MSG Working Meeting at the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure
On 4 November 4, 2021 Armenian MSG members held a working meeting at the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure to discuss issues related to the holding public hearings in the communities during the EIA process. The working meeting was initiated by the request of the MSG civil society constituency following the statement of the constituency made in connection with the public hearings in Urut residence and Gladzor community.
The meeting was attended by the members of Multi-Stakeholder Group Kristine Ghalechyan, the Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure (acting MSG member), Gayane Gabrielyan, the Deputy Minister of Environment, Sona Ayvazyan, Executive Director of Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center NGO, Nazeli Vardanyan, the Director of Forests of Armenia environmental NGO, Oleg Dulgaryan, the President of the Center for Community Mobilization and Support NGO, Suren Nersisyan, Associate Professor of YSU Geology Faculty, the Chair of Regional Geology and Minerals Survey, Manvel Yeghiazaryan, the Chief accountant of Meghradzor Gold LLC, Aram Osikyan, General Director of Assat-M LTD-as well as the representatives of the Deputy Prime Minister S. Papikyan's Office and EITI Secretariat. Among the participants were the responsible officers of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure and Ministry of Environment, Inga Zarafyan, the President of EcoLur Information NGO, Artur Grigoryan, environmental law expert, and representatives of Gladzor community Armen Stepanyan and Arman Vardanyan, invited by the MSG business constituency.
The representatives of the authorized bodies participating in the meeting referred to the legislative regulations on public hearings, provided clarifications on certain legal provisions, and noted that in the case described in the statement of the MSG civil society constituency, the actions of the group presenting the mining program initiating the public hearings had been legitimate.
The other participants expressed their position on the necessity for changes for the overall settlement of the issue, as well as the need that the positions of different stakeholders should be taken into consideration during the elaboration of the Armenia’s new mining strategy which is currently under development.
The meeting participants decided to submit a package of proposed legislative amendments on the discussed issues to the EITI Secretariat within 15 days.