Bradley Busetto visited UNDP projects’ sites in the regions

02 Dec 2013

imageTree planting to limit washing-out of mining waste

On November 27-29, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia Bradley Busetto visited UNDP projects’ sites in Ararat and Syunik regions, including the energy efficient social housing in Goris. The energy efficiency measures of the social residential building were supported and co-funded by the UNDP-GEF “Improving Energy Efficiency in Buildings” project.

One of the key objectives of the visit was to evaluate the impact of the energy efficiency improving activities conducted in the scope of the Project. The mission members toured the building and had the opportunity to communicate with the residents, who shared their first-hand experience and satisfaction of living in an energy efficient residential building.

During the visit, Energy Efficiency Label for a building was issued in Armenia for the first time. The goal of this pioneer initiative is to raise public awareness on the energy efficiency performance of the building.. Placed on the wall of the main entrance, the label certifies the energy efficiency grade of the building, summarizing the results of the energy audit, including data on insulation of the walls, roof, floor, as well as energy consumption of the building.

During the meeting with Nelson Voskanyan, Mayor of Goris, and representatives of the municipality, the parties discussed the construction process of the building as well as the implemented energy efficiency measures.

The visit also included a trip to Goris Medical Center, the main hospital of Goris town that provides medical services to the entire population of Syunik region. In the frame of the UNDP-GEF “Armenia – Improving Energy Efficiency of Municipal Heating and Hot Water Supply” project, a solar water heating system with 32 m2 total area of collectors was installed in the hospital in January 2012. As a result, the solar water heating system allows receiving about 1500 liters of hot water (550C) per day on average and reduces the annual consumption of natural gas by 3500 cubic meters.

With the goal to observe the activities of the UNDP-GEF “Adaptation to Climate Change Impacts in Mountain Forest Ecosystems of Armenia” project, UNDP colleagues visited “Syunik” forest enterprise of “Hayantar” and had the opportunity to see the forest fire early response machinery and equipment provided in 2011. Armen Ishkhanyan, head of the “Syunik” forest enterprise highlighted the fact that the donated equipment helps the forestry effectively prevent and minimize the risk of forest fires both in the territory of the managed forest area and beyond it, which was impossible before 2011.

Bradley Busetto and accompanying UNDP colleagues also had the opportunity to visit the forest rehabilitation pilot project site in Shurnukh forestry of “Syunik” forest enterprise. The reforestation was implemented by “Hayantar” in 2009-2012 on 15 hectares of degraded forest area. A mixed forest stand was established in order to create better conditions for forest’s natural resilience to climate change impacts, as well as for integrity and connectivity of mountain forest ecosystems. Around 90,000 seedlings of local tree species such as oak, ash-tree, maple, elm and wild apple were planted. “Hayantar” pledged to handle the further maintenance of the reforestation area in the future. As a positive sign, additional 8,000 seedlings were already planted by “Hayantar” in spring 2013.

Finally, UNDP colleagues visited the sites of the “Preventing pollution of Voghji river with heavy metals through restoration of riparian ecosystem in Kapan” and “Rehabilitation of degraded lands and agro-biodiversity through reforestation in Norashenik community of Syunik region” projects funded by the UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme and observed tree plantings implemented to limit washing-out of mining waste on 3 hectares in the central part of Kapan town and to improve the agro- and forest-ecosystem services through reforestation of 5 hectares of degraded land in Norashenik community of Syunik region.