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The RA Prosecutor’s Office Division of Public Relations, head of the Division – Arevik Khachatryan

02.08.2021 | Illegal felling of forests in Syunik region has been increased. The Prosecutor's Office of the region undertook measures

The Prosecutor's Office of Syunik region studied the state of illegal tree felling in the administrative territory of the region during the first half of 2018, the effectiveness and legality of the measures undertaken in connection with violations.

 

In the course of the study, it was found out that during the specified period, the number of illegal forest felling was increased, and in connection with this, the number of initiated criminal cases also.

 

In particular, as a result of the operational-search measures undertaken by the subdivisions of the department of Syunik region of the RA Police and the activities of the relevant employees of the “Hayantar” SNCO, 43 cases were registered, compared to 15 cases of last year, thus, the cases were increased by 186%. 20 criminal cases were initiated, which are 4 times more compared with the same period of the last year (5 criminal cases).

 

By the cases that are in the process of preliminary investigation under the control or procedural lead of prosecutors of the Prosecutor's Office of the region, the importance is attached to the restoration of nature and the damage caused to the state. In particular, the damage inflicted to the state by the initiated and investigated criminal cases amounted to over 35 million AMD.

 

Despite the fact that the quantitative increase of criminal proceedings is due to an increase in the efficiency of work carried out in the direction of identifying and registering criminal offenses, it is clear that there are problems in connection with the control over the activities of officials responsible for forest protection.

 

This is also evidenced by the fact that in the first half of 2021 part of the damage inflicted to the state cannot be recovered by the established cases of tree felling due to the impossibility of identifying the perpetrators of the crime. In addition, it is often impossible to take measures to initiate criminal cases and prosecute persons who have committed illegal logging. The quantitative increase in illegal logging is also influenced by the objective difficulties arising in matters of control over forest areas.

 

Taking into account the similar dynamics of the increase in cases of illegal logging in the region, the Prosecutor of Syunik region sent corresponding letters to the Acting Chairman of the Forestry Committee of the RA Ministry of Environment, Acting Head of Hayantar SNCO of the RA Forestry Committee, the Head of the Inspection Body for Nature Protection and Subsoil Resources of the RA.

 

The prosecutor of the region raised the issue of the need to improve the effectiveness of measures to prevent illegal felling of trees, the implementation of official duties by the employees of the "Hayantar" SNCO and the Inspection Body for Nature Protection and Subsoil Resources of the Republic of Armenia.

 

In future, from the point of view of registering positive indicators and a more effective fight against illegal tree felling, the task was set to increase the level of cooperation between the regional structures of other competent authorities and the Prosecutor's Office.