Armenia is already a party or is in progress of ratifying some of the important international and regional agreements, which cover or are related to the field of water resources. Armenia also cooperates with different countries on the water-related issues within the frames of bilateral agreements. In addition, the country is involved in important global and regional initiatives, and aims at achieving European standards in water resources management.
EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA)
The EU and Armenia have signed the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in November, 2017, which aims –among others- adoption of EU environmental standards for a cleaner, healthier environment in Armenia. In that context, harmonisation of national legislations and implementation of measures in accordance with the EU Water Framework Directive principles and adoption of the EU WFD methodologies are key elements of approximation of Armenia towards the EU WFD principles.
The new agreement provides a framework for Armenia and the European Union to work together for the benefit of the citizens of Armenia.
Armenia has been a party to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention) since 01 August, 2001. Aarhus Convention was adopted on 25 June, 1998 in the Danish city of Aarhus (Århus) at the Fourth Ministerial Conference as part of the “Environment for Europe” process. It entered into force on 30 October 2001.
The convention ensures that everyone has the right to receive environmental information that is held by public authorities, everyone has the right to participate in environmental decision-making, and that everyone has the right to challenge public decisions which have not respected the two aforementioned rights or environmental law in general.
Armenia signed the UNECE Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers to the Aarhus Convention (Protocol on PRTRs) on 21 May 2003, but has not yet ratified it. Hence the implementation of the provisions of the Protocol is not obligatory, including setting up the national reporting scheme.
PRTR is a national environmental database or inventory of potentially hazardous chemical substances released to air, water and soil and transferred off-site for treatment or disposal. As such, it allows the public authorities to track each release and transfer of a hazardous chemical substance consistently over time.
Protocol on Water and Health of Helsinki Convention on Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes
Armenia signed the Protocol on Water and Health to the 1992 Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes on 17 June 1999, but has not ratified it yet.
The main aim of the Protocol is to protect human health and wellbeing by better water management, including the protection of water ecosystems, and by preventing, controlling and reducing water-related diseases.
Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance
The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) entered into force in Armenia on 6 November 1993. Armenia currently has sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of 493,511 hectares; Lake Arpi, Khor Virap Marsh and Lake Sevan.
Ramsar Convention was signed in 1971 and came into force in 1975. It currently has 171 contracting parties. It is an international agreement promoting the conservation and wise use of wetlands, and is the only global treaty to focus on a single ecosystem.
See Ramsar National Reports of Armenia to COP13.
Open Government Partnership Initiative
Armenia has been part of the Open Government Partnership initiative since 2011. The Open Government Partnership is a multilateral initiative of national reformers, all determined to make their governments more responsive to the needs of citizens. Out of 24 commitments for 2018-2020, Armenia completed 11.
See Armenia Action Plan 2018-2020 on dissemination of environmental information.