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Armenian parliament to convene extraordinary session on Lake Sevan legislation

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Armenian parliament to convene extraordinary session on Lake Sevan legislation

Armenia
Photo: DEA/W. BUSS/De Agostini

The Armenian parliament will convene a special session today to discuss restoration of Lake Sevan.

Water Committee chairman Karen Sargsyan is set to present an amendment to the bill on the annual restoration, preservation, and use of the resources within the lake ecosystem. 

Armenia has historically suffered from pollution of water resources, namely the mining industry deposits that runoff into the Okuchay river. In the past, control over the river’s water has been muddled by disputes with downstream neighbor Azerbaijan, which could flare up again as environmental stress grows. 

Even if the Lake Sevan bill is passed, it is unlikely to offer holistic relief to Armenia’s mounting susceptibility to extreme weather events. Following the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh last year, Lake Sevan has been an additional element of dispute between Baku and Yerevan. Tensions have flared over Azeri threats regarding militarization of its waters and extraction of resources in contested waters. Central to Armenia’s long-term national sustainability is the conservation of the lake and dependent environment, although it is yet unclear to which extent reports like last week’s plea from the United Nations for urgent mitigatory policy on climate change. 

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