Mainstreaming Sustainable Land and Forest Management in Mountain Landscapes of North-Eastern Armenia

What we do

 Mshkavanq area where a school forest district is to be established

Armenia is located at the junction of the biogeographic zones of the Lesser Caucasus and the Iranian and Mediterranean zones and exhibits both a great range of altitudinal variation and a diversity of climatic zones. Together, this has resulted in a diversity of landscapes and ecological communities with a distinct flora and fauna, including many regionally endemic, relict, and rare species.  Across much of the country, these landscapes face moderate to severe deforestation and overgrazing pressures, corresponding in high rates of erosion, increasing soil salinity, lowered soil fertility, and loss of biodiversity. 

The target area of the project, Lori and Tavush marzes, contains 65% of Armenia’s forest resources and provides essential ecosystem services including water provision (for urban use and food production), landslide control and carbon storage and sequestration. The main cause of land and forest degradation in these marzes is the deforestation and overexploitation of forest resources.

The long-term solution sought by the “Mainstreaming Sustainable Land and Forest Management in Mountain Landscapes of North-Eastern Armenia” project is to facilitate the shift from the current unsustainable to sustainable forest management in North-Eastern Armenia. To achieve this, the project objective will ensure sustainable land and forest management to secure continued flow of multiple ecosystem services.

This would be achieved through two main components:

(i) Integration of sustainable forest and land management objectives into planning and management of forest ecosystems to reduce degradation and enhance ecosystem services in two marzes covering 0.65 million hectares; and

(ii) Sustainable Forest Management practices effectively demonstrating reduced pressure on high conservation forests and maintaining flow of ecosystem services.

The project will promote an integrated approach towards fostering sustainable forest management, seeking to balance environmental management with development and community needs.

It will attempt to reduce conflicting forest land-uses and improve the sustainability of forest management so as to maintain the flow of vital ecosystem services and sustain the livelihoods of local forest-dependent communities (and downstream users). This platform will be underpinned by a robust forest management planning support system and monitoring framework that will inform plans for the forest estate.

The GEF alternative will support carbon stock assessments and development of coefficients for key forest types in NE Armenia as part of a longer term strategy for establishing a carbon stock monitoring system in the country. The project would establish a monitoring system to set up a series of representative sample sites that will be subject to a series of above-ground and below-ground biomass measurements, in different biotypes and land uses. This would enable the obtaining country specific values and application of IPCC Tier 2 method for various pools which are currently unavailable. The sample data would be used to extrapolate into the broader forest landscape using remote sensing and building on the inventory and mapping conducted under Component 1.

Some results so far

The Project Inception Workshop took place on 17 June 2016, with the participation of 63 representatives from different state, public and locally based international organizations.

The project coordinator and Technical task leader (TTL) visited Hayantar SNCO (Armenian State Forest Service) on 6th of May, where the effective ways of collaboration and synergetic activities on forest inventory/forest management plans and biodiversity conservation were discussed together with GIZ “Sustainable Management of Biodiversity in Southern Caucasus” project team and Hayantar authorities.

Two Inception workshops were organized by the Project TTL in Tavush and Lori marzes on 14-15 July 2016.

The Project Management Board was established and had its first meeting on 18 August 2016.

The Project Inception report was finalized and submitted for approval in August 2016.

Who Finances it?



Donor

Amount

Global Environmental Facility (GEF)

$ 2,977,169.00

UNDP

$ 180,000.00

UNDP (in-kind)

$ 720,000.00

RA Government (cash)

$ 5,095,000.00

Government (in-kind)

$ 7,332,235.00

World Wide Fund for Nature (Armenia) (cash)

$ 376,500.00

Caucasus Nature Fund (cash)

$ 286,200.00

Total

$ 16,967,104.00

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