YEREVAN, January 26. /ARKA/. Armenia’s Environment Minister Romanos Petrosyan said at a press conference on Tuesday that about 11.1% of forests in Armenia are managed by ArmForest state non-commercial organization, which is staffed with about 1,000 employees.
According to him, this structure will be reinforced and vested with new powers. “Within 1-2 years, we will introduce a new model of forest management so that the entire industrial potential of forests is handled exclusively by the ArmForest, while citizens will be allowed to go to forests only for walking or picking berries,” Petrosyan said.
According to him, felling, removal of brushwood and other issues will be done only by ArmForest. The minister also noted that a new forest ranger service will be created.
The minister also pointed out the problems of pests. “There is a need to spray 12 thousand hectares of forests this year with anti-pest chemicals. We are discussing the possibility of involving aviation for this, since for the third year already, due to lack of technical means, we cannot effectively fight against tree pests,” Petrosyan said.
Among other problems of forests, the minister pointed out an increased cases of timber theft, which grew 3-4 times during the latest Karabakh war.
He also noted environmental risks and threats to some regions, especially in Karabakh and on the southern and southeastern borders of Armenia, especially in Syunik and the eastern regions of Vayots Dzor, which arose as a result of military operations and the use of phosphorus weapons by Azerbaijan.
He noted that he had already notified international colleagues about this threat.