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Armenia’s Natural Resources Being Depleted at Rapid Rate, Insists Former PM

There’s no such thing as a 10% increase in industry in Armenia — it is conditioned by mining, with the same of mines, said former prime minister of Armenia and current member of the opposition bloc the Armenian National Congress Hrant Bagratyan.

“If they continue in such a predatory way to deplete our wealth, ten years later we won’t have a mine,” he said.

The former PM, however, wasn’t opposed to mine exploitation as long as there are limited quotas.

“The whole problem is how much right today’s generation has to make use of these mines. In the last few years, our authorities have depleted copper in both Karabakh and Alaverdi. However many mines there are, they’re destroying them — but what is our generation going to eat? We are extracting three times more copper than we need to extract, and copper is already depleted; meanwhile, according to calculations, we had a hundred years’ [worth of] copper,” he said.

In Bagratyan’s opinion, environmentalists have adopted the right approach, fighting for the environment. As an example, he cited the campaign to save Trchkan Waterfall.

“We’re the only country in the world where, with the president’s knowledge, Shaki Waterfall is turned on for 3000 drams [apparently there’s a dam at the top that stops the flow of water, which can be turned on for a fee]. They say, give us the money and we’ll turn it on, see. They turned Shaki Waterfall, one of the 20 best waterfalls in the world, into a hydro plant, in that case when we have so many [other] areas for a hydroelectric plant,” he said, citing Shamshadin and Artsvaberd as examples.