First steering committee meeting of “Elimination of expired pesticide and clean up of persistent organic pollutants contaminated sites” project

Jan 22, 2013

Yerevan, 22 January 2013 - Today the first steering committee meeting of “Elimination of expired pesticide and clean up POPs contaminated sites” project was held, co-chaired by Aram Harutyunyan, RA Minister of Nature Protection, and Claire Medina, UNDP Officer in Charge in Armenia.

The committee members were approved during the meeting and they represent the Ministries of Emergency Situations, Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Healthcare, Territorial Administration, Defense, and international organizations, such as UNDP, UNIDO, OSCE Office in Yerevan, as well as scientific institutions and NGOs.

Welcoming the participants, Mr. Aram Harutyunyan said that the work to be carried out should only be in the framework of international conventions undertaken by Armenia. He also stressed that all pesticide storages existing in Armenia must be registered and neutralized. According to the Minister, the preparatory phase of this program must be completed in due time to be followed by concrete actions. “We have several scenarios for elimination of expired pesticides. The suitable one will be decided during the implementation of the program,” said the Minister. Aram Harutyunyan hoped that this will be a break in the elimination of expired pesticides.

In her remarks Ms. Claire Media stressed the importance of the project and coordination among the ministries, and international and national stakeholders for successful implementation of this complex initiative. “The project grant from the Global Environment facility stands at USD 4.7 million, however, Armenia has a commitment of co-funding worth USD 20 million,” she added. She further highlighted the importance of involvement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ensure high level negotiations for the transition of expired persistent organic pollutants through third countries for elimination.

During the meeting Head of Hazardous Substances and Waste Policy Division of the Ministry of Nature Protection Anahit Aleksandryan presented the main provisions of the program to the steering committee and noted that it should be implemented in accordance with the provisions of Stockholm and Basel Conventions ratified by Armenia.

The participants also proposed to use the potential of the Aarhus Centers operating in Armenia.

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