National Report of Armenia for COP7

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National Report prepared for the 7th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)

 Implementation of the Ramsar Convention in general, and of the Ramsar Strategic Plan 1997-2002 in particular, during the period since the National Report was prepared in 1995 for Ramsar COP6

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The information in the table below may now be out of date. Electronic and postal contact addresses have been removed in this reprint edition.

Contracting Party Armenia
Designated Ramsar Administrative Authority Ministry of Nature Protection
Name and title of the head of the institution Mr. Sarkis Shahazizyan, Minister
Name and title (if different) of the designated contact officer for Ramsar Convention matters Dr. Karen Jenderedjian, Senior Research Officer, Department of Especially Protected Natural Areas

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 1
To progress towards universal membership of the Convention.

1.1 Describe any actions your government has taken (such as hosting regional or subregional meetings/consultations, working cooperatively with neighbouring countries on transfrontier wetland sites) to encourage others to join the Convention.

Participation in preparation of the project Kur River: monitoring and evaluation in frames of the Convention on the Protection of Transboundary Watercources and International Lakes (Helsinki, 1992)


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 2
To achieve the wise use of wetlands by implementing and further developing the Ramsar Wise Use Guidelines.

2.1 Has a National Wetland Policy/Strategy/Action Plan been developed, or is one being developed or planned for the near future? If so:

Lake Sevan Action Plan (IBRD, IDF Grant) on-going project can be emphasised in particular

a. What are/will be its main features?

The main features are: 1. Development of Lake Sevan protection policy; 2. Strengthening of institutional capacities within the Republic for sustainable use of the natural resources of Lake Sevan and its basin; 3. Identification of priority environmental protection issues

b. Was it, or is it, intended that the Policy/Strategy/Action Plan be adopted by the whole of Government, the Minister responsible for Ramsar matters or through some other process. Please describe.

Lake Sevan Action Plan was adopted by the special International Conference Lake Sevan: Strategy and Action Plan (Sevan, Armenia, October 16-19, 1996) in collaboration with the experts of World Bank, different ministries, institutions of Academy of Sciences of Armenia, non-governmental organisations and recently a final report had been given to the decision of the Government.

c. How does it relate/will it relate to other national environmental/ conservation planning initiatives (e.g., National Environmental Action Plans, National Biodiversity Action Plans, National Conservation Strategies)?

Lake Sevan Action Plan actually is a vital part of the National Environmental Policy

2.2 If a policy is in place, how much progress has been made in its implementation, and what are the major difficulties being encountered in doing so?

The main existing progress is the control and regulation of the outflow from Lake Sevan. The major difficulties are the same for the whole environmental policy in the country: lack of finances; inadequate legislation; inadequate technical capacity in the field of information; personnel skills, especially in the regions

2.3 If a Policy/Strategy/Action Plan is in place, is the responsibility for implementing it with :

a. a single Government Ministry,
b. a committee drawn from several Ministries, or
c. a cross-sectoral committee?

For Lake Sevan Action Plan a cross-sectoral committee should be responsible for implementation. The final decision is not made yet.

2.4 For countries with Federal systems of Government, are there Wetland Policies/Strategies/Plans in place, being developed or planned for the provincial/state or regional levels of Government? Yes/No   If yes, please give details.

2.5 Has a review of legislation and practices which impact on wetlands been carried out, and if so, has this resulted in any changes which assist with implementation of the Ramsar Convention? Please describe these.

Several laws of the Republic of Armenia have an impact on wetlands, particularly on the water resources and lakes. Direct and indirect influence of the Ramsar Convention is obvious.

2.6 Describe the efforts made in your country to have wetlands considered in integrated land/water and coastal zone planning and management processes at the following levels:

Efforts for central planning of the shoreline of Lake Sevan are in force with the purpose of wise use of the site.

a. national

Land/water and coastal zone planning and management is regulated on the national level, such as regulation of the recreation and using fertilisers.

b. provincial
c. local

Decisions on the local and provincial levels need an expertise of national authorities.

