Ecocide Alert In The Southern Caucasus


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On Sept. 27th, a full-blown war erupted between Armenia & Azerbaijan over the region of Artsakh in the South Caucasus.

This ongoing war is a major threat for the biodiversity of the region.

Considered one of the world’s hotspot in terms of biodiversity, the region is home to more than 6000 plant species, 153 species of mammals and 400 species of birds. Hundreds of plant and animal species in Artsakh are also listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

On October 30th, white phosphorous munitions were used as a chemical weapon over the primary forests of Artsakh. As we know, the use of chemical weapon is internationally recognized as a war crime and its effects on the environment is devastating.

It directly threatens the existence of any living being in the area and the habitats of endangered species of the region, such as the brown bears, the bezoar goats, the mouflons, the lynx, the vultures, the eagles and the Caucasian leopard. This latter is a critically endangered feline at a high risk of extinction in the region.

Armenia & Artsakh are known for their primary forests, which are amongst the most biodiverse forests in the region. Not only these forests play a major role in preserving favorable environmental conditions for sustainable development, but local people are heavily dependent on these forests for their livelihoods. Traditional forest-related knowledge accumulated over thousands of years is deeply rooted in the culture of the indigenous people living in Artsakh.

White phosphorous munitions are dangerous chemical weapon that not only burn crucial habitats and destroy ecosystems, but they also accumulate in soil and rivers, contaminating underground waters for years. Hence they represent a major threat for all the people living in the wider region, including Armenia and Azerbaijan. The usage of phosphorus munitions contradicts the provisions of major environmental conventions such as the Bern Convention, the Nagoya protocol, as well as the Helsinki and Rotterdam conventions, signed by both Armenia and Azerbaijan.

If 98% of the global population live under the protection of the Chemical Weapons Convention, it should also be applicable to the ethnic Armenians living in Artsakh. Nature conservation efforts do not recognize any political borders. Their aim is to sustain life on earth – the only planet we live in. As an organisation dedicated to the preservation of wildlife and cultural assets in Armenia and Artsakh, joined by 50 local partner organizations, we call upon all our partners from the global conservation community to join us in our efforts to condemn the use of phosphorous munitions in the current war which are causing an environmental disaster in the region.

We call on the global environmental organizations to take actions now to prevent a regional ecocide. Wars end, but the right to life should be recognized and respected at a global level for all living beings & all species in the world.


1. Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife & Cultural Assets (FPWC)

2. Armenian Society of Biologists NGO 3. Eco Waste Environmental NGO

4. Yerevan Aarhus Center

5. Armenia Tree Project

6. Sunchild NGO

7. Strategic Development Agency

8. Solution Hub NGO

9. Green Age NGO

10. American University of Armenia/Harutyun Alpetyan, Waste Governance Expert

11. Environmental Public Society 12. BlEJAN, environmental, social, business support NGO

13. Araves Bird conservation NGO

14. Armenian Environmental Front

15. BEM Youth progressive Action Center

16. Freedom of Information Center of Armenia

17. Institute of Botany after A.Takhtajyan NAS RA

18. World Independent Youth Union

19. Doctor Cinema Youth NGO

20. Amities Luxembourg – Armenie a.s.b.l,

21. Formation et Sensibilisation de Luxembourg

22. Regional Development and Research Center NGO

23. “” environmental informative website

24. Public Awareness and Monitoring Centre’ NGO

25. Dingo Team NGO

26. SALU Sensibilité et Attention Luxembourg

27. Caucasus Wildlife Tours

28. Armenian Environmental Network

29. Lab Inclusion (France)

30. Green Armenia Environmental Education NGO

31. White Squad Environmental NGO

32. “Armenian Botanical Society” NGO

33. SwIdeas AB (Sweden)

34. 500 km in Armenia

35. Sunchild Eco – tours

36. BLESK LLC env. assessment org./Armenian Branch

37. “Dalma-Sona” Foundation

38. University of Traditional Medicine, Armenia

39. Armenian Women for Health & Healthy Environment NGO

40. One Health Coalition

41. “EcoLur” informational NGO

42. Clean Goris NGO

43. Country Water Partnership NGO

44. Sustainable Water Environment NGO

45. “Centre for Community Mobilization and Support” NGO

46. Green Lane NGO

47. “Consumers’ Consulting Center” NGO

48. My Forest Armenia NGO

49. “Support of Botanical Garden” Charity Foundation

50. Armenian Forests Environmental NGO

51. ARK Armenia environmental NGO

52. Time land Foundation

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