PONTOS Organizes Media Tour to Lake Sevan Basin

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GEGHARKUNIK, Armenia — The American University of Armenia (AUA) Acopian Center for the Environment, along with the Environmental Protection and Mining Inspection Body of the Republic of Armenia (RA) organized a media tour to Lake Sevan and its catchment area. The tour included visits to Hayrivanq, Noratus, Litchq, and Martuni areas. The PONTOS project research team examines the pilot site, Lake Sevan and its catchment area, conducting assessments and analysis of land cover and land use changes in areas induced or burned by fires and resulting consequences, as well as wetland and floating vegetation cover changes from 2009 to 2019; eutrophication incidents from 2009 to 2021 (frequency and magnitude) and their relation to land-based nutrient fluxes; and agriculture water balance, water productivity, and water stress indices.

During this field visit, the journalists were introduced to the specific environmental challenges and problems of the pilot site that the PONTOS project is currently addressing, such as aquatic vegetation and related challenges, the problem of solid waste and wastewater, forest cover challenges, fish farms and aquatic vegetation, and so on.

In each area, the PONTOS researchers presented the problems, the solutions and support that could be provided within the framework of this project. 

The PONTOS program largely contributes to the development of research methodology and builds capacity within the relevant organizations in Armenia while  leveraging urgent attention to existing problems.

Project outcomes include a number of significant contributions for Armenia and partner countries. In particular:

  1. The creation of the PONTOS platform, including data cube, WebGIS, and Web application, which creates an opportunity for policymakers, journalists, researchers, students, and interested citizens to get a quick analysis of the PONTOS project pilot area Lake Sevan.
  2. The platform ensures the availability and updating feature of relevant data and information for transboundary environmental monitoring of the Black Sea basin.
  3. Through partner-developed educational materials and resources in addition to capacity-building activities, the program promotes the development and use of a consolidated methodology across all pilot areas of the PONTOS project.
  4. The creation of a collaborative team comprising members from PONTOS partner countries, which in turn brings together local specialists involving them in the project implementation to ensure consistency of action among all specialists from partner countries. This significantly facilitates data sharing through the use of the PONTOS project tools.
  5. The project raises awareness of water quality and dynamics.

At the end of the media tour, the participating journalists and media representatives released articles related to the tour. The links are below: 

  1. Ecolur (Armenian, English)
  2. Armenpress 
  3. Club of Economic Journalists 
  4. Progress Armenia Photostory 

More information about the PONTOS project is available on its website at AUA American University of Armenia (AUA), the Environmental Protection and Mining Inspection Body of the Republic of Armenia, and four other partner organizations, together launched the Copernicus Assisted Environmental Monitoring Across the Black Sea Basin-
PONTOS project starting from July 1, 2020. The 30-month program is implemented under the ENP Black Sea Cross-Border Cooperation 2014-2020 program’s co-financing. 

This publication has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the PONTOS program and can in no way
be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.