2.7 Have there been any publications produced, or practices documented, which could assist other countries to promote and improve the application of the Ramsar Wise Use of Wetlands Guidelines? Yes/No   If Yes, please provide details and copies.

No.

The materials of the International Conference Lake Sevan: Problems and Actions Strategy have a relations with the Ramsar Wise Use of Wetlands Guidelines.

2.8 Noting COP6 Recommendation 6.14 relating to toxic chemicals and pollution, please advise of the actions taken since then "to remedy and to prevent pollution impacts affecting Ramsar sites and other wetlands" (Operative paragraph 9).

Strengthening the RA Law on "Environmental Impacts"

2.9 Describe what steps have been taken to incorporate wetland economic valuation techniques into natural resource planning and assessment actions.

The Ramsar SGF funded project Inventory of Armenian Ramsar sites: in search of ways of restoration of the lost and rehabilitation of endangered waterfowl habitats is on-going at present.

2.10 Is Environmental Impact Assessment for actions potentially impacting on wetlands required under legislation in your country? Yes/No

Yes. The RA Law on "Environmental Impacts" adopted on December 12, 1995

2.11 Is wetland restoration and rehabilitation considered a priority in your country? Yes/No.  If Yes, describe the actions that have been taken to identify wetlands in need of these actions and to mobilise resources for restoration or rehabilitation.

Yes. The Ramsar SGF funded project Inventory of Armenian Ramsar sites: in search of ways of restoration of the lost and rehabilitation of endangered waterfowl habitats is on-going at present

2.12 Describe what actions have been taken to "encourage active and informed participation of local communities, including indigenous people, and in particular women, in the conservation and wise use of wetlands." (refer to Actions 2.7.1-4 in the Strategic Plan).

No actions have been taken

2.13 Describe what actions have been taken to "encourage involvement of the private sector in the conservation and wise use of wetlands" (refer to Actions 2.8.1-4 in the Strategic Plan). Has this included a review of fiscal measures (taxation arrangements, etc.) to identify and remove disincentives and introduce incentives for wetlands conservation and wise use? Yes/No   If yes, please provide details.

Yes.  Involvement of private fish pond holders in artificial breeding of endangered species, such as endemic Ishkhan Salmo ischchan Kessleri and Varicorhinus capoeta sevangi.


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 3
To raise awareness of wetland values and functions throughout the world and at all levels

3.1 Is there a government-run national programme for Education and Public Awareness in your country which focuses on, or includes, wetlands? Yes/No?   If yes, what are the priority actions under this programme and who are the target groups? (Refer also to question 9.4)

No

3.2 Describe the steps taken to have wetlands issues and Ramsar’s Wise Use principles included as part of the curricula of educational institutions. Has this been at all levels of education (primary, secondary, tertiary and adult)? Please give details.

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Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 4
To reinforce the capacity of institutions in each Contracting Party to achieve conservation and wise use of wetlands.

4.1 Describe the mechanisms in place, or being introduced, to increase cooperation between the various institutions responsible for actions which can have an impact on the conservation and wise use of wetlands. If one of the mechanisms is a National Ramsar/Wetlands Committee, please describe its composition, functions and modus operandi.

I.e., the Ramsar SGF 1998 funded project Inventory of Armenian Ramsar Sites: in search of ways for restoration of the lost and rehabilitation of endangered waterfowl habitats where involved are researches from the Ministry of Nature Protection, Ministry of Agriculture, Academy of Science

4.2 Of the following, indicate which have been undertaken:

a. a review to identify the training needs of institutions and individuals concerned with the conservation and wise use of wetlands Yes/No? If yes, please indicate the major findings of the review.

Yes. I. e., the project proposal for Ramsar SGF 1999 funding Implementation of the Ramsar Strategic Plan in a management of Sevan National Park proposed the training of individuals individuals concerned with the conservation and wise use of Lake Sevan Ramsar Site.

b. a review to identify training opportunities for these people both within your country and in other countries. Yes/No?

No

c. the development of training modules or a training programme specifically for wetland managers. If yes, please give details.

