Armenia’s biodiversity is threatened by overexploitation of biodiversity, unregulated tourism activity, 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. Hence, opportunities for communities to realize the potential social and economic benefits accruing from biodiversity are lost.
The project is aimed at integration of ecological corridors and their expansion, as well as protection of globally significant species through establishment of Gnishik community-managed Protected Area in Southern Armenia.
The main activities of the project are related to participatory planning of the Protected Area, enforcement of protection regime, development of tourism related infrastructure, and last but not least creation of alternative livelihoods for communities located in the support zone of the proposed Protected Area.
Long-term perspectives of development objectives and impacts were set as follows:
- Contribution to establishment of Gnishik Protected Area
- Promotion of nature-based tourism development in the area
- Further development of a national protected area system
- Protection of under-represented ecosystems and associated species
- Improvement of management of productive landscapes while helping to promote connectivity and alleviate poverty
- Establishment of a model for community-led protected area management
Project efforts will result in a national protected area system better equipped to include and conserve currently under-represented ecosystems (mountain meadows steppe, high mountain sub-Alpine, high mountain Alpine) and associated species. Project investment will be in community areas to improve management of productive landscapes while helping to promote connectivity and alleviate poverty.
The project will result in:
- The development of a management plan, a land use plan and a support zone economic development plan to support the establishment and management of proposed Gnishik protected area
- The formal establishment of Gnishik community-managed Protected Area
- The improvement of human and technical capacities for Protected Area management
- Improved livelihoods of communities through participatory planning processes
- The reduction of human impact on natural resources