Developing the Protected Area System of Armenia: Improving Capacity Building and Management Regime
The project’s efforts will result in a national protected area system, specifically expansion of the existing Zangezur sanctuary and the establishment of Khustup and Gnishik sanctuaries in Syunik and Vayots Dzor Provinces, which will be better equipped to include and conserve currently underrepresented ecosystems (Mountain Steppe, High Mountain Subalpine, High Mountain Alpine) and associated species. While improving management of productive landscapes it will also help to promote connectivity and alleviate poverty in the communities. The project will enhance the environmental, financial, social, and institutional sustainability of Armenia’s protected area system.
In February - March 2013 the mapping of the area of the three sanctuaries was completed, the boundaries were defined, and the adjacent communities submitted the signed decisions of the community councils as an approval of sanctuary boundaries. The management and business plans of the three sanctuaries including the area maps will be submitted to the Government for approval and, thereafter, on the ground activities are expected to begin. The project is expected to be over in 2014.