WWF Armenia celebrates its 15th anniversary
At the event, videos were shown about the work done by the organization: wildlife conservation, forest rehabilitation, creating eco-corridors and community development projects.
Mr. Karen Manvelyan, WWF Armenia’s Director, noted in his welcoming speech: “When we started working in Armenia 15 years ago, we did not notice the trace of the Caucasian Leopard for a long time. WWF has set a goal to return this species to the region. Today, there are 9 leopards in Armenia, and this was primarily due to the strengthening of protected areas. The number of not only leopards, but also other species has increased. For example, the number of Bezoar Goats doubled from 1,500 to 3,000. This indicates that a lot of work was done and this was possible with the assistance of numerous partners.”
The congratulatory message was also sent by the Minister of Economic Development and Investments Mr. Artsvik Minasyan, with whom WWF carried out effective work when Mr. Minasyan was still the Minister of Nature Protection. Minister Minasyan awarded the director of WWF Armenia Karen Manvelyan with the ministry’s commemorative gold medal for WWF Armenia’s 15-year effective operation.
Mr. Minasyan said: “Congratulations to all of us, since WWF’s role in environmental protection in Armenia was extremely important. As a former minister of nature protection, I always got necessary assistance for the implementation of our programs within the framework of WWF’s mandate. Now, as Minister of Economic Development and Investments, I must note that the economic policy of the Ministry has fundamentally changed. The priority is not only to ensure economic growth, but also to ensure economic growth, ensuring high-quality, inclusive and environment and social inclusion.”
Deputy Minister of Nature Protection of Armenia Mr. Gnel Sanosyan, WWF’s Network Development Executive Director Mr. Jean-Paul Paddack, co-founder and chairman of “Eco-Media Network” Narine Kirakosyan made a congratulatory message as well.
The owner of Megerian Carpet company, Mr. Raffi Megerian, delivered his welcoming speech and presented the souvenir carpet to Mr. Paddack.
At the end of the event, the guests watched the performance of the Yerevan State Pantomime Theater: “Living in Harmony with Nature”, and also heard performances by the talented musician Mikael Voskanyan and the MVF band.
As a result of the projects implemented by WWF Armenia, starting from 2002, “Khosrov Forest” and “Shikahogh” state reserves were strengthened, “Arevik” and “Lake Arpi” national parks, “Zangezur” and “ Khustup " sanctuaries, "Gishik" protected landcape were created.
In the course of its activities, WWF-Armenia has implemented many projects aimed at protecting biodiversity, developing specially protected nature areas, protecting endangered species and ecosystems, developing communities and environmental awareness.
Forest restoration works were carried out: 770 hectares in Lori and 80 hectares in Tavush.
In Syunik, VayotsDzor, Lori, Tavush, Shirak and Ararat regions were implemented such social programs as
- Provision of agricultural machinery,
- Construction of visitor centers in the territories of guest houses, tourist centers, protected areas,
- Building a beekeeping center and supporting beekeeping,
- Assistance in the collection and packaging of fruits, berries, herbs,
- Foundation of orchards,
- Restoration and construction of drinking water infrastructure
- Repair of street lighting systems.
Our other very important project is the “Reintroduction of Caucasian Red Deer in Armenia”, within which WWF Armenia established a breeding center, which occupies about 10 hectares in the Dilijan National Park. In March 2018, the first group of deer (1 male, 2 females) was brought from Iran to Armenia, and the first young fawn was born in June.