World Wildlife Fund Armenia (WWF Armenia) has issued an official statement on exploitation of the Amulsar gold-bearing quartzite mine. The statement particularly reads as follows:
“The Amulsar gold-bearing quartzite mine is located in a major site in terms of biodiversity, including the IBA, Emerald Site and KBA. It is a habitat for more than 25 animal species and at least two species of plants registered in the Red Book of Armenia.
Along with other threats, exploitation of the mine will also eliminate the habitat of endangered species and will physically harm most of them. The actions for conservation of the species, proposed in the Environmental Impact Assessment, are not sufficient, and the actions proposed in the plan for rehabilitation of biodiversity are incomplete and need to be reviewed.
The study on the biodiversity of the Amulsar mine is incomplete. The plan for conservation of biodiversity in the Amulsar mine mainly concerns one species of plants, and no plan for conservation of other species in the Red Book has been developed or presented.
The plan for rehabilitation of biodiversity in the Amulsar mine is mainly limited to the creation of Jermuk National Park, which has nothing to do with Amulsar and is another landscape and eco-system. Basically, the planned national park can’t ensure a relevant habitat for most of the endangered species discovered in Amulsar and can’t be considered a rehabilitation plan.
The positive conclusion of the Environmental Impact Assessment contradicts several articles of Armenian legislation since several animal and plant species have been discovered in the territory of the Amulsar gold mine, and they are registered in the Red Book of Plants and Animals of Armenia.
In 2016, the positive conclusion of the Environmental Impact Assessment for the Amulsar gold mine exploitation project was given without taking into consideration the opinions of the residents of Jermuk town, and we consider this a violation of human rights.
Taking this into consideration, WWF Armenia addresses the Government of the Republic of Armenia with the request to annul the Environmental Impact Assessment that was given to Lydian International in 2016.
The WWF supports the Armenian people for a clean and prosperous future of Armenia. We fully hope that the Government of the Republic of Armenia will do its best to ensure such a future for the Armenian people.”