Lake Sevan
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Summit on the Future of Lake Sevan Concluded

3 min read

YEREVAN, Armenia On June 28, the Republic of Armenia (RA) Ministry of Environment and the American University of Armenia (AUA) Acopian Center for the Environment co-hosted the Summit on the Future of Lake Sevan. Held in the University’s Manoogian Hall, the event was dedicated to fostering expert and policymaker discussions and formulating actionable proposals aimed at ensuring a sustainable future for Lake Sevan, one of Armenia’s most valuable natural resources.

The Summit was organized within the framework of the EU4Sevan project, co-financed by the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It was implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, as a part of the “ECOserve” programme, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the RA Ministry of Environment.

The Summit opened with a keynote speech by Dr. Karsten Rinke, head of the Department of Lake Research at the Helmholtz-Center for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Germany. The guest of honor, Dr. Rinke delivered insightful remarks highlighting the critical role of Lake Sevan and emphasizing its ecological importance and inherent fragility. Through the findings of extensive research conducted, he demonstrated the harmful impacts of human activities on the Lake and ways to reverse the tide.

A series of comprehensive panel discussions ensued, engaging Summit participants in dialogues on pressing topics: wastewater treatment, sustainable agriculture, environmental data management, and improvement of legislative-institutional frameworks and intersectoral cooperation. Details of the ideas presented are available at the Summit webpage. Details of discussions will be made available in videotapes of the event to be released later in the coming month.

Summit attendees had the opportunity to view an exhibition featuring posters on scientific research and innovative solutions for the protection of Lake Sevan. The exhibition showcased the efforts of public and private sectors, NGOs, and scientific institutions.

An inspiring part of the Summit was conversations with five individuals, whose efforts have made significant contributions to the protection of Lake Sevan. These individuals included Artush Khachatryan, president of the Community Pulse NGO, whose efforts have brought farmers in the area a new understanding of alternative crop choices and agricultural approaches that will have a lower impact on the Lake. Mnatsakan Sargsyan, president of Good Hope NGO, spoke about his work with residents to reduce their use of phosphorous-containing cleaners, which upon entering the Lake through municipal wastewater are a contributing factor to the harmful algal blooms we’ve witnessed in the Lake. Other individuals included staff members of Gavar Municipality, Sevan National Park, and the Ministry of Environment’s Hydrometeorology and Monitoring Center. 

The event concluded with an award ceremony, recognizing individuals who have made exceptional and innovative contributions to the conservation of Lake Sevan. Certificates were awarded to these dedicated contributors, honoring their commitment and efforts toward ensuring the Lake’s sustainable future.

The Summit on the Future of Lake Sevan proved important in bringing together experts, policymakers, and stakeholders to address the challenges and opportunities in preserving one of Armenia’s most cherished natural treasures. The discussions and proposals generated during the Summit are expected to shape the strategic initiatives for Lake Sevan’s protection and sustainability.

The AUA Acopian Center for the Environment, a research center of the American University of Armenia (AUA), promotes the protection and restoration of the natural environment through research, education, and community outreach. The AUA Acopian Center’s focus areas include sustainable natural resource management, biodiversity protection and conservation, greening the built environment, sustainable energy, as well as information technology and the environment. Visit

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