Armenia is the mountainous dry land country which lowest point is 375 m above the sea level (on the north of the country at the Debed River) and the highest point is 4,095 m (the top of the mountain Aragats). Generally, the average altitude of the
Institute of Economics of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences, Bagramyan St,
Yerevan, Armenia e-mail: [email protected]
Armenian State University of Economics, 128 Nalbandyan St, Yerevan, Armenia country's territory is 1,850 m but the variations of altitudes (up to the 3,700 m and more frequently up to the 1,500-2,000 m) have great importance on climate and landscapes of zones of territory.
The mountainous character of Armenia causes the great differentiation in landscape types, as well as geological characteristics, climate, soils and water resources. The landscapes ensure great diversity of the environmental conditions which in turn contribute to the flora and fauna peculiarities. The climate changes from the subtropical to dry type, air temperature vary from -41°C to +42°C. In the southern districts the climate is dry and arid. The climate of the northern mountainous districts is milder and moister. The average precipitations amount is about 570 mm with variation from 114 mm in semi-deserts to 900 mm in high mountains.
The present day Armenia is disposed to significant ecological risks and becomes a country which economy is based on the intensive use of natural resources which eco security vulnerability is continually increasing. In the country there are three ecological regions: Lori- Tavush (with 28% forest cover), Zangezur (13% forest cover) and Sevan Lake zone. The main components of ecological sustainability are water resources, forests, meadows and landscapes which are presently endangered. The huge mining industry around the Agarak- Kadjaran- Kapan 30 km circle, as well as Alaverdi- Akhtala-Teghut, where the ore extraction volumes are continually increasing. The situation is worsens with the perspective of the construction of the Sotq gold processing plant on the Sevan Lake shore. In short times the uranium mining will be developed. The mentioned enterprises are creating big tailings which contain large amounts of toxic heavy metals and cyanides containing wastewater.
The ecological situation in Armenia is appreciated as utmost critical . In the most agricultural region- Ararat Valley- the nuclear power station is functioning. The irrigation water is highly polluted, sometimes contaminated with sewage water. The desertification and erosion processes are strongly activated. In the deteriorated agricultural lands it has become impossible to implement ecological and environmental programs and to secure the environmental monitoring. On the other hand, no soil re-cultivation works are implemented and subsequently the deteriorated areas are constantly increasing. The whole country is covered with various production and domestic unsafe wastes. The worn tires, obsolete pesticides, consumer commodities and food of bad quality are imported. And this is the most negative waste created factor, because of the absence of waste treatment safe techniques. In industrial developed countries the environmental requirements are demanded from all enterprises independent on the form of property .
The strategy of ecological security is based on the defensive, adaptation, cooperative and other approaches but the country needs to have ecological security concept based on the ecological ideology in beforehand. The absence of such ideology can have negative consequences for any country .
That's why the risk assessment is necessary to prevent any negative impacts on the environment. The risk assessment is analysis category designed to appreciate the probability of the environmental damage caused by the project.
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