New Infrastructures in Newly Established "Lake Arpi" National Park
The Minister of Nature Protection participated to the ceremony as well as the deputy head of Shirak province, the representative of KfW regional office, representatives of the Ministry of Nature protection, local governmental authorities, representatives of international organizations, communities, NGOs, and other stakeholders.
The ceremony started from the newly constructed visitor center building of “Lake Arpi” National Park located in Ghazanchi Community, Shirak Province. The center is also a branch of State Museum of Nature of the Republic of Armenia. Information posters on flora and fauna as well as on touristic trails are presented in the VC. “Starting from historical monuments, natural monuments to biodiversity, everything associated with Shirak Province that could be interesting to visitors is available here” mentioned Ruzanna Zubaburyan, the deputy director of the State Museum of Nature.
The event continued in the newly constructed headquarters of the national park, a guesthouse, garages and a guardhouse located in Berdashen community. And at the end of the ceremony the tree-planting was organized in the area of the headquarters building.
"Lake Arpi" national park was established within the project “Establishment of protected areas in the Armenia’s Javakhq (Ashotsk) region”, implemented by the Ministry of Nature Protection of Armenia and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and financed by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany (BMZ) through KfW.
The program aims to conserve Armenia’s Shirak Plateau biodiversity and to promote sustainable community development in Shirak Province through the establishment of "Lake Arpi" National Park and the implementation of the community development programs in the support zone.
In the framework of this project “Lake Arpi Beekeepers Association” has been established to promote beekeeping in this area. There have been established community development and educational centers in Sizavet, Garnarich and Berdashen communities and a Tourism Center in Mets Sepasar (this center is going to be operated by the community).
During the event Karen Manvelyan, the director of WWF Armenia, said that the project is a unique because it is the first transboundary national park which borders with Javakheti national park from Georgian part in the Caucasus as well as it was the first time in Armenia when the park was planned due to active involvement of local communities and other stakeholders. Still there are some activities to be implemented within the project. These activities are mainly connected with rehabilitation of potable water system in 12 communities, improvement of livestock breeding and some other projects in the support zone communities of the National Park.