Yes. The development of training modules and training programme specifically for wetland managers supposed in collaboration with WATC, the Ministry of Public Work, Transport and Water Management, The Netherlands.

d. people from your country have gained wetland-related training either within or outside the country. Yes/No? If yes, please give details.

Yes. Two representatives from Armenia, , Deputy Director of Sevan National Park and Senior Researcher of Institute of Ecology and Ichthyology attended 4th and 5th International Course on Wetland Management (Lelystad, The Netherlands) in 1997 and 1998.


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 5
To ensure the conservation of all sites included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar List).

5.1 Of the Ramsar sites in your country, how many have formal management plans:

a. being prepared?
b. fully prepared?
c. being implemented?

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Please indicate in the attached table of Ramsar sites which sites these are and what category they fall into.

5.2 Of the management plans referred to above, which ones have included a monitoring scheme or programme to allow changes in ecological character to be detected? Please indicate this in the attached table of Ramsar sites also.

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5.3 Has there been a change in the ecological character (either positive or negative) at any of your Ramsar sites or is this likely to occur in the near future? Yes/No. If Yes, please give details.

No

5.4 In the case of Montreux Record Ramsar sites where the Management Guidance Procedure has been applied, what is the status of the implementation of the MGP report recommendations? What is the expected time-frame for removing the site from the Montreux Record?

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5.5 For those countries referred to in COP6 Recommendations 6.17.1-4, "Ramsar sites in the Territories of Specific Contracting Parties", please provide advice on the actions that have been taken in response to the issues raised at that time.

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Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 6
To designate for the Ramsar List those wetlands which meet the Convention’s criteria, especially wetland types still under-represented in the List and transfrontier wetlands.

6.1 Has a national inventory of wetlands been prepared for your country? Yes/No.

If no, are there plans for this to be done? Yes/No.

No. Actually it is already in preparation for part of them due to Ramsar SGF funded project Inventory of Armenian Ramsar Sites: in search of ways for restoration of the lost and rehabilitation of endangered waterfowl habitats. Preparation of complete national inventory depends on funds available.

Where a national inventory exists please provide details of when it was finalised, where it is kept and what information it contains.

6.2 Does there exist a list or directory of "important" wetlands for your country or region? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details of when it was finalised, where it is kept, what criteria for "important" were used, and the types of information it contains.

No.

6.3 If it is known, please provide an estimate of the area of wetlands in your country at present and any information on rates of loss or conversion to other activities.

An estimate of the area of wetlands according to the definition in the Article 2.1. of the Ramsar Conventionin Armenia is approximately 15,000 ha including the shallow of Lake Sevan , i.e. 0.5% the territory of the country.

If this information is available, please indicate what definition of "wetland" was used.

6.4 Have any actions been taken in response to the COP6 Resolutions and Recommendations that Contracting Parties should give priority to listing Wetlands of International Importance which:

a. meet the criteria for fish habitat (Resolution VI.2),
b. meet the 1% criterion for waterbird populations using data provided by the International Waterfowl Census (Resolution VI.4),
c. are subterranean karst or cave wetland systems (Resolution VI.5),
d. are peatland ecosystems (Recommendation 6.1)
e. are coral reefs and associated systems (Recommendation 6.7)
f. are under-represented wetland types (which apart from d. and e. above include mangroves and sea grass beds) (Strategic Plan Action 6.2.3)

No

6.5 If your government indicated at COP6 that it would be proceeding to list further specific sites, please advise of the status of this action.

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6.6 Please advise which of the sites included in the Ramsar List from your country are transfrontier wetlands (Refer also to 7.1).

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6.7 Describe any plans, or actions being taken for further transfrontier sites to be listed (Refer also to 7.1).

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Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 7
To mobilise international cooperation and financial assistance for wetland conservation and wise use in collaboration with other conventions and agencies, both governmental and non-governmental.

7.1 Briefly describe any bilateral or multilateral activities that have been taken, are under way, or are planned for the management of transfrontier wetlands or their watersheds/catchments (Refer also to 6.6 and 6.7).

Plans are for the management of transfrontier with Turkey Akhurian Reservoir and Kura River, which is common for Armenia, Azerbaidjan, Georgia, Iran and Turkey.

