Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Shikahogh Film Presentation

Bulldozer, Siunik Region, Republic of Armenia © Onnik Krikorian

The SOS-Shikahogh Working Group of the Ecological Public Union has announced that there will be a presentation of a documentary film on the Shikahogh Nature Reserve tomorrow. As always, background information on Shikahogh can be found online

In the frames of a wide-scale protest campaign waged against the construction of a road passing through Shikahogh state reserve, radio company VEM, with the support of Armenia Tree Project, World Wide Fund for Nature and Armenian Forests NGO has prepared a documentary film dedicated to the issue of Shikahogh.

The presentation of the film will take place on June 29, 2005, at 18:00, at the Yerevan Movie House; address: 18 Vardanants St, Yerevan, Republic of Armenia.

The film displays beautiful sceneries of nature and wildlife of Shikahogh reserve, cites professional comments of environmentalists, shows pieces of illegal construction works of the road that has not undergone environmental impact assessment, as well as presents the available alternatives to the road.

For additional information contact Mher Sharoyan, Media Coordinator, Armenian Forests NGO. Phone 54-15-29, E-mail: media@armenianforests.am.
On a related note, although the announcement had come via the Armenian Forests NGO, I noticed that there is also a youth environmental group involved in publicizing the event. Given that Shikahogh campaign resulted in an unprecedented U-turn by the Armenian government it is interesting to at least consider the possibility that the environmental movement here might soon turn into what is effectively a pro-democracy, pro-human rights and an anti-corruption one.

This is, after all, what happened during the last days of the former Soviet Union when environmental protests eventually became pro-independence and Karabagh movements. It is also interesting and somewhat encouraging to see the involvement of youth in all of this. Besides, there's also a lot to do with regards to the wholescale disregard for the environment shown by the government at present. Anyway, for those interested, the Burg Youth Environmental Center has a web site here.

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