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Kind Stork

Read full article on EVN Report 

“The storks would have been dead by tomorrow if we hadn’t found them today,” said Artur Mkrchyan, mayor of the village of Hovtashen while volunteers sang an old song: 'Bari Arkeel,' or 'Kind Stork.' In the summer of 2019, fisheries began dumping oily remains into the streams of Armenia's Ararat Valley which left many local White Storks drowning in the oil while feeding in the swamps. The storks being not only important folkloric symbols in Armenia but also vital to local farmers as they feed on pests that can harm the crops, an usual movement of community engagement mobilized to clean and save the birds whose nests are scattered on rooftops and telephone poles throughout the region. Armenia's laws and social norms are not known for being environmentally conscious, but the oil spill in the Ararat Valley, Armenia's bread basket, and the local volunteers who single-handedly lead cleaning events, created a precedent for youth involvement and environmental education, lead predominantly by Dr. Karen Aghababyan - the director of the Towards Sustainable Ecosystems NGO, legal advisor to the Minister of Environment, Former Research Assistant Professor and Head of Environmental Lab at the American University of Armenia, and contributor to several bird protection efforts. 

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