Azerbaijani NGOs slam Armenia's project in Arazdayan that will lead to new environmental disaster
The environmental NGOs operating in Azerbaijan have issued a joint statement expressing protest against the construction project of a large metallurgical plant with an annual production capacity of 180,000 tons in the village of Arazdeyan on the border of Armenia with Azerbaijan, the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, which will lead to a new environmental disaster, News.Az reports.
The statement reads:
- According to a report published in Armenian media, Armenia is preparing to build a large metallurgical plant in Arazdayan, a region bordering on Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. A total of 70 million dollars will be invested in the construction. The height of the plant will be 30 meters and it will cover an area of 16,500 square meters.
The toxic chemical waste generated by this metallurgical plant can have a tremendous impact on the region’s ecosystem. The risk of this waste being discharged into the Araz river is a wake-up call for both the river's wildlife and the large farms using the Araz water for irrigation. Armenia’s failure to comply with any international mining industry standards poses a serious environmental threat to both Azerbaijan and the region as a whole.
The construction of such an enterprise on the border without agreement with the Azerbaijani side represents a flagrant violation of the 1991 Espoo Convention “On Environmental Impact Assessment in the Trans-boundary Context”. Azerbaijan and Armenia are parties to that Convention, and proceeding from the Espoo Convention, an assessment of the environmental impact of this plant should be carried out, relevant institutions of Azerbaijan, a neighboring country, should review the assessment document related to the construction, and at the same time, the opinion of the Azerbaijanis living close to the region should be taken into account.
Armenia's non-compliance with these requirements once again shows that it is pursuing a destructive policy in the region, blatantly violating provisions of international documents to which it is a signatory, as well as its international obligations.
Armenia's policy of environmental terror and ecocide against Azerbaijan is no new phenomenon. The fact that the “Metsamor” nuclear power plant has been posing a threat to the region’s environment for many years, the large-scale environmental tragedies committed in Karabakh during the occupation, and the discharge of chemical waste into the Okhchuchay rover without prior treatment are further evidence of that. Armenia has severely polluted the Okhchuchay river. This exposes the ecosystem of the part of the river passing through the territory of Azerbaijan to irreversible degradation. German company “Cronimet” is involved in this environmental crime alongside Armenia. Unfortunately, the German government has not taken any tangible steps in this direction.
By committing these environmental crimes, Armenia completely violates the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular the third goal on ensuring everyone's health, the 6th goal on clean water and sanitation, the 13th goal on combating the consequences of climate change, and the 15th goal on protecting the soil ecosystem.
As is known, in 2022, the UN recognized a clean, healthy and sustainable environment as a human right. By causing serious damage to the environment, Armenia grossly violates the human rights of the population of Azerbaijan, including the region as a whole.
In addition, according to various international documents, including the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, economic activity must be carried out without cause any harm to human rights. In this case, too, Armenia behaves irresponsibly, ignores the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment and puts its own economic interests above everything else.
As environmental non-governmental organizations operating in Azerbaijan, we appeal to relevant international organizations, including the UN Environment Program, the World Health Organization, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Environment, the UN Special Rapporteur on Harmful Substances and Human Rights, urging them to react to this and put an end to Armenia's unending environmental terror.
We appeal to the government of the United States of America to urge the company preparing to build the large metallurgical plant in Arazdayan and registered in its territory to act responsibly and not to turn a blind eye to its illegal actions. Officials of the United States of America, including those of the US Embassies in Azerbaijan and Armenia, should not remain tight-lipped, but should express their opinion on the issue.
We are appealing to Armenia’s eco-activists as well. First of all, this will have a huge negative impact on the environmental situation of Armenia itself. It is time to act to stop this process as it endangers the whole region.
1. Chairman of “Green World” Public Association of Environmental Awareness - Elman Jafarli
2. Chairman of “Mother Kura” Public Association of Support for the Study of Environmental Problems - Rustam Malikov
3. Chairperson of “Ecoleks” Environmental Law Center Public Association - Sevil Isayeva
4. Chairman of “Experts in the Field of Water Use” Public Association - Amin Mammadov
5. Chairman of “Biosphere” Public Association - Gorkhmaz Ibrahimli
6. Chairperson of “Eco World” Public Association - Sevil Yuzbashova
7. Chairman of “Towards a Healthy Life” Environmental Public Association - Sadig Hasanov
8. Chairperson of Environmental Education and Monitoring Public Association - Gamza Yusubova
9. Chairperson of “Socioeconomic and Ecological Development” Public Association - Rahila Mehdiyeva
10. Chairperson of “Sky and Eco” Public Association of Support for Social Economic Development - Irada Hasanova
11. Chairman of “Ecologist-2010” Environmental Awareness Public Association - Salim Balayev
12. Chairperson of “Ecologists Helping to Protect the Environment” Public Association - Rubaba Huseynli
13. Representative of “Travellers” Research and Promotion of Natural Resources and Environment Public Association – Jala Garibova
14. Chairman of the Public Association for Aid to Environmental Education - Tarverdi Huseynov
15. Chairman of “Healthy environment” Public Association for Aid to Youth Development - Ali Mirzayev
16. Chairman of “Fenix” Public Association for the Promotion of Healthy Life - Shahin Huseynov
17. Chairman of the “Friends of Nature” Public Association of Aid for Environmental Education of Young People - Elman Asgarov
18. Chairman of the Ecologically Clean Product Manufacturers and Exporters Public Association - Emin Aliyev
19. Chairman of “Shafag” Ecotourism Public Association - Vamig Babayev
20. Chairman of “Dalga” Ecology and Nature Protection Public Association - Natig Hatamov
21. Chairman of “Eco-TES” Environmental Research and Education Public Association - Chingiz Nazarov
22. Chairman of “Aran” Environmental Awareness Public Association - Nasraddin Karamov
23. Chairman of “Pragma” Public Association of Support for Social Development and Environmental Protection - Taleh Shahsuvarov
24. Chairperson of “Family and Environment” Public Association - Ilhama Gurbanova
25. Chairman of “Ruzgar” Environmental Public Association - Islam Mustafayev