Implementation of the Convention
Measures Taken to Achieve the 2010 Target
National targets for the conservation of the biological diversity have been integrated into sectoral strategies for inland water, mountains and forests. One major achievement has been to increase water levels in Lake Sevan, one of the largest high altitude lakes in the world and Armenia’s most endangered ecosystem, by 174cm between 2003 and 2005. Water levels had severely dropped during the Soviet era for the benefit of irrigation. The replenishment of the fish reserve in the lake has also allowed to conserve the species and genetic diversity and improved the status of threatened species. Moreover, sustainable use and pressure reduction targets regarding the lake have been included into the NBSAP. Reduced pollution targets have been incorporated in relevant plans concerning Lake Sevan, with indicators such as the quantity of substances surpassing permissible boundary values, and the quantity and quality of water used during industrial processes. Several laws were adopted to meet biodiversity obligations, including the Law on Flora (1999), the Law on Fauna (2000) and the Law on the Lake Sevan (2001). These laws have articles prohibiting illegal imports and exports of wildlife for acclimatization and selection purposes. With respect to alien invasive species, the state quarantine service inspects the main transportation routes, but attention is focused exclusively on known invasive species.
Initiatives in Protected Areas
Armenia has a National Strategy and Action Plan for Development of Nature Protected Areas defining target objectives, indicators and the implementation timeline. The Ministry of Nature Protection is responsible for evaluating the effectiveness of the protected areas management. Financial investments in protected areas have increased by 3.2 times compared to the year 2000. According to the strategy, 11 new protected areas should be established by the year 2010. Moreover, the establishment of a transboundary water protected area in the Javakhk region has improved inland water ecosystem protection. A project aiming at protecting another wetland ecosystem and the creation of a list of water bodies subject to the Natural Monument status have also been initiated. In 2006, an operational monitoring system of national park activities will be applied in the framework of the Natural Resources Management and Poverty Reduction project, for which methodologies and indicators are currently being developed.
Initiatives for Article 8(j)
In Armenia, there is almost a complete absence of isolated communities possessing traditional knowledge. Due to the small size of the country, the traditional knowledge does not generally belong to separate local communities but is the property of the people as a whole. Nevertheless, Armenia has signed the Aarhus Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters in 2001. Moreover, several laws promote the public participation approach in Armenia, taking into account local knowledge and expertise. Local communities were directly involved in the preparation of management plans for two National Parks, Sevan and Dilijan, through consideration of the indigenous knowledge, traditions and skills. Finally, local authorities and community representatives are permanently involved in the Community-based Management of Watersheds activities of the Natural Resources Management and Poverty Reduction project.