Civil society demands environmental justice for South Caucasus region

49 non-governmental organizations and environmental activists from 22 countries have issued a statement condemning the works conducted in Armenia's mining industry, which violate international environmental norms and standards, disrupting the global ecosystem. They demand environmental justice for the South Caucasus region, News.Az reports. 

The statement reads: 

“We, the undersigned civil society organizations (CSOs) express deep concerns regarding the serious environmental damage caused by the works carried out in the mining industry of the Republic of Armenia that violating international environmental norms and standards.

Air and water pollution in Armenia’s mining industry once regarded as a localized issue, has metastasized into a menacing force with far-reaching consequences not only for the South Caucasus but for the whole world. By polluting transboundary rivers Armenia’s mining industry is suspected of causing a range of environmental problems in a wider geography stretching from Eastern Europe to Central Asia.

The UN recognizes a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment as a fundamental human right. As the global community rallies around the UN SDGs and intensifies efforts to address environmental challenges, Armenia's actions are in contrast with these endeavors, as well as Transboundary Rivers Convention and the UN Economic Commission for Europe Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo Convention).

Considering the upcoming COP29 will be held in the South Caucasus, in Azerbaijan, Armenia should further protect the environment, thus to fulfill its own obligations stemming from international conventions.

As a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the primary international treaty addressing climate change, to the Kyoto Protocol, the international agreement linked to the UNFCCC that sets binding emission reduction targets for developed countries, the Paris Agreement, an international treaty under the UNFCCC that aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels Armenia took commitments to addressing climate change on a global scale and follow the rules and regulations in protecting the planet.

We urge the Armenian government and the private companies operating in Armenia's mining industry to open the doors of all facilities to international experts specialized in the field of ecology and health, including to specialized NGOs from neighboring countries to allow them to inspect the facilities, evaluate and conduct monitoring, taking appropriate samples, and measuring.

We share the deep concerns of civil society organizations of Armenia and Azerbaijan recently addressed to Armenian government and the companies involved to cease the mining actions in Amulsar gold mine which poses significant toxic and radioactive pollution risks for the ecosystem.

Signatures:

1. Maryam Danesh, Washington and Lee University, USA

2. Guy Alexander Eames, Planet 2030, UK

3. Saurabh Kumar, YOUNGO, İndia

4. Patsi Stillo, Partners in Health, USA

5. Sergey Uchayev, RNGO “Ishonch va Hayot”, Uzbekistan

6. Matt Garnett, Michigan University, USA

7. Ahmad Hudu Abdullahi, Afrihealth Optonet Association, Nigeria

8. Gleb Evgenev, MADI, Russia

9. Konadu Jone, Altar Relief Foundation, Kenya

10. Erna Jašarević, NGO Bridges of friendship, Bosnia and Herzegovina

11. Manoj Prabhu, Dure Technologies, Switzerland

12. Emeri Eliud, TUBAE International, Kenya

13. José María Di Bello, Fundación GEP, Argentina

14. Kristina Zhorayeva, AFEW Kazakstan, Kazakstan

15. Erlina Burhan, Indonesia Society of Respirologi, İndonesia

16. Carm Citro, Partners in Health, USA

17. Prof.Dr.Zeki Kilichaslan, “İstanbul Verem savas dernegi”, Turkey

18. Peter Owiti, “Wote” Youth Development Projects CBO, Kenya

19. Kristine Yakhama, Good Health Community Programmes, Kenya

20. John Akinnuba, Centre for Ecological and Community Development, Nigeria

21. Naomie Nguemadjibaye dabot, ong green accademy of climate chad, Chad

22. Ermin Jašarević, NGO Bridges of Friendship, Bosnia and Herzegovina

23. Samuel Iro Timoro, Tunetad Association, Kenya

24. Gabriel Ekalale, Asegis Community Network, Kenya

25. Nishant Chavan, Independent Public Health Consultant, India

26. Filiz Duyar Ağca, Türk Toraks Derneği, TB Working Group, Turkey

27. Ali Iklaga, Natural Eco Capital, Nigeria

28. Olorun Femi, Natural Eco Capital, Nigeria

29. Alfred Edapal, Lomeds NGO, Kenya

30. Ezekeil Odeoh, Agro Environmental Farmers Association-AGEFA, Kenya

31. Rebecca Abulon, Asegis Community Network, Kenya

32. Stephen Anguva Shikoli, Network of TB Champions Kenya

33. Lemaya Lumbasi, A4Ek, Kenya

34. Fernando Sanches, Brazilian Nursing Network for the Brazil Free of Tuberculosis, Brazil

35. Norman Kagiso Matiting, Tbpeople Global, Botswana

36. Festus Ngisipaan, Kakuma healthsafety Association, Kenya

37. Shemsettin Kuzeci, Kerkuk Culture Union, Turkmanali- Irak

38. Ere Gabriel Erukudi, LPF NGO, Kenya

39. Lochuch Yatu, Todanyatu Community-based organisation, Kenya

40. Joseph Ngaukon Achuka, Ayok Multi-Development organization (AMDO), Kenya

41. Endalkachew Fekadu, VHS, Ethiopia

42. Prof.Dr.Ejaz Khan, Health Services Academy, Pakistan

43. Karani Frankline, Loyifam NGO, Kenya

44. Mohmad Hosain Lone, International Human Rights Commission, Switzerland

45. Charles Quist, Carepal Foundation, Ghana

46. Shamsiya Kukanbekova, Stop TB Partnership, Tajikistan

47. Nicolai Russu, Youth vision NGO, Moldova

48. Collins Major Kinyuru - Pamoja TB group, Kenya

49. Joseph Kilonzo – BISC NGO, Kenya.”

News.Az 

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