After two years as Executive Director of the Mining Legislation Reform Institute (MLRI), Varant Meguerditchian announced that he will be standing down from the role in July this year.
MLRI Board Member Raffi Doudaklian thanked Meguerditchian for his efforts, adding that the Board would be sad to see him leave. “We would like to thank Varant for his invaluable service and extend its best wishes to him and his young family,” said Doudaklian. “Varant has overseen a period of considerable growth and change in MLRI, at a very exciting time to introduce mining sector reforms in Armenia. He has worked tirelessly in pursuing responsible mining practices in Armenia.”
This juncture represents a significant milestone for the MLRI, as a key phase of the project has reached its conclusion: The drafting of new responsible mining legislation for Armenia.
During the period of Varant’s leadership, the MLRI has achieved the following key outcomes:
• Undertaken a nationwide mining stakeholder consultation with NGOs and other stakeholders from across Armenia;
• Published a Stakeholder Consultation Report to pave the way for policy development;
• Undertaken a Mining Policy Development Process, leading to the publication of MLRI's Responsible Mining Policy as a platform for legislative reform;
• With the support of expert lawyers drafted changes to Armenia's mining legislation based on MLRI's responsible mining policy;
• Drafted changes to the Mining Code and submitted them to Armenia’s Ministry for Territorial Administration and Infrastructure;
• Drafted changes to the Environmental Impact Assessment Law and submitted them to Armenia’s Ministry of the Environment;
• Drafted changes to the Mining Inspection Law and submitted them to Armenia’s Inspectorate for the Environment and Mining;
• Written a new Cost Benefit Analysis Law Guideline for Armenia based on the EU CBA Guide and submitted it to the relevant government bodies; and
• Drafted a Tax Collection Risk Paper.
Speaking to staff, Meguerditchian said: “I am proud of the work that MLRI has achieved during this period, and I would like to thank my work colleagues at MLRI, my former colleagues at the AUA Center for Responsible Mining, and all stakeholders and government officials with whom I have had the pleasure to work with during the life of this project.
“I would particularly like to thank James Tufenkian, Antranig Kasbarian and Raffi Doudaklian of the Tufenkian Foundation for their support during these two years.”
The MLRI project now enters a new phase, actively working to ensure that the Government of Armenia adopts and implements responsible mining reforms.
As of 30 June 2020, please direct all inquiries about the MLRI project to Raffi Doudaklian, Executive Director of the Tufenkian Foundation (firstname.lastname@example.org). MLRI has already commenced a search for a new Director.
19 June, 2020
The Mining Legislation Reform Institute (MLRI) is a registered Armenian NGO. It seeks to ensure that mining in Armenia provides sufficient benefits to the country and local communities. Its main activities include research, stakeholder consultation, policy development, public education, communications, advocacy, and legislative reform.
The MLRI was previously based at the American University of Armenia’s Center for Responsible Mining. The activities of the MLRI are made possible by funding from the Tufenkian Foundation.