HISTORICAL OVERVIEW

In Soviet Armenia attention has been paid to environmental problems since 1961, when Department for Surface and Underground Water Use and Protection was established attached to Armenian SSR Council of Ministers. After six years, in March, 1967 by the order of  Armenian SSR Supreme Council, the department was reorganized into Department for Surface and Underground Water Use and Protection of Armenian SSR Council of Ministers. On February 26, 1986 it was reorganized into the State Committee of Environmental Protection of Armenian SSR by N119 decree of Armenian SSR Supreme Council. Afterwards, on January 8, 1989 it was renamed the National Committee of Nature Protection by the decree of Armenian SSR Council of Ministers. On December 5, 1991 the committee was reorganized into the Ministry of Nature and Environmental Protection by the decree of the Supreme Council of the Republic. On August 4, 1995, the ministry was renamed the Ministry of Nature Protection and Subsoil by the decree of the RA Government. The ministry has been renamed as the Ministry of Nature Protection since November 8, 1996. The ministry was liquidated for six months in 2000 and was included in the staff of the Ministry of Agriculture and Nature Use. 

The heads of the Ministry were:
Erik Grigoryan  /2018 - up to now/
Artsvik Minasyan /2016 - 2018/
Aramais Grigoryan /2014 - 2016/
Aram Harutyunyan /2007 2014/
Vardan Ayvazyan /2001-2007/
Murad Muradyan /2000-2001/
Gevorg Vardanyan /1998-2000/
Sargis Shahazizyan /1997-1998/
Suren Avetisyan /1994-1997/
Karine Danielyan /1991-1994/
Vram Tevosyan /1991/
Henrik Tardjumanyan /1986-1990/


  

 Erik Grigoryan
 Minister of Nature Protection  2018 up to now

 In office since 12 May 2018, reappointed to the same post on January 18, 2019

 


  

 Artsvik Minasyan
 Minister of Nature Protection 2016-2018

 

 


  

 Aramais Grigoryan
 Minister of Nature Protection 2014-2016

 

 


  

 Aram Harutyunyan
 Minister of Nature Protection 2007 -2014


 


  

 Vardan Ayvazyan 
 Minister of Nature Protection 2001-2007

 

 


 

 Murad Muradyan
 Minister of Nature Protection 2000-2001

 

 


 

Gevorg Vardanyan
 Minister of Nature Protection 1998-1999

 

 

1. When I became Minister of Nature Protection, I set a clear-cut task of maintaining the level of Sevan, with the objective to raise it later. For many years, 252 million cubic meter water had been released from Sevan, but then due to our implemented activities,  it was possible to release about 198 million cubic meters.
 2. There were many bottlenecks that needed solution; the protection of forest, air, land, water resources, and the most important issue was overexploitation of natural resources. It was decided that all mines must have passports and must have a license for further exploitation. There were many problems, and it was not possible to address them within one year. However, I strove to lay the foundation for them. I think that sufficient works were carried out. For instance, the problems related to forests. At the end of my term of office, we could achieve positive results (about 90%) in forestry sector, since we needed additional time, but time was running so fast and there was much work to do, which I didn’t manage to do.


 

Sargis Shahazizyan
 Minister of Nature Protection 1997-1998

 

 

During my term of office, the Environmental Inspectorate of the Ministry of Nature Protection was enhanced: wood poachers and forest areas, where serious deforestation was conducted, were detected. We succeeded in accomplishing forest restoration by our scanty means. During this period department for specially protected areas of nature were established in the Ministry in the direction of preservation of flora and fauna, water resources of “Sevan” national park; the cases of fish poaching were sufficiently decreased. I would like to mention that 160.000 gegharkunik small fish and 4.5 million whitefishes were released to Sevan in 1998, after a long-term interval. During that period corresponding projects for restoration of Lake Gilli were presented to the international organizations. Then the importance of biodiversity was highlighted in Armenia. The laws on fauna and flora protection were submitted to the National Assembly. The national action plan was developed to combat desertification. Armenia began to actively participate in the meetings and conferences on ecological security issues, where our points of view were presented. Armenia signed Aarhus Convention, granting the public rights regarding access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters. Also, Armenia began to actively take part in problems concerning global climate changes and Kyoto Conference. We made National Environment Action Plan (NEAP) for the first time: “Climate change and public health” work was made, where you can find numerous researches, as well as the maps showing previous state of Armenian forests, the spread of semi-deserts, changes and impacts on human health. The World Bank-funded ecological balance project of Sevan was made. 
2. Armenia is one of the most attractive corners where we have, we can say, almost all general climate zones, major biological zones of nature, preservation of which has great importance, thereby I think that special attention should be focused on eco-education of the young generation. I have no information about the further measures, but I think that Armenian child must be educated right from the pre-school and the school age in order not to cause damage to trees having caring attitude towards the nature and nature will give more back to us in the future.


