04.01.2022 | Measures foreseen for eliminating the circumstances of the official offences connected with illegal deforestation in Dilijan National Park

On October 28, 2021, the representatives of the "Ecologist’s House" NGO reported to the Police Department of Dilijan that a group of ecologists had a tour in the "Dilijan" branch of the Dilijan National Park SNCO on October 20, 2021 and found 4 new-cut trees. They informed the head of the protection department of the same SNCO about the illegal cutting, but they did not draw up a report on deforestation.


Besides, it was found illegal logging of 5 wet, standing trees in the same area, which was reported to the same officials on October 27, 2021 but again no action was undertaken.


According to the materials prepared, it was found out that in the 9th guard post of "Dilijan" branch of "Dilijan" National Park SNCO in the mentioned place there are illegally cut 9 trunks of trees and 5 tree branches.


In connection with the incident a criminal case was initiated at the Police Department of Dilijan under Article 296, Part 3 of the RA Criminal Code.


The preliminary investigation of the Investigative Department Dilijan revealed that the information provided by the non-governmental organization representative had been passed to the competent officials, but no proper work had been done to find the illegally felled tree trunks.


Besides, on October 27, 2021, based on a similar report sent by a non-governmental organization member, the forester found 5 illegal tree trunks and branches located nearly 2 km away from the mentioned place, about which he informed the head of the branch, and the latter informed the head of the protection department. However, the latter, without good reason, stated that the found forest violation was not committed in the area of ​​Dilijan National Park SNCO, it is the Dilijan community and ordered not to draw up a forest violation report. Meanwhile, the preliminary investigation revealed that the area is the area of ​Dilijan National Park SNCO.


The preliminary investigation revealed that in both cases, the relevant officials of Dilijan National Park SNCO did not find any cases of negligence because of their attitude towards their service, and also, they did not properly record cases of deforestation.


Taking into account that in each case of violation in forestry the damage caused to state did not exceed 1.000.000 AMD, the actions of the above-mentioned officials of Dilijan National Park SNCO were not assessed as criminal.


Taking into account that such a behavior is a circumstance contributing to crime, the Prosecutor's Office of Tavush Region sent a motion to the RA Ministry of Environment to take strict measures to prevent and exclude such actions.


It was informed by Ministry that the forester and the head of the 9th branch of Dilijan National Park SNCO had been fired from their posts.