2018 -Involvement of Civil Society in Decision Making Process on Mining in Armenia

Project duration: 2018 (ongoing)

Target communities: Non-governmental organizations dealing with mining issues in Armenia, local initiatives and communities in areas affected or threatened by mining, journalists; representatives of state institutions, representatives of mining companies

Project objective:  Increase involvement of local communities and non-governmental organizations in decision-making process on mining in Armenia.

The project is designed to enhance capacity of civil society to participate in decision-making processes in the topic of mining and improve local community instruments against mining impacts. Project is implemented jointly with “EcoLur” Informational NGO and Arnika NGO, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.

Project Outcomes: The capacity of target communities was strengthened through the workshop for Non-Governmental Organizations and Local Communities about International Instruments for regulation of toxic emissions from mining. Three meetings with representatives from responsible authorities for making dialogue between stakeholders were organized. A briefing event and a community trip to hotspots were conducted for local journalists. The workshop for introducing relevant information about mining and toxic pollution in selected areas was organized with the aim to raise public awareness. The results of analysis of water, soil, sediment, hair, and egg samples will be provided to interested stakeholders for discussing and publishing. Information materials will be published and disseminated.


Project activities implemented within the framework of the project:


For additional information please visit Arnika website: https://english.arnika.org/photogallery/in-armenia-among-ancient-monasteries-and-dangerous-mining

“Ecolur” website: https://www.ecolur.org/en/news/mining/—/10278/










In the frame of this project, a conference entitled “Industrial Pollution in Lori Province” was held on 10 December, 2018 at “Ani Plaza” Hotel, Yerevan, with participation of experts of the Czech “Arnika” Association, representatives from the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Armenia, ministries of nature protection, health and emergency situations, NGOs and mass media.

During the event, Jitka Strakova, expert from “Arnika” NGO, and Marek Sir, expert from the University of Chemistry and Technology of Prague, presented the findings of the research carried out in Alaverdy, Shnogh and Akhtala communities in Lori region.

The copper smelter in Alaverdi, the mine and tailing pond in Teghut, and several tailing ponds around the town of Akhtala – those are the largest industrial sites of the Lori region and according to the latest research, also the cause of the presence of copper, zinc, molybdenum, lead, and arsenic in the neighboring environment.

The copper levels found in sediments extracted from the River Debed show a rapid increase in samples extracted just below the industrial sites exceeding the background levels as much as a hundred times.

Marek Sir presented the results of analyses of samples for the content of heavy metals taken from the surroundings of mining and metallurgical sites in Lori region. In particular, high concentrations were found in samples of sediments, soil, sand, slag and human hairs. Jitka Strakova presented the results of analyses of chicken egg samples and the impact of POPs on human health.

Elena Manvelyan, Head of AWHHE NGO, presented the influence of industrial pollutants on human health.

Representative from the RA NAS Institute of Geological Sciences Marine Nalbandyan presented air pollution impact on the quality of water of the Debed River in different parts of the watershed.

As a result of discussions, the conference participants adopted a resolution addressed to the Government of Armenia. Later the resolution was submitted to the Government asking them to consider the recommendations included in the resolution and undertake appropriate measures to improve the mining sector in Armenia.

Elena Manvelyan - AWHHE NGO -Haevy Metals Jitka Straková, Arnika-Egg_report_Yerevan Marek Sir Arnika Heavy metals Marine_Nalbandyan- Armenia