 

Suren Avetisyan
Minister of Nature protection and lithosphere 1994-1997



 

1. The most important problem for me was Sevan lakes problem: since 1991 the lake was emptying because of water taking on energetic purpose: From the second half of 1994 the water omissions from Sevan were allowed only on the basis of governmental decisions, that is to say, that in government were struggling each million cubic meter water, although the water level of Sevan was decreasing more and more till the end of 1996. As a result of these implemented works the level of the lake rises by 2 centimeter at the end of 1997 for the first time. The second problem, of course, was deforestations. As a result of our hard work was the deforestation factor lessening. After 1994 step by step realized the ministry which you see now. From 1995 to 1996 in the structure of ministry were included firstly state department of lithosphere than “ Armenian Forest (Hayantar)” national enterprise, Hdromet national service and Reserve committee. Enough specialists were included in the ministry and just that time we together with international organization start to think over problems regarded to forests recovering works
2. The works that we have started in time and would like to see finished have already completed and sooner they will have their results because of good politics.
I want to take the opportunity and congratulate my colleagues related with Ministry's 20th anniversary wishing successfulness in this hard work. I mention hard work, because it is really hard. This is thankless work but it demands serious, stubborn struggle in which I wish to my colleagues to include big volume of NGOs, society in their works. In this case they will have a success.


   

 Karine Danielyan
 Minister of Nature and environmental protection 1991-1994



 

1. At that time one of the most important tasks was entering into the international scene. When we started to work it seems to me that the world was tumbled over our heads. Since that only Moscow is contacting with global world and suddenly we would to done this. But we were not ready for this.
I think that we were success in solving of this problem. We could create range of international programs which have been realized. In 1993 the first National Report was established. I want to mention that at that times only Russia from ²äÐ countries was established National Report. Because of scanty means the publication had modest look. From 1991 to 1993 the legislation basis of independent country started to modify and the ministry was promoted to that activity
Theoretically more work were done and less practically. War, blockage were chained us. The country's existence problem was more important and we had a lot of losses regarded to environmental issues, a lot of forests were deforested. It was in my duty to rise a question that there was a problem which have to be solved and I was always been replied that the existence of the country was more important. I was replied that the questions I raised were provisional. In this sense less work were done, it was not possible to introduce proper environmental order and we could not made the legislation to act and in this I have my own sin share.


 

  V.ramTevosyan
 Minister of nature and environmental protection 1991



 

1. Substantial works were done for making the structure work more transparent. I think that some successes were reached. We made the basis for legal field creation. A project was circulated according of which the Nature Protection committee in the new government structure must be an attached department to the Ministry but we success in project changing and we could register this building as a ministry
2. I have to confess that till that work I have no departmental experience and probably because of this I could not quickly organize work. The main task for me was to strengthen, stable the monitoring system for receiving effective information. Did you know that the information defining everything. Beside this I had the aim to create a body who could analyze the information and to gave scientific decisions, develop policy on the basis of which would act the other buildings.


 

Henrik Tardjumanyan
 President of Environmental Protection State Committee1986-90




H. Tardjumanyan is not in the Republic at the moment. He is working in National Development Project of Ukraine agriculture as an expert The environmental problems were deserted”, he mentioned during telecon”. The forests were deforestated, the environment were polluted. After stuff selection the committee stared to act, the water, air clearing works were started, the problems for flora and fauna protection were raised, and green areas were created. The Sevan's project was brought to the light which foresaw minimization of revealing waters. Committee was making a decision over environmental expertise of all global plans. There were a lot of projects but they were not implemented.

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