7.2 Do you have Ramsar sites that are "twinned" with others, either nationally or internationally? Yes/No. If yes, please give details.

No.

7.3 Where your country is also a signatory of any of the following Conventions, describe what mechanism(s) exist to assist regular dialogue and cooperative actions between the personnel responsible for their implementation and the Ramsar Administrative Authority:

a. Convention on Biological Diversity
b. Framework Convention on Climate Change
c. Convention to Combat Desertification
d. Convention on Migratory Species
e. World Heritage Convention

The Administrative Authority for the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention to Combat Desertification is the same as for the Ramsar Convebtion, i.e., the Ministry of Natural Protection.

7.4 Is your country cooperating as part of any bilateral or multilateral activities directed at the conservation of migratory wetland species? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details.

No.

7.5 Are there multilateral and/or bilateral donors supporting projects which contribute to implementation of the Ramsar Convention in your country? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details.

Yes. The Ramsar SGF provides SFR 35,000.00 support in 1998 for project Inventory of Armenian Ramsar Sites: in search of ways for restoration of the lost and rehabilitation of endangered waterfowl habitats. Another project proposal for Ramsar SGF funding Implementation of the Ramsar Strategic Plan in a management of Sevan National Park requested for funding in 1999.

7.6 Does your government make an annual budgetary allocation to support the conservation and wise use of wetlands within your country? Yes/No. If yes, is this a specific allocation to a wetlands programme or as part of a larger environment or natural resource management budget?

No.

7.7 If your country has a development assistance programme, does it include funds earmarked for wetland conservation and wise use in other countries? Yes/No. If yes, please give details.

No.

7.8 Is there a formal process in place for consultation between the Ramsar Administrative Authority and the development assistance programme in your country, where one exists? Yes/No. If yes, what is that process.

No.


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 8
To provide the Convention with the required institutional mechanisms and resources.

8.1 Has your government made voluntary financial contributions, other than the invoiced contributions or to the Small Grants Fund, to further the work of the Convention globally? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details.

No.

8.2 If your country is in arrears with the payment of its annual contributions to the Ramsar Convention, please indicate the reasons for this situation and the prospects for paying these arrears in the near future.

Plans to close arrears with the payment of annual contributions to the Ramsar Convention before 7th COP.


Optional section - Participation of non-government organizations in the implementation of the Convention

These are optional questions relating to cooperation with and involvement of non-government organizations in the implementation of the Convention.

At COP6 some 42 NGOs made the "Brisbane NGO pledge of support for the Ramsar Convention". The Standing Committee agreed that for COP7 there should be an effort made to gauge the level and type of cooperation which is occurring between government Administrative Authorities and the national and international NGOs with an interest in wetlands issues.

In this optional section of the National Report, you are asked to describe the nature of the cooperation and relationship with any other international, regional, national and provincial NGOs operating within your country.

9.1 Approximately how many NGOs have wetlands as part of their regular "business" in your country?

Please break this down between international, regional and national/provincial organizations.

9.2 Is there a regular forum or mechanism through which these NGOs express their views on wetland conservation and Ramsar implementation:

a. to each other? Yes/No
b. to the government? Yes/No

9.3 Does your government include one or more NGO representatives on its official delegation to Ramsar COPs? Yes/No

9.4 Do any of the NGOs run programmes aimed at Education and Public Awareness about wetlands in your country? Yes/No. If yes, please give details (Refer also to question 3.1).

9.5 Where they exist, do Ramsar site management advisory committees include NGO representatives? If yes, please give details

9.6 Describe the themes of the Convention (refer to General Objectives 1-8 of the Strategic Plan) where you perceive the national/provincial NGOs to be most active.


Final comments:

10.1 General comments on implementation of the Ramsar Strategic Plan.

10.2 Observations concerning the functioning of, relations with, and services provided by:

a. The Ramsar Standing Committee
b. The Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel
c. The Ramsar Bureau
d. The Ramsar NGO partners

10.3 Any other general observations and/or recommendations for the future.

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