The 10-year National Forest Program of Armenia will start in January 2020. The program will specify all the issues that need to be addressed to bring Armenia's forestry to 20.1% by 2050, as RA Deputy Minister of Environment Vardan Melikyan stated at "Forest Summit: Global Action and Armenia” event held on October 22, in Yerevan.
Our country has undertaken the obligation to double the forest cover in accordance with INDC developed under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2015, undertaking to afforest 266.5 thousand hectares.
Till now it is unclear where the afforestation works will be carried out. According to Vahe Mnatsakanyan, Acting Director of "ArmForest" SNCO, the present lands of "ArmForest" SNCO constitute a very small percentage of this forest area - about 20-25 thousand hectares, but we need about 266 thousand to reach 20.1% ha. "One of the challenges here is that we have to work with community land areas, we have to find the land areas that are subject to afforestation," he said.
And Vardan Melikyan is convinced that afforestation doesn’t definitely related to ArmForest or the state. "Communities should also participate in the work, as well as the private sector," he said.
Aram Gyulkhasyan, Director of State Forest Monitoring Center SNCO, in particular, said that because of the lack of sufficient human, financial and technical resources it was impossible to analyze the cadastral boundaries of forests throughout Armenia.
UNDP technical task manager Hovik Sayadyan noted that it is not clear at present what the state of Armenia is in terms of forest cover. “We do not have a reliable source of information, that is, we do not have the necessary forest management institutions.”
Vardan Urutyan, Rector of National Agrarian University of Armenia, noted that steps should be taken in the field of education and science to reach the desired rate of afforestation in 2050. “Last year we had one graduate in forestry. During the last 6 years we have had 40 graduates, 52% of whom are employes, 36% of whom work with their profession, the number of the unemployed is quite high,” he said.
There is a lot to do, I think partnerships, joint programs, joint financing mechanisms are needed to be able to overcome the challenges,” Vardan Urutyan said.
14:15 October 25, 2019