In Armenia among ancient monasteries and dangerous mining

11.8.2018 - YEREVAN / ALAVERDI / ARARAT

Hakhpat, Sanahin, Akhtala, Odzun. In all of these North Armenian villages you will find ancient monasteries, two of which are even listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and the one in Hakhpat dates back to 976. Yet, not many tourists are ariving. One of the reasons is without exaggeration the industrial pollution in the whole province of Lori, some western tourist guides call it hazardous for said reasons. In the valley located city of Alaverdi, an old Soviet copper smelting plant is located, and in the surrounding area, there are mines, where also molybdenum is extracted in addition to reddish metal. Mining is crucial for economically weaker regions, but due to the lack of environmental legislation, it also has a hard impact on the health and lives of local people. In cooperation with experts from the University of Chemical Technology in Prague, we went to explore the extent to which the mining industry harms the "Cradle of Civilization". In addition to meeting with Czech ambassador Petr Mikyska, we have shared our experience on the enforcement of rights at European level with the people from the affected regions.

PHOTO: Martin Holzknecht / Arnika

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