International Center for Journalists Announces
October 27, 2008
YEREVAN--Arpi Harutyunyan from ArmeniaNow.com won first prize in the 2008 Biodiversity Reporting Awards for the Caucasus Region with a story on Armenian wildlife in danger of extinction, reported the International Center for Journalists. It was the second year in a row that Harutyunyan earned a top prize. In the 2007 contest, she shared the top award with a colleague at ArmeniaNow.com, Marianna Grigoryan.
Harutyunyan and other winners from Armenia were honored at an award ceremony at the Marriott Hotel in Yerevan on Oct. 27. Reporters for the Georgian newspaper Kviris Palitra earned one award and an honorable mention, and the Georgian winners received their awards at a reception in Tbilisi on Oct. 22.
Harutyunyan’s winning story, “Conflict of Man and Beasts: Armenian Wildlife in Danger of Extinction”, describes threats to the existence of certain rare animals in Armenia. It covers the impacts of illegal logging, urbanization, poaching, and other human activities on wildlife in Armenia. The story includes official data from state offices and expert analyses, with special attention to the Red List of the most endangered species in Armenia.
Using a variety of sources, expert opinion, and careful research, Harutyunyan presents a well-rounded picture of the threats to Armenia’s biodiversity. The story warns that the situation is critical and calls for immediate action. As the winner of first prize, Harutyunyan received $1,000 and a plaque for the Caucasus Biodiversity Reporting Award.
Second prize went to Karine Simonyan from Radio Free Europe’s Armenian Service, whose story, “Those in Teghut Can’t Make It! Which Is More Important--Environment or Jobs?” covers a one-day protest of students and NGO representatives against mining in Teghut. The report touches on economic problems in the country and their impacts on the environment. The story explains how public opinion is influenced by social and economic problems, and describes violations of international conventions and laws by government officials. Simonyan received $500 and a plaque for her story.
The third prize winner was Rezo Getiashvili from Kviris Palitra for the story, “The Failure of Forestry Reform: New Legislation Could Break Villages.” His story explains the process of forestry reform in Georgia and its impacts on the lives of ordinary people. The story shows how a Georgian villager suffered from the decisions of the Georgian government. Getiashvili will receive $200 and a plaque for the prize.
Honorable mention went to Eka Lomidze for a story about illegal logging in Borjomi Park, Marianna Grigoryan of EurasiaNet.org for the story “Copper Controversy Haunts Armenian Town,” and Inga Zarafyan for a television documentary about the victims of the copper smelting factory in Alaverdi, Armenia.
The Caucasus Biodiversity Reporting Award competition is open to journalists from Russia, Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. The contest and journalism training on this topic are administered by the International Center for Journalists of Washington, with local partners led by the Caucasus Center for Journalists in Tbilisi, Georgia.
These activities are intended to encourage better coverage
of the conservation of biodiversity in the region and are sponsored by
the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, a joint venture of the Global
Environment Facility, the World Bank, the Government of Japan, the Development
Agency of France, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and