivery of TPG 500 platform from the Caspian
Shipping Company’s construction field, drilling of the appraisal well in
Shah-Deniz prospect, installation of the TPG platform, start of
exploitation tests in the Sangachal terminal.

The Baku-Erzurum gas pipeline construction employs 1085 people, 820 of
which are locals.


Source: State Telegraphic Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Azertag,
January 27, 2005

The first oil from “Merkezi Azeri” will be produced in mid February,
AzerTAj correspondent learnt from the Azerbaijan International Operating
Company / AIOC/.

99% of the works, as well as installation of upper modules, hydro test
of underwater oil pipes, preparation works for delivery of the first oil
to Sangachal terminal completed.


Source: State Telegraphic Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Azertag,
January 27, 2005

20 new wells were put into operation in N13 platform of “Gunashli”
field, at 120 km distance from shore, in 2004, as a result of which, gas
production has reached 10 mln cubic meters, “Azneft” production
association reports. 29 km new submarine oil and gas pipe was connected
with the main line as well.


Source: State Telegraphic Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Azertag,
January 28, 2005

BP produced 6 million 572 thousand tons of oil from Chirag oilfield in
2004. It is by 116 thousand tons higher than that in 2003. Of this
volume of oil 6 million 296 thousand tons were exported through
Baku-Supsa oil pipelines and 166 thousand tons – through
Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline.


Source: State Telegraphic Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Azertag,
January 28, 2005

1. To ratify signed on December 8, 2004 in city Baku the
“Memorandum of mutual understanding between the Government of the
Azerbaijan Republic and the Government of the Kingdom of Denmark on
cooperation in the field of realization Kyoto Protocol of the Frame
Convention of the United Nations on climatic changes”.

2. To charge the Cabinet of the Azerbaijan Republic to take
necessary measures for realization of the Memorandum of the mutual
understanding specified in the paragraph 1 of the this Order.

3. To charge the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Azerbaijan
Republic to direct to the Government of the Kingdom of Denmark the
corresponding notice on performance of the interstate procedures
necessary for coming into force of the Memorandum of mutual
understanding, pointed in the paragraph 1 of the present Order.

Ilham Aliyev,

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Baku, January 19, 2005


Source: State Telegraphic Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Azertag,
January 29, 2005

Recently, the Azeri Company MEGA has won the tender on “Provision of Web
Design Services” announced by BP owing to continuous efforts on
improvement of performance and provided services.

Founded in April 2002, MEGA is engaged in development of sites and
portals, development of web applications, Multimedia: issue of compact
presentation discs, Corporate style: development of company logo,

Ministry of Internal Affairs, Head Office of State Traffic Police, Swift
Technical Azerbaijan, XerotecLLC, AzPEtrol, IMPROTEX Group of Companies,
Mbask, Rapid Solutions, Aselsa-Baku, EUPEC and many other commercial and
state organizations are among the clients of the Company.



Source: Armenpress, January 26, 2005

The Armenian government approved on January 25 the “concept of food
security”, whereby it wants to make Armenia meet international standards
of self-sufficiency in agricultural products by 2015. The program
envisages that in ten years Armenia’s agriculture and food processing
industry will be able to secure 75 percent of domestic demand in

Hrachya Tspnetsian, a senior official from the Agriculture Ministry,
said after the Tuesday government session that Armenia meets now only 55
of its domestic demand for foodstuff. He added that the success of food
security program depends largely on the purchasing power of the
population. Another goal of the program is to enable every Armenian to
consume at least 2,100 kilocalories a day, an amount which doctors say
is the “physiological minimum.”

Armenia has to import now all consumed sugar, cooking oil and part of
meat, wheat, but imports no fruits, potatoes and other vegetables.

The food security concept was developed by an inter-ministerial
commission. According to national statistical service, monthly earnings
of each member of an urban household make 12,000 drams (approximately
$25) and in rural areas 7,000 drams. Fifty-three percent of that money
comes from wages, 10 percent from sale of agricultural products, 10.5
percent from state benefits and allowances and another 22 percent from
money remittances from abroad. An average Armenian family spends two
thirds of its budget on food.

5.2. Ecologists Want Government Control of GM Food in Armenia

Source: Asbarez Online, January 28, 2005

Environmental and consumer rights organizations are sounding the alarm
over the virtual absence of government controls on the spread of
genetically modified (GM) food in Armenia.

