Community Environmental Culture Being Formed in Armenia with Support of WWF Armenia

Community Environmental Culture Being Formed in Armenia with Support of WWF Armenia
Living in harmony with nature, not harming biodiversity and not abusing natural resources can become a guarantee for the development of communities. “Promotion of Eco-Corridors in the Southern Caucasus" -II project implemented by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Armenia) is aimed at the implementation of these goals. The first phase of the project was launched back in 2015 with the aim of creating eco-corridors in the beneficiary settlements and directly involving local residents in nature conservation processes. Thanks to the project, residents have acquired a new profession as environmental area inspectors, and their incomes have been increased from the inspector's salary.

With the support of the project, around 37,000 hectares of community environmental area with sustainable management and key environmental zones have already been formed in three regions of Armenia in Ararat, Vayots Dzor and Syunik.

"Environmental protection is not only the establishment of specially protected natural areas, environmental protection is the participation of the community and people. We are establishing a new environmental institute for community environmental protection in Armenia with the Ecocorridors project.” Armen Shahbazyan said, National Coordinator of “Promotion of Eco-Corridors in the Southern Caucasus" -II project.

In 2021, the second phase of the project started. Currently, 16 settlements in 4 regions of Armenia are included in the project, namely Debet, Margahovit, Yeghegnut of Pambak community in Lori Region, Ahnidzor, Dsegh, Lorut, Martz of Tumanyan Community, Shaghat of Syuniq Region, Hermon, Shatin, Gladzor, Vernashen, Yeghegis Community in Vayots Dzor Region and Sevqar, Yenokavan of Ijevan Community in Tavush Region.

The purpose of the competitions is to highlight projects aimed at the implementation of nature-centered projects in the settlements, which at the same time aim to promote the sustainable development of the settlements. The other day in Vanadzor, the results of competitions organized for 7 settlements and families of Pambak and Tumanyan communities of Lori Region were summarized.

In parallel with “Promotion of Eco-Corridors in the Southern Caucasus" -II project, WWF Armenia is also implementing “Living Landscapes for Market Development in Armenia" project. WWF Armenia Director Karen Manvelyan noted in his interview with EcoLur, “The main ideology of the ecological corridor is the preservation of biodiversity with the involvement of local residents. The main goal of the second project is the sustainable use of natural resources without harming nature. The first component of this project is to provide support to local businesses, the second component is aimed at strengthening community structures, raising awareness, and climate mitigation functions."

Karen Manvelyan mentioned that within the framework of the project they are installing solar panels that will help local residents to save their money. "We plan to install about 40 KW solar power plants. Those funds will be accumulated in the municipality and will be used to provide various compensations to the villagers," he said.

One of the main tasks of the project is the preservation and protection of forests. This is aimed at increasing the capacities of forestry in the target areas, eco-corridors, and fighting against forest fires.

"The number of fires is increasing in direct relation to global warming. Armenia is a mountainous country, equipment cannot be brought to high places. For this, it is necessary to create conditions for the water to be above. We made a similar experiment in the Khosrov reserve, we installed tanks near springs. We will provide equipment, there will be appropriate courses so that people know how to behave in case of fire," Karen Manvelyan said.

According to Karen Manvelyan, the expected results will be visible in a few years. "Our main goal is to improve the state of nature, fauna and flora. I think that in 3-4 years we will see more deer in Lorva forests, maybe also red deer."

“Promotion of Eco-Corridors in the Southern Caucasus" -II project and “Living Landscapes for Market Development in Armenia" project are implemented by WWF Armenia.

"Promotion of Eco-Corridors in the Southern Caucasus" - Project II is funded by the Economic Community of the Federal Republic of Germany by the Ministry of Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through KfW Bank. "Living Landscapes for Market Development in Armenia" project is funded by the Swiss Government through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

September 18, 2023 at 17:42