On 6 February 2008 the Ministry of Nature Protection of the Republic of Armenia and The State Atomic Energy Corporation “Rosatom” (SC Rosatom) of the Russian Federation signed a Memorandum on development of the cooperation in the sphere of geological exploration, mining and exploitation of uranium ore. Later, on 6 March 2008, “Armenian-Russian Mining Company” CJSC” was formed by the Government decision № 234-N. After that by the Government decision № 419-N of 23.04.2009, the “Armenian-Russian Mining Company” CJSC was authorized to carry out geological exploration activities of uranium deposits in the whole territory of Armenia. Paragraph 2 of this declension referred to mining and exploitation of uranium ore in the territory of the RA. Geological exploration activities of uranium deposits are already being carried out in the territory of Lernadzor community.
No public discussions of the drafts of the above mentioned acts were carried out prior to adoption of these acts; consequently the public opinion with regard to this issue was not revealed, and eventually public participation in this lawmaking activity was not ensured. Otherwise the issue would not have such public importance. Actually, everything was carried out under the conditions public unawareness.
Corruption risks here are obvious because the requirements of the domestic legislation of the RA as well as the requirements of international instruments were violated in favor of the “Armenian-Russian Mining Company” CJSC.
In fact, the policy implemented in the sphere of mining creates real threats of establishment of new and uncontrollable processes.
A working group was created to handle this problem. Advocate Mr. Arshavir Khalapyan, head of the AYLA Syunik branch and at the same time head of Syunik AARC is member of this working group as well. The Group has worked with the local and state government bodies, organized public events, continuously collected signatures of the population against the possible exploitation activities of uranium ore, and organized other public awareness activities.
On 11.11.2010 a rather large authorized rally took place in Kapan city. The Head of Syunik AARC led this rally and participated in all publicizing and organization activities; participated in all meetings of the anti-uranium movement working group; as well as in public awareness activities. In result the awareness of population was raised, the local and state government bodies approach to this problem was changed and they became more seriously involved in the problem, and correspondingly the issue gained national importance.
In result of firm and legitimate activities the working group achieved stoppage of geological exploration operations of uranium deposits.
The success story is borrowed from www.shpak.am.