Thursday, August 9, 2012

Serj Tankian issues powerful statement against unsustainable mining in Teghut Forest…

The artist/activist Serj Tankian has released a powerful 3-minute video statement against unsustainable mining in Teghut Forest and in support of the Save Teghut movement in Armenia.

Environmental degradation of our planet is a danger to humanity and the natural world, he emphasizes. The natural beauty of Teghut Forest--one of the last and best preserved forests in Armenia--is in danger of being almost completely chopped down for an open pit copper mine and tailing dump that will release 500 million tons of toxic waste along with 600 million tons of additional waste, Serj continues [note: these figures were misstated in the video].

Teghut Forest with its unique ecosystem of lush trees, rivers, rare plants and animals is in a vulnerable position of being devastated forever, he adds. [This] glorious natural wonder is in danger of becoming an ecological dead zone that will have ramifications for hundreds if not thousands of years.

Serj explains that mining is widespread because it is considered to be a source of economic growth and prosperity, but he notes that there are already more than 500 mines throughout Armenia and it has not had an impact on improving the standard of living.

Instead, mining is causing workers to risk their own health along with the lives of their children and generations to come. Serj declares the need for alternative sources of development such as farming and sustainable agricultural production. “What is more precious than the environment and health and well-being of future generations,” he asks before urging viewers to join the Save Teghut movement and get involved via and

These themes about environmental degradation weigh heavily in the video for Harakiri, the title song of Serj’s new album, which you can view here.