Environment in emerging and transition economies
National policy dialogues (NPD) in Armenia
Year of NPD launch: 2006
Present NPD Chair(s) and strategic partners in the government: Water Resources Management Agency (Ministry of Nature Protection), State Committee of Water Systems (Ministry of Territorial Administration)
Source of NPD funding: European Union, Government of Finland, Government of Germany, Government of Switzerland, Government of the United Kingdom, Government of the United States of America
The National Policy Dialogues (NPD) in Armenia was initiated in 2006. The main areas of work and achievements are summarised on this page.
Priority areas of work and main activities
The NPD facilitated the implementation of the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) principles in the national legislative and institutional frameworks in line with the EU WFD and with an emphasis on economic and financial issues. Other priority areas include the target setting under the Protocol on Water and Health, and the development of a strategy for wastewater colleaction and treatment.
Since the launch of the NPD, the following meetings and missions have been taking place to assist Armenia in the NPD process:
- 13th Steering Committee meeting: 16 December 2014, Yerevan
The meeting was attended by the representatives of the government, international organisations and NGOs. The agenda allowed all partners to update the Steering Committee on their recent activities in Armenia's water sector. The decisions of the Steering Committee were reflected in the minutes.
- 11th Steering Committee meeting: 12 December 2013, Yerevan
The meeting was attended by the representatives of the government, international organisations and NGOs. The agenda was well prepared and it allowed all partners to update the Steering Committee on their recent activities in Armenia's water sector. The decisions of the Steering Committee were reflected in the minutes.
- 10th Steering Committee meeting and the 2nd meeting of the Environmental Protection of International River Basins Project (EPIRB) national coordination committee meeting: 26 September 2013, Yerevan
The meetings gathered over 20 participants from the government, international organisations and NGOs. The agenda reviewed the status of NPD activities and provided an update on the country's water sector reforms. The minutes summarise the major outcomes of these meetings.
- 9th Steering Committee meeting: 12 December 2012, Yerevan
The meeting reviewed the NPD activities in 2012 and approved the proposed programme of work for 2013. The Armenian State Committee of Water Systems expressed demand for a new activity aimed at developing a national strategy for sustainable sanitation. The strategy was expected to provide specific orientations to increase the extent of Armenia's wastewater collection and treatment in a financially realistic way. The Steering Committee welcomed UNECE's initiative on the target setting exercise and agreed to act as the project's governing body. An assessment of selected economic instruments for water management at national level was agreed to be conducted under the leadership of the OECD. This assessment was started in May 2013 and the first results were presented at the NPD meeting in the autumn of the same year.
- 8th Steering Committee meeting: 11 April 2012, Yerevan
In this meeting, participants covered a range of OECD activities related to the economic and financial dimensiosn of water management in Debed and Kura basins (the latter crossing borders with Georgia and Azerbaijan). This included a review of existing instruments and recommendations on their revision with the aim of better serving water policy objectives. The UNECE Water Convention and its Protocol on Water and Health were introduced and the Steering Committee expressed its support to a proposed action plan for improving health in Armenia through sustainable water management, access to safe water and adequate sanitation.
Key achievements of the NPD to date
This radar chart synthetises the level of achievements along five axes within the NPD process in Kazakhstan (0-no activity; 2-fully achieved):
- Transboundary water management
- National strategies on water, nexus
- The development of RBMPs
- The economis and financial dimensions of WRM
- WSS and Water and Health
The NPD enjoys a high engagement level by officials in the Ministry of Environment and the State Committee of Water Systems. The Armenian legislation on IWRM is converging towards the EU acquis. The NPD process had a key role in the development of the following policy packages:
- A National Financing Strategy for rural WSS was developed in order to achieve the MDGs in Armenia. Policy reforms were endorsed to close the financing gap for the sustainable operation and maintenance of existing services. Targets were agreed for infrastructure investment to expand services. Recommendations were made for institutional reform with respect to WSS in rural areas.
- A pilot River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) was developed for the Marmarik river basin in line with the principles of IWRM and the EU WFD, establishing the processes and institutions required. As a result, the Armenian authorities are now well equipped to replicate and scale up this pilot.
- Recommendations were developed to reform the current economic instruments for water management and introduce new ones. Water abstraction fees for the fishery sector have already been reformed.
Plans for the future
- Target setting in relation to the Protocol on Water and Health will be completed in 2014.
- A working group on water quality monitoring and assessment will be set up in 2014. It will support the transition towards a new monitoring strategy based on the EU WFD.
- A comprehensive assessment of selected economic instruments for water management will be completed in 2014. It will identify the essential prerequisites for reforms.
There are ample opportunities to support ambitious reforms in Armenia, particularly with regard to the economics of water management.
“I strongly believe that the success of the NPD in Armenia is largely due to its clear mission and the fact that it is fully in line with the water policy direction implemented by the Government of Armenia. We expect that the NPD will continue to support our efforts towards managing issues related to water resources and will help to ensure public participation in the process.”
Head of the Water Resources Management Agency, Armenia