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Armenia utilizing Caucasus’s largest lake for own advantage

31 May 2014 [11:50] - TODAY.AZ
By AzerNews

The economic policies of Armenian authorities are jeopardizing the ecological system of the Caucasus region's largest Lake Sevan.

The local ecologists have expressed concern over the government's plans to develop several fish farms at the country's only guaranteed major source of fresh water. They believe that fish farming on an industrial scale will lead to water pollution.

The natural water basin is situated in Azerbaijan's historical Gokcha region. The original name of the Sevan Lake is Gokhca, which means "Blue River" in Turkish. There were a lot of Azerbaijanis living around the lake until 1988.

Armenia deported more than 250,000 Azerbaijanis in January, 1988, as a result of its ethnic cleansing policy. Afterwards, the Armenian authorities falsified the etymology of the lake and changed its name to "Sevan".

The opening of fish farms around the lake is one of the priorities of the government. The authorities believe that the fish farms will create new jobs, local media reported.

Around 80 fish farms can be set up around the lake within ten years. The proponents of the project said that it would create 5.000-6.000 jobs and increase exports.

More than a dozen NGOs have appealed to the president to prevent the implementation of the project. Local media doubt that the president will delay the project.

The ecologists said Lake Sevan will turn into a hall with fishes, if the government allows the implementation of the program. They warned that the water of the lake would be unfit after a lot of artificial feed.

The government's all recent decisions on Lake Sevan are profitable only for some oligarchs. They seriously threat the lake.

Despite public protests, the parliament adopted recently scandalous amendments to the law on Lake Sevan, which allows increasing the annual volume of water release from the lake by 40 percent. The ecologists said the increasing of water release will lead to serious ecological problems.

Lake Sevan suffers from landfills, which was recently confirmed by Nature Protection Minister.

"The situation of Lake Sevan and landfills are serious challenges for the ministry," Minister Aramayis Grigoryan told reporters.

He promised positive results of the Ministry's activities in this direction.

The Armenian society doubt about any positive changes for Lake Sevan, as the oligarchs interests are above everything in the country. The newly formed government mainly include oligarchs. At least five members of the government are among the richest people in Armenia. As the local experts said Armenia is only a business project for the oligarchs' government.

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