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A Toxics-Free Future



In September, IPEN Participating Organization Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment (AWHHE) celebrated the 20th anniversary of its foundation. Representatives of the Ministries of the Republic of Armenia, international organizations in Armenia, NGOs and foreign guests attended the event, which was held at the Aram Khachaturian House-Museum.

IPEN Co-Chair, Olga Speranskaya, leads the EECCA Regional Meeting.

On September 28th and 29th, IPEN Participating Organizations from the Eastern Europe, Caucasus, and Central Asia (EECCA) region met in Erevan, Armenia. At the meeting, IPEN POs in EECCA discussed IPEN's current and future projects, campaigns and initiatives, as well as the role IPEN EECCA POs will play in these activities. IPEN new initiatives, including Women and Chemicals, Gender Strategy, Women’s Caucus, Ocean Pollution, and Chemicals in Products were on the agenda of the meeting and aroused great interest. Three presentations on gender and endocrine disrupting chemicals, POPs in breast milk and monitoring of heavy metals in food linked the work of NGOs with that of the EECCA scientific community.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) office in Yerevan, Armenia presented a "Best Women Entrepreneur for 2016" prize to IPEN Participating Orgnization Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment (AWHHE) for their project to improve entrepreneurial skills and income generating capacities of female farmers through the use of solar fruit- and herb-drying equipment and technologies. The awards were presented to local partners that have promoted good and innovative practices through project activities.

On 4 December, 2015, IPEN Participating Organization Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment (AWHHE) represented the Armenian civil society sector at the inception workshop of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) / Global Environment Facility (GEF) full-sized project "Elimination of obsolete pesticide stockpiles and addressing POPs-contaminated sites within a sound chemicals management framework." The workshop, organized by the UNDP-Armenia office, was opened by the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Nature protection RA.

Mercury Country Situation Report by Armenian Civil Society Sector

Armenian based NGO Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment (AWHHE) undertook a project to produce a Mercury Country Status Report for Armenia. Their investigation into mercury pollution has contributed important information to the national efforts to develop an inventory of mercury pollution sources and contaminated sites which they have been able to share with key stakeholders and the public.

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Eight Women Strive for Health and Healthy Environment in Armenia

Special for the Armenian Weekly

This is the first article in a six-part series about environmental organizations in Armenia.

Introducing Code of Conduct In Order To Reduce The Environmental and Health Risks From Pesticides

In order to promote the FAO Code of Conduct and elimination of hazardous pesticide use in favor of more sustainable agricultural practices, AWHHE surveyed farmers and citizens in 4 villages to determine their awareness levels about and use of pesticides. Thereafter they organized a series of discussion groups with residents, farmers, youth groups, and local government officials to discuss the results, as well as distribute Armenian-language educational materials they hd drafted.

Health and Environmental Hazards of Mercury in Fish in Armenia

AWHHE researched the damage done to the Lake Sevan basin area from the Sotq gold mine. AWHHE found that catastrophic destruction of the watershed (Lake Sevan and numerous rivers), which is of vital importance to the approximately 250,000 people living in the basin, is likely if the polluting activities of themine aren't stopped. Additionally, the gold mine crush activities contaminate the atmosphere with trace heavy metals, among them the radioactive thorium. AWHHE also collected and sent hair samples to an accredited laboratory for mercury analysis.