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Improving Forest Law Enforcement and Governance
© WWF Armenia

WWF Armenia has been actively participating not only in the processes of forest rehabilitation and creation of new special protection areas, but has been also making efforts   to enforce forest-related laws and improve forestry management.

In this regard, efforts were taken within the frameworks of the regional project on “Improving Forest Law Enforcement and Governance” (FLEG I, FLEG II) that was funded by the European Union. Besides, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) provided supplementary funds to the Project to realize certain additional actions.

In this context, it is necessary to emphasize the management of two forest sanctuaries under the HayAntar SNCO, as well as the Gyulagarak and Zikatar sanctuaries, and the activities aimed at evaluation of law enforcement efficiency and capacity-building to reduce illegal actions.

Draft regulations developed for the Gyulagarak and Ijevan sanctuaries (inclusive of Arjatkhleni), as well as a concept for the Gyualagarak sanctuary management plan, were the outcome of those activities. Moreover, preliminary GIS maps were prepared for the sanctuaries of Ijevan and Arjatkhleni, and governmental decisions to address revision of their boundaries and approval of their regulations were drafted.

© WWF Armenia

Furthermore, private woodworking sector in Armenia was studied and recommendations for its improvement were made.

Speaking about WWF Armenia’s contributions in the legal realm, we shall mention development and publication of the “Forest Legislation Guideline of the Republic of Armenia”, and organization of related training course. The concept of high conservation value forests (HCVF) was adapted so that to make it applicable in Armenia; evaluation guidelines for high conservation value forests were developed and published.

An assessment study of Economics of Eco-systems and Biodiversity (TEEB) was completed for the field of forestry in Armenia. Pilot projects to create alternative forest-based means of livelihood for selected communities to be focused on eco-tourism, non-woodworking forest products and other fields were developed and realized.

In this effort, like in all preceding projects, improving the awareness of target groups had been also highly emphasized and considered to be one of most important components in terms of provision of sustainable forest management. Discussions with community population, many educational courses, contests, camps and open lessons for children of target communities were organized and held, topical calendars on forest-related themes, a book on “Non-Wood Forest Products of Northern Armenia”, and map-booklet on “Specially Protected Nature Areas and Forests of Armenia” were prepared.

The produced materials were distributed widely among state and non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, as well as among civil society. Workshops were held to present the publications mentioned above. 

As part of awareness rising, the Green Armenia book prepared jointly with the Institute of Botany of the NAS of the RA was published in 2016.

The book involved contributions from both Armenian, and foreign researchers. The Green Armenia book tells about plants that grow in forests and other plant cenoses of Armenia.

© WWF-Armenia