Clima East Pilot Project

What we do

During the site visit to an afforestation plot

The mountain forest and rangeland ecosystems are an important productive asset for Armenia’s population 50 percent of which lives in rural communities, thus depending on ecosystem goods and services. The latter ensure population well-being and economic development, including agriculture (23 percent of GDP). However, high level of rural poverty rate, poor economic conditions and destruction of infrastructures, along with weak institutional and management capacities in governing structures create cumulative negative impact resulting in degradation of ecosystems, including the loss of vulnerable habitats and species, reduction of ecological functionality and the growing insecurity of ecosystem services.

The current status of natural rangelands covering around 1,244,000 ha in Armenia is extremely unsatisfactory. Almost half of the pastures are exposed to degradation and their biological productivity fell by 1.5 - 2 times compared with 1950s. Only 10.4 percent of Armenia’s territory is forest covered. The continued forest degradation leads to forest ecosystem integrity and resilience reduction.

The factors behind are both anthropogenic and natural. Armenia is among the most sensitive countries in the Europe and Central Asia region in regard to climate change. Unsustainable forest management and land use, poor agricultural practices accompanied with climate aridization result in the depletion of carbon sinks and storages.

The Clima East Pilot Project “Sustainable management of pastures and forest in Armenia to demonstrate climate change mitigation and adaptation benefits and dividends for local communities” aims to demonstrate sustainable natural resource management model in degraded mountainous pastures and forests of Armenia to increase ecosystems capacity for carbon sequestration under climate change conditions, at the same time retaining biodiversity and economic values. The project is funded by the European Union and co-funded by the UNDP. 

The main target area of the project is Vardenis sub-region of Gegharkunik Marz, Armenia.

UNDP promotes integration of environmental and social concerns into the successful management model of rangelands and forest through:

·         Demonstrating rehabilitation and sustainable management of degraded mountain rangeland (2000 ha) and forest (60 ha) to adapt to the climate change and increase the carbon stock;

·         Incorporating climate change risks into multi-year community development plans;

·         Promoting the establishment of national carbon inventory and monitoring system. 


Some results so far

The project’s Inception Workshop was held in September 2013 with participation of more than 50 representatives from governmental, scientific and educational institutions as well as international and non-governmental organizations, followed with development of the Project Inception Report.

Rapid rural appraisal of ten pre-selected rural communities in Vardenis sub-region of Gegharkunik region was conducted in spring 2014. Seven target communities were selected for implementation of pasture and forest rehabilitation pilots: Tsovak, Lchavan, Makenis, Karchaghbyur, Tsapatagh, Pambak and Daranak.

Training for 15 journalists from Yerevan as well as Gegharkunik and Vayots Dzor regions on covering climate change related challenges was organized in July 2014 in cooperation with Armenian Red Cross Society.

Concept designs for forest and pasture rehabilitation pilots were developed and discussed with wider stakeholder society.

Study tour to Kyrgyzstan was organized in September 2014 for 11 representatives from target community administrations and stakeholder institutions as well as Project staff aimed at increasing knowledge and capacities through learning best available experience in sustainable management of mountain pastures.

58 target community residents of Gegharkunik Marz were trained on sustainable management of mountain forest and pasture ecosystems under changing climate conditions in December 2014.

Initial methodology for carbon stock assessment and monitoring in soil and vegetation was identified, followed with the practical survey for carbon stock assessment.

Forest rehabilitation and restoration pilots were launched in spring 2015 in three target communities and Sevan National Park covering 60 ha area.

Rotational grazing plans for five target communities were developed and approved by the Community Elderly Councils; trainings in implementation of rotational grazing plans were conduction in all five communities.

Regular monitoring missions to the project pilot sites were conducted aimed at examination and verification of conducted on-field activities and continuing collaboration with local communities and partners. 


Who Finances it?



European Union






Delivery in previous fiscal year

31 December 2013


31 December 2014 $240,208.20
Project start date:
July 2013
Estimated end date:
December 2016
Geographic coverage:
Gegharkunik region
Focus Area:
Environment & Energy
MDG 7 - Ensuring Environmental Sustainability
Project Coordinator:
Georgi Arzumanyan
European Union, RA Ministries of Nature Protection and Agriculture, RA Gegharkunik Regional Administration
European Union
Saving the Land
A documentary produced by Clima East Pilot Project on climate change mitigation and adaptation in mountain ecosystems of ‪‎Armenia‬