Biotech crops, widely cultivated in the United States but banned across
Europe, have been rapidly spreading around the world. According to some
studies, last year saw a 20% jump in their production levels compared to

Armenia has no laws or government policies regulating imports and
domestic production of GM foodstuffs, the impact of which is still a
matter of great contention. Local environmentalists say the apparent
government complacency could lead to negative consequences.

“The danger facing both nature and human beings is enormous. We are
violating the most important laws of nature,” warned Karine Danielian, a
former environment minister who now heads the Association for
Sustainable Development, a non-governmental organization opposed to
genetically engineered crops.

Anush Galstian of the Armenian Ecological Club, another NGO, shared
Danielian’s concerns, arguing that the authorities do not even check the
genetic origin of crop seeds imported to the country. “We don’t have
laboratories to conduct such studies,” she said. “Nor do we have laws
obliging every importer of foodstuffs to go through such procedures.”

“We have yet to clarify what we are importing and growing,” Galstian

The Armenian Ministry of Environmental Protection did recognize the
problem in 2003 when it received a $156,000 grant from the United
Nations to develop a “national framework for biological security.”
Artashes Ziroyan, a ministry official who runs the project, told RFE/RL
that the document has already been drawn up and will serve as a basis
for a special law to be drafted by the government.

Ziroyan could not say whether GM seeds are already used by Armenian
farmers and, if so, to what extent. According to Melsida Hakobian,
chairman of the Association of Consumers, the unusually big size of some
vegetables sold in the markets indicates their GM origin.

“The farmers do not know what [genetic engineering] is,” she said. “But
when we explain the risks involved, some of them start having second
thoughts. But other say proudly, ‘See how big our tomatoes are’.”

The possibly negative effects of biotech crops has prompted concern from
environmentalists and farming specialists around the world. The Food and
Agriculture Organization (FAO), a UN agency based in Rome, held a
special conference on the problem this week. In a statement released
afterward, FAO called for thorough consultations and checks on the
impact that GM food might produce on natural resources such as soil and
water, as well as of rural livelihoods.

“The need to monitor both the benefits and the potential hazards of
released GM crops to the environment is becoming ever more important
with the dramatic increase in the range and scale of their commercial
cultivation, especially in developing countries,” Louise O. Fresco,
assistant director-general of the agency’s agriculture department, was
quoted by the Associated Press as saying on Thursday.


Source: PanARMENIAN.Net, January 29, 2005

Within the framework of the official visit of the Armenian President to
Italy Robert Kocharian met with leaders of the UN Food and Agriculture
Program and the International Fund of Agricultural Development (IFAD).
In compliance with the agreement, signed by Minister of Agriculture of
Armenia David Lokian and IFAD President Lenart Bohen yesterday, a new
agricultural program totaling $20 million is planned to be implemented
in Armenia. As stated by D. Lokian, $10 million will be allocated for
crediting framing, while the rest $10 million will be spent to implement
modernization programs of the agricultural infrastructure. The
implementation of the program, which will last 4 years, will begin in a
couple of months. It should be noted that the same day a business forum
was held in Rome with the participation of representatives of the
business circles of Armenia and Italy. In the course of the meeting
prospects of implementation of a range of investment programs in Armenia
by the Italian party were outlined.


Source: A1plus, January 31, 2005

Arthur Zakaryan, head of the Tourism Administration of the Ministry of
Trade and Economical Development, announced today, that tourism is a new
field in Armenia. «I do not mean that tourism came into existance or
started to develop since 1998», said Arthur Zakaryan, «What I want
to say is that tourism started to develop on Armenia after winning
independence. In Soviet times it was decided in Moscow where the tourist
group must go and how long it will stay and no tourist had the right to
change anything».

Mr. Zakaryan also said that a system of regulation of the field of hotel
will be inserted. All the hotels in Armenia will get qualification
marks, the highest being «5 star». The requirements of the
qualifying committee will be very strict. It will include members of the
Union of Architects, Artists, Designers, etc.



Source: EINNews, January 30, 2005

The US-based “Project Harmony” non-governmental organization has opened
Internet computer center in two secondary schools of Ismayilli district.

The Center has been provided with necessary equipment and connected to
the Internet.

Schoolteachers will show teaching methods using software and Internet
resources at the presentation ceremony to be held February 1.

Representatives of the Education Ministry and US embassy to Azerbaijan
will attend the ceremony.



