Developing the Protected Area System of Armenia: Improving Capacity Building and Management Regime

Project Description:
Armenia’s biodiversity is threatened by overexploitation of biodiversity resources, unregulated tourism activities, habitat loss and climate change. The cumulative impacts include the accelerated loss of vulnerable habitats and associated species and the growing insecurity of ecosystem services.
Opportunities for communities to realize the potential social, economic, and environmental benefits accruing from biodiversity are lost. Government agencies, site managers and communities have very limited experience with the management of protected landscapes that allow for creative ‘multiple-use’ approaches. Establishing new and improving existing sanctuaries will generally require the commitment and inclusion of local communities. Still, there are no good national examples of community-based/participatory management, sustainable tourism management, information-based decision-making, sustainable financing, and other concepts key to successful management of "multiple-use" protection categories. In this regard, creating and developing the institutional capacity building complements the project priorities.

This Project was complementary with the UNDP/GEF Medium-Size Project Developing the Protected Area System of Armenia.

The Project objective was to catalyze the expansion of the nature reserves to provide better representation of ecosystems within Armenia’s protected area system and enable active conservation of biodiversity. The objective was achieved through two components: (1) Rationalization of the protected area system, and (2) Institutional capacity building for protected area management. The Project specifically focused upon institutional capacity building by piloting a suite of sanctuary management tools largely absent from Armenia’s protected area management regime.

Project Outcomes:
This project’s efforts resulted in a national protected area system better equipped including and conserving underrepresented ecosystems (Mountain Steppe, High Mountain Subalpine, High Mountain Alpine) and associated species. These ecosystems outside the shelter of Armenia’s protected areas are critical to the long-term conservation of several globally significant species, including many endemic agro-biodiversity resources. While improving management of productive landscapes it also helped to promote connectivity and alleviate poverty in the communities. The project enhanced the environmental, financial, social, and institutional sustainability of Armenia’s protected area system.
Funding Organization(s) / Donor(s):
The funding organizations are UNDP/GEF, WWF-Armenian Branch and Environmental Project Implementation Unit (RA Ministry of Nature Protection)

Implementing Organization(s):
WWF-Armenia and Environmental Project Implementation Unit (RA Ministry of Nature Protection)

Project Implementation Location:
Vayots Dzor and Syunik Provinces, Republic of Armenia

Project Duration:
2010 – 2014

For Further Information:
Mr. Vasil Ananyan
Project Coordinator
Tel: (+374 10) 54 61 56 (ext. 17)

Mr. Gera Voskanyan
Partnership & Communications Manager
Tel: (+374 10) 54 61 56 (ext. 14)

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