2700 hectares of forests burned in the past 12 years
A total of 2,700 hectares of Armenia’s forests were burnt in the past twelve years, Agriculture Ministry’s Armenian Forest Company Deputy Director, Chief Forester Ruben Petrosyan said during a press conference on August 27. He added that approximately half of these forest fires occurred in the past three years alone.
As per Petrosyan, the overwhelming majority of forest fires are caused by the human factor. The villagers deliberately set non-gathered hay on fire to receive better grass next year, but these fire subsequently spread onto forests. In line with the 2003 data, Armenia has 332,300 hectares of forests as compared with the 334,100 hectares in 1993. Ruben Petrosyan also informed that the quality of Armenia’s forests has worsened due to deforestation.
Even though legislative changes were made in the year past, whereby setting forest-covered areas on fire is prohibited, according to Petrosyan, the respective penalties are not clearly specified. “Until this day accusation has been presented to a Lori resident shepherd, which has been fired for 93 million AMD.”