Third joint open-air event and field trip to the Gegharkunik region

Gegharkunik, 20 April 2022  - Today, the “Responsible for Sevan” event  took place for the 3rd time in  Gegharkunik region in the framework of GIZ Environmental Programm - the European Union (EU) and Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) jointly funded “Environmental Protection of Lake Sevan” (EU4Sevan) Project implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under the coordination of the RA Ministry of Environment  and the “Restoration of Riparian Zones in Armenia” COVID-19 response project (ECOserve) implemented jointly by the RA Ministry of Environment and GIZ.

The event was attended by Head of the Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Armenia Frank Hess, RA Deputy Environment Minister Anna Mazmanyan, H.E. Mr. Viktor Richter, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Armenia, GIZ Armenia Country Director Madeleine Rauschenberger, UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia Natia Natsvlishvili, Deputy Governor of Gegharkunik Rubik Navoyan, EU4Sevan Project Team Leader Christian Henschel, UNDP Environment, Climate, Resilience Portfolio Team Leader Hovhannes Ghazaryan, as well as other officials, stakeholders, and community residents.

Frank Hess welcomed the participants and added: “The conservation of the Lake Sevan ecosystem is the environmental priority of the EU in Armenia. Thus, the EU4Sevan project brings together various institutions and the population to work jointly on solutions and to improve environmental management. The opening of a field coordination office in the Gegharkunik Regional Administration facilitates joint project activities.  It aims at improving the project’s communication, and at bringing people together.”

Ms Mazmanyan highlighted that EU4Sevan project is raising awareness in the society about the importance and the main issues of our natural heritage Lake Sevan, which is Armenia’s most important source of freshwater and hydropower, and the main serious issues that the Lake faces today.

The participants’ first stop was in Vardenik community where Sevan National Park representative presented the newly acquired wheeled bucket loader in action and highlighted the added value of provided machinery for efficient organization of the riparian zone cleaning activities. UNDP implemented the transfer of one unit of machinery (wheeled bucket loader) to “Sevan National Park” SNCO accompanied by user training. The strengthening of national partner’s capacities is key, to ensure the sustainability of the results jointly reached by the project. The technical support to the Ministry of Environment, by provision of one unit of machinery to the Sevan National Park, is strengthening their capacities, in overcoming the challenge for inhouse management and more efficient organization of the negatively impacted submerged coastal forest surrounding swamp areas cleaning activities to prevent from the further organic contamination of the Lake. UNDP Resident Representative R Natia Natsvlishvili highlighted.

Afterwards, the event was continued at Gegharkunik regional administration (Marzpetaran) where the official ceremony of the EU4Sevan Gavar Regional Office was held and the MoU between the EU4Sevan Project and the Marzpetaran was signed. The regional office will function and become the project’s easy-to-reach contact point for target groups and beneficiaries, regional communities, partners and for stakeholders from Gegharkunik region of the EU4Sevan project.

“The Establishment of the regional office within the project’s 2nd year of implementation will be a great success and will make it easier for EU4Sevan team to reach the project target groups who will get the necessary support,” noted Christian Henschel. “Marzpertaran is the strategic partner of the EU4Sevan project, and we are very glad to have crucial support and to sign the MoU.” While Rubik Navoyan added: “We are happy to tailor our support to what works for EU4Sevan project and its team. Wherever the project will be on its journey to being (or remaining) high performing, we will join with our provision.”

Afterwards, there was the “Waste-Art Exhibition” organized by ECOserve and the Innovative Solutions for Sustainable Development of Communities (ISSD) NGO. The exhibited handicrafts were made by young people living in the Gegharkunik region, who took part in a preliminary contest. The aim of the exhibition was to raise awareness on waste pollution and recycling. The young people showed that waste can be used as material to prepare other goods.

The “Responsible Sevan #3” event was closed with a pleasing environment that upheld the further and sustainable ways of the implementation of the Project for the improvement of the Lake Sevan ecosystem in Armenia.

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