Arsen Gasparyan: “The More Ecotourism Develops in Armenia, The More Mining Risks Decrease”

Arsen Gasparyan: “The More Ecotourism Develops in Armenia, The More Mining Risks Decrease”

Luiza Abrahamyan, YSU Third-Year Student of Journalism Faculty for EcoLur

Armenia has a huge potential in terms of ecotourism development. “When travelling from north to south in Armenia one can see different ecosystems in 6-7 hours. Temperate broad-leaf forests forests are dominant in the north, while the south is a semi-desert area. That’s main feature of Armenia, an opportunity to be used to. Our biodiversity is reach.” Arsen Gasparyan said, Conservation Officer at WWF Armenia.

Arsen Gasparyan, the photo is taken from his Facebook page.

Under him, the most attractive places for ecotourism in Armenia are “Arpi Litch” National Park and Armash lakes in terms of bird watching, Arpa area where you can see red-listed bezoar goats, "Platan Park" state reserve whether are century-ages pine trees, “Shikahogh” state sanctuary, “Areviq” National Park, “Khosrov Forest” State Reserve, “Dilijan” National Park and Aragats.

"Khosrov Forest" State Reserve

Armash lakes, birdwatching

Several factors in Armenia hinder the development of ecotourism in Armenia: “The first obstacle to the sector development is the lack in professional guides – any ecotourist having arrived from Europe or the US definitely wants to receive a high quality service. The second obstacle is the reduction of natural habitats conditioned with the development of mining. In certain areas, tourism services are missing and there problems with road access,” Arsen Gasparyan said.

Nevertheless, Arsen Gasparyan can see a positive development tendency in ecotourism in Armenia, “The more ecotourism is developing, the more mining risks are decreasing. In Jermuk, everybody is dealing with tourism and don’t want a mine to be there. Mining and ecotourism can’t develop side to side,” Arsen Gasparyan said.

Jermuk resort

For the development of ecotourism in Armenia, WWF Armenia in the cooperation with the Swiss “Wesser Foundation” and. “Paths for Change” NGO is implementing BarevTrails tourism development project. In 2018, volunteers from Switzerland, Spain, Great Britain and Germany together with the Armenian volunteers established observation sites, carried out rehabilitation works, placed signs on flora and fauna, improved parts of the paths difficult to access in the specifically protected areas of nature in south Armenia.

The photos are taken from WWF-Armenia Facebook page

“The most important point is that they learn about our country, nature and culture. They leave our country having fallen in love with it,” said Hermine Hakobyan, Public Relations Officer at WWF Armenia.

Hermine Hakobyan, the photo is taken from her Facebook page

November 15, 2018 at 15:19