Ecosystem Services and their Role in Poverty Alleviation in Armenia - A Case Study of Karaberd Gold Mine
The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) joint Poverty Environment Initiative (PEI) in the Republic of Armenia aims to contribute to poverty reduction and improve the well-being of poor and vulnerable groups through mainstreaming the environment into national development processes.
During a PEI scoping mission in August 2010 an understanding of the economic value of ecosystem services (ES) and their influence on human-wellbeing was identified as being of great importance to environmentally sustainable decision making and poverty reduction in Armenia. A PEI Technical Assistance project (TA) was consequently prepared with the UNDP Country Office in Armenia. A national group of independent experts was formed under the TA project. This group of experts undertook a study of the Karaberd Gold Mine.
This study of the impact of the Karaberd gold mine on ecosystem services and the well-being of the community aims to inform decision making at the site, while also presenting a methodology that can be adopted at other locations to ensure mining is practiced in a responsible and sustainable manner. The pilot study presents a framework for a comprehensive assessment of the impacts of mining and for comparing mining with alternative land uses and development options. More broadly the analytical framework presented in this report provides an approach that can be applied across sectors and ecosystems for demonstrating the implications of environmental damage to Armenia’s economic and poverty alleviation objectives.