Public Movement “In Defense of Forests” Announced

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–If the government’s instruction is fulfilled–the cutting of woods in Armenia will acquire a catastrophic character–the Armenian Botanical Society–which announced a movement in defense of forests–said in an open letter addressed to the president of Armenia. Petitions with signatures of acceding organizations and people will be regularly sent to the presidential staff. The Union of Greens of Armenia and the Armenia Society of the Green Cross have already joined the action.

The matter concerns the instruction given to the Ministry of Nature Protection of Armenia regarding the reorganization of the state forest service "Hayantar." The instruction provides for revising the status of 22 forestries making them private companies–and the privatization of industrial shops–which implies the turning over of forests from specialists to private businessmen. Thus–the letter writes–to sustain themselves–forestries will have to exploit the forest only–which there will be no one to attend to the reproduction of forests.

The attention of the president is being called to the fact that the forest is of strategic importance in the aspect of the country’s defense capability and its destruction will deliver a heavy blow to national security. Moreover–the given instruction runs counter to the national forest policy stipulated by the Constitution and the Forest Code of Armenia.

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