Source: State Telegraphic Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Azertag,
January 17, 2005

UN Millennium Project’s “Investing in Development” presented to
Secretary-General Annan, welcomed by experts as cost-effective blueprint
for achieving Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

As reports AzerTAj on referring to the UN press-release, in the most
comprehensive strategy ever put forward for combating global poverty,
hunger and disease, a blue-ribbon team of 265 of the world’s leading
development experts today proposed a package of scores of specific
cost-effective measures that together could cut extreme poverty in half
and radically improve the lives of at least one billion people in poor
developing countries by 2015.

The recommendations of the UN Millennium Project, an independent
advisory body to the UN Secretary-General, are laid out in the report
“Investing in Development: A Practical Plan to Achieve the Millennium
Development Goals”. The report was presented to United Nations
Secretary-General Kofi Annan today. Secretary-General Annan has said the
fight against extreme poverty should be the top priority of the world
community and the UN system in 2005.

“Until now, we did not have a concrete plan for achieving the Millennium
Development Goals,” said Prof. Jeffrey D. Sachs, the economist who
directed the three-year UN Millennium Project. “The experts who
contributed to this huge undertaking have shown without a doubt that we
can still meet the Goals-if we start putting this plan into action right


8.1. Forest Planning and Practice Recommendation Guide – For the
Conservation and Enhancement of biodiversity in Georgian Forests

The Cooperation and Culture Department of the French Embassy has the
pleasure to hold at your disposal Georgian and English versions of the
«Forest Planning and Practice Recommendation Guide – For the
Conservation and Enhancement of biodiversity in Georgian Forests».
This guide was realised by M. Merab MACHAVARIANI, Environment and Forest
Policy Expert, and international experts of the French Forestry Office,
Mr Laurent VALIERGUE and Mr Steven SPEED, with the financial support of
the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These guides represent the end
result of know how exchanges between French and Georgian partners and
include remarks and recommendations underlined during a seminar
organised at the French Cultural Centre in Tbilisi on October 19th,
2004. If you want to obtain a certain number of these guides, please
contact the Cooperation and Culture Department of the French Embassy, 15
Gogebashvili Street, 99 99 76. The Cooperation and Culture Department of
the French Embassy has the pleasure to hold at your disposal Georgian
and English versions of the «Forest Planning and Practice
Recommendation Guide – For the Conservation and Enhancement of
biodiversity in Georgian Forests ». This guide was realised by M.
Merab MACHAVARIANI, Environment and Forest Policy Expert, and
international experts of the French Forestry Office, Mr Laurent
VALIERGUE and Mr Steven SPEED, with the financial support of the French
Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These guides represent the end result of
know how exchanges between French and Georgian partners and include
remarks and recommendations underlined during a seminar organised at the
French Cultural Centre in Tbilisi on October 19th, 2004. If you want to
obtain a certain number of these guides, please contact the Cooperation
and Culture Department of the French Embassy, 15 Gogebashvili Street, 99
99 76.


9.1. International Conference Women in Forestry

NatureDear Colleagues,

It is our great pleasure to invite you all to the Ninth International
Conference “Women in Forestry” for the first time at the one of Baltic
Countries- Lithuania. Lithuania lies in the Eastern Europe, on the coast
of the Baltic Sea. The conference will last 6 days, starting on May 22
and ending on May 28, 2005. Our itinerary starts and finishes at Hotel
“Holiday Inn”, Vilnius.

During few years the organizations “Women in Forestry” has been founded
in Latvia (13 November 2003) and Lithuania (15 May 2004). The
strengthening collaboration between women forest owners, entrepreneurs,
researchers, foresters, forestry officers and students will create the
basis for stimulation their activities and solving their problems as
well as exchange of experience.

During our six day conference you will be able to see the forest for
yourself as well as protected biotopes and other habitats which form the
basis of our green forestry management plans. We will also show you how
the Lithuanian timber is processed from tree to final product. This
program is intended to provide a first hand look at Lithuanian forestry
practice. Register now, on a first come, first served basis, on internet
in rubric “9th International conference”
() at the latest by March 30th 2005.

Registration is binding and you will be sent the detailed program when
we receive your application.

All detailed information you could find on the web site:
rubric 9th International Conference (9-ji Tarptautine konferencija).

Jelena Aneicik

Head of Administration

Forest owners association of Lithuania

Kalvariju str. 131-312, Vilnius LT-08221, Lithuania

Tel/fax: +370 5 2767590

E-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]

Web site:

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.
Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN)

Tel: ++995 32 75 19 03/04
Fax: ++995 32 75 19 05
E-mail: [email protected]