Three-Day Training-Workshop in Tsaghkadzor

Three-Day Training-Workshop in Tsaghkadzor

With the contribution of the World Bank's "Support to EITI Armenia. additional financing" grant program, the EITI National Secretariat under the RA Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Environment organized a training-workshop on “Increasing the efficiency and capacity building of environmental and health measures in programs developed and implemented by communities” on August 3-5 at Writers' Union House in Tsaghkadzor.

The aim of the training-workshop was to develop and strengthen the capacities and skills of the affected communities, as well as the responsible employees of state bodies; to draw up and implement environmental programs, to develop, invest and manage environmental and health measures in accordance with the "Law on Targeted Use of Environmental Tax Paid by Companies" and relevant sub-legislative normative acts. About 50 responsible representatives of the RA authorized state bodies, municipalities, affected communities, and Yerevan Municipality participated in the workshop.

The agenda was dynamic and held in an interactive format with active participation. On the first day, the attendees were introduced to the significance of the course topic from the perspective of the implementation of the 5th requirement of the EITI Standard.

Lusine Tovmasyan, Head of EITI Secretariat, clarified the transparency and accountability requirements presented by EITI Standard in relation to the environmental projects implemented by the communities. Then, the participants discussed the mechanism of allocations from the environmental tax and replenishment of the community budgets, and Artur Ghavalyan, Deputy Head of the Strategic Policy Department of the Ministry of Environment, presented the legal regulations for the targeted use of the environmental tax paid by companies in Armenia, the recorded practice, and the revealed gaps.

On the second day, the participants discussed the Law on Making Amendments to the law "On Targeted Use of Environmental Tax Paid by Companies" HO-145-N of May 25, 2022, the sub-legislative normative legal acts to be developed arising from the law, the recommendations aimed at further improvement of the processes to develop, coordinate and implement environmental programs within their framework, the needs of the communities.

Artur Ghavalyan and Arayik Papoyan, hygienist, and doctor of the Hygiene Department of the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention of the Ministry of Health, presented a brief overview of the environmental and health programs (measures) implemented in 2017-2021, which led to an exchange of ideas.

The third day of the workshop was mainly dedicated to teamwork. Divided into groups, the participants were assigned to develop and present environmental programs with environmental and health measures. The participants successfully completed the task based on the information and knowledge gained during the first two days of the course. At the end of the workshop, all participants voted to select the best-submitted projects.

Thus, the training-workshop contributed to the development of the participants' knowledge and competencies, which are necessary to prepare and implement environmental programs, as well as to ensure the transparency and accountability requirements of the EITI Standard. The workshop also helped create a network of community specialists who will support each other in the near future to exchange best practices.