I found this series of articles that highlights current environmental problems in Armenia at “Armenia Now“. The website reports on the current events of Armenia and offers insight into the political process that is shaping Armenia.
The article in the top right on the Alaverdi Copper factory was especially intriguing to me because Laura and I lived in Alaverdi during our Peace Corps service. The fact that the hazards arising from the pollution are being exposed is a step in the right direction. Many of the local people felt that the factory is a problem but that it was important to the economy for it to stay open. I am not sure this true. The factory employees 400 employees in an area of 20,000 people. I think that by shutting it down, their will be health improvements, the local vegetation will improve, and more tourists will choose to visit and STAY in the area. Right now, tourists quickly shuffle in to see the churches and then leave, staying maybe an hour or so. Eco-tourism has huge potential in the area.Â The site of the factory turns many people off to the idea of this venture. The economy can improve more if the factory was not in service.
The other articles are important in shedding some light on the environmental/human rights issues that plague Armenia. Restructering of the government needs to be done in order for any of these issues to be dealt with properly. If the people continue to unite, to speak up and to encourage the government to listen to their concerns, I think that there may be some hope. All the issues are difficult to work with because of the instability of the infrastructure and the weak economy, though it is improving.
To view the top two articles, “This Land is Our Land…” and “The Breath of Death…”, click the link next to the English link in the top right corner. This link says “Armenian” and is spelled in the Armenian language. Once it is in Armenian, click the article, you will view the article in Armenian, then click the English link in the top right corner again to view. For some reason these two articles are not linked properly, otherwise the others can viewed just fine.