During 19 years about 2 thousand hectares forest were cut. Within the framework of the project conduced by “State Forest Monitoring Center” SNCO (State Non-Commercial Organization) office with the support of GTZ in Armenia that forested area in Armenia is 332.333 hectares.
Last timesuch a study was carried outin 1993 when the area of forests was 334.100 hectares. And though after that different organizations published different figures none of them can be considered as factual as such a serious study hasn’t been ever done” ensures the Chief Forester of “Hayantar” (Armforest) SNCO Ruben Petrosyan. To mention, these figures do not include bushes, parks and other afforested areas which do not correspond to the standards of forest.
The President of Union of Greens Hakob Sanasaryan claims that the published figures do not correspond to the reality.
“Let them say that the organizations gave them those figures. There is no NGO in Armenia which has exact figures on deforestation. Minimum 600-700 thousand cubic meters of forest arecut annually. Hundreds of hectares are cut as a result of mining and they are not considered illegal” says Sanasaryan.
Inga Zarafyan the President of “Ekolur” informative NGO reminded about the researches of ENPY FLEG International Center according to which in 2011 the annual demand for firewood was 450 thousand cubic meters in Armenia.
“For me the figures of ENPY FLEG organization are more trustworthy especially when they mention that the volume of illegal logging is 80 times higher from the official figures. Besides I’m sure this year those figures will be more as there were more loggings in rural residences as a result of such cold winter” thinks Zarafyan.
Ruben Petrosyan also mentioned that this year the number of forest fires has decreased but the situation is still concerning. During 12 years in 1998-2010 2460 hectares area were burnt and during the last two years in 2010-2011 810 hectares. The figures of the following 10 years may be higher. State Forest Monitoring Center and different interested non-governmental organizations found out that in 2011 3216 trees were cut illegally which is less as compared to previous years.