MINUTES No - 1/2005 (Ministry of Nature Protection) - 2005/08/16
Chair - Simon Papyan
First Deputy Minister of Nature Protection
UNDP Projects National Director
PSC Deputy Chair
Mr. Papyan, Chair of the Project Steering Committee (PSC) mentioned that 14 out of 19 members of the PSC were present and after having clarified that there were no objections on the agenda, announced the meeting opened.
Mr. Atoyan, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy of RA asked Mr. Papyan, the Chairman of the meeting, till discussing the items of the agenda, to give the floor to Mr. Davtyan. Mr Davtyan presented the anxiety of the Ministry of Finance and Economy of RA relative to the following: the approval of the grant agreement was not fulfilled according to procedures for approval of international agreements stipulated by the law; there was no established state agency (PIU) for the project management; and there was no established project management board approved by the Prime Minister's or Government decree.
Following to suggestion of the Chairman Ms. Davtyan answered the inquiry posed. She mentioned that the Project Document has been signed by the Minister of Nature Protection of RA as the authorized national cooperating agency for the project. The UNDP, as the implementing agency of the GEF for the grand provided, jointly with the Government of Armenia signed in 1995 a Basic Agreement on Assistance to and Cooperation with the Government, which is considered to be the basic juridical document for the project implementation modalities. In addition, the project objectives are included into the action plan of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework for the years 2005-2009, signed by the Prime Minister of RA on the 1st of December 2004.
The project document before signing has been agreed with the Ministry of Finance and Economy of RA, and the authorization to sign the Minister of Nature Protection has got from the Prime Minister of RA. The project implementation and management details are stated in the project document and correspond to UNDP project implementation modalities.
Mr. Papyan, the Chairman of the meeting added, that in August this year the Ministry of Nature Protection of RA presented relevant clarifications to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Government of RA and this issue could not become a topic for PSC discussion. Mr. Papyan mentioned that the list and TORs of PSC has been submitted to all participants and if there were no objections to the submitted papers, he suggested following the items envisaged by the agenda.
1. Presentation of the project objectives
Mr. Gabrielyan presented UNDP/GEF "Armenia - Improving the Energy Efficiency of Municipal Heating and Hot Water Supply" project history, the range of heat supply in Armenia as of 1999 and 2000 in brief, main components of feasibility study carried out in frames of the GEF grant for Project Preparation and Development Facility (PDF B), annual CO2 emissions and the specific cost of heat energy by reconstruction options, full-size project objective, main components according to the project document and cooperation frameworks and perspectives with parallel on-going projects. A special emphasis was laid on the perspectives of implementing heating projects in frames of the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol.
To the question posed by Ms. Vardanyan relative to indicators against which the project success would be monitored and evaluated, Mr. Gabrielyan answered, that the main indicator of the project success would be a decreasing trend of specific GHG emissions of heating and hot water supply per unit of heat and hot water delivered. Besides, the project document includes a special matrix describing measurable and non-measurable indicators for each activity of the project (full information installed in the project Web site). However, it is obvious, that there might be a need to defined them more precisely during the project implementation stage.
2. Presentation of the project workplan and start up activities
Ms. Harutyunyan briefly presented main components of the project annual workplan, project progress, planned and implemented start up activities, which were initiated in June 2005, planned Project Inception Seminar in September with the participation of the project concerned parties, during which would be discussed project activities, agreed and clarified basic cooperation frames with the parallel on-going heating projects. She mentioned that an expert working group was established; a number of meetings with self-administration bodies, condominiums and private sector were conducted.
Mr. Galstyan highlighted the necessity to properly organize the project coordination mechanism and update the project work plan to refrain from repetition.
Ms. Balabanyan suggested to define more precisely the project coordination mechanism, which would at the same time clarify the ways of cooperation between parallel on-going projects and noticed that it would be nice to include into the PSC Ms. Babayan, Manager of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Foundation of Armenia.
With regard to this proposal Mr. Papyan noted, that since the Ministry of Nature Protection was not dually informed about the fact of Foundation registration and appointment of the executive director, the representative of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Foundation of Armenia might not be invited. Emphasizing the coordination of activities to be undertaken between the Project and the Foundation and based on information provided by Ms. Balabanyan on the appointment of the executive director of the Foundation, the Ministry of Nature Protection of RA will send a letter to the Foundation with the request to be involved into the PSC.
Ms. Simonian proposed to establish a group composed of technical experts, who will ensure that the Terms of References and the project progress detailed workplan would be discussed and adjusted on the technical level.
Mr. Atoyan implied, that for the solution of each specific issue a professional approach should be applied and it should be integrated into the strategic development plans of the country. As an example he mentioned that it was not clear how one could explain the list of selected schools, the heat provision of which should go through credit resources, or how one could explain interrelation between the component of condominium support included in the UNDP/GEF project implemented by the Ministry of Nature Protection of RA and the project itself.
Mr. Gabrielyan answered the question raised by explaining that, in order to manage effectively the provision of heat supply services to the multi-apartment buildings, enforce the payment collection and increase energy efficiency of heat supply, the role of condominiums is decisive, as the condominiums by their essence are representing the consumers rights, who are concerned in application of energy efficient technologies, hence reducing the greenhouse gas emissions. This is the point of interrelation between environment and mentioned structures.
In the end of the meeting Mr. Papyan suggested to submit written comments on the project annual workplan and take into consideration that the project activities for 2005 are anticipated to be discussed during the Inception Seminar. It is envisaged to define more precisely the coordination mechanism of parallel on-going heat supply and based on it the project workplan for 2006 will be formulated to be later on submitted to the PSC.
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