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Promotion of Ecological Corridors in Armenia
© WWF Armenia
Why is it important to establish ecological corridors?

According to the practice common globally, protected areas (PA) in Armenia will be also interconnected by ecological corridors to ensure safe migration of animals from one PA to another. The PAs connected one to another with ecological corridors form the ecological network of a country.

In view of this goal, regional project entitled Promotion of Eco-Corridors was launched in 2015. It was realized by the efforts of the WWF and the Ministry of Nature Protection of Armenia (presently, Ministry of Environment) and was funded by the government of Germany through the KfW Development Bank.

An enormous scope of work has been completed over five years in thirty rural settlements located in the three regions (Ararat, Syunik and Vayots Dzor) to focus attention of local population on environmental issues. In ten settlements, implementation of long-term conservation efforts to last for 5 to 10 years and to involve community contribution has been started and will be completed in 2025-2028.

At the initial stage of works, habitats of the Caucasian Leopard, the Armenian Mouflon, the Bezoar Goat and the Brown Bear were mapped and the inventory of animal numbers was compiled. At the next stage, the target communities of the eco-corridor project established community-level nature conservation areas with the total coverage of about 37 000 ha; 12 caretakers, chosen from the communities, are engaged in animal monitoring and protection. They passed special training and were provided appropriate off-road vehicles, equipment, uniform and other necessary items. In addition, office conditions were arranged for the staff.

© WWF Armenia

The Promotion of Eco-Corridors Project has become accessible to the population of 30 rural settlements in total.

The mentioned communities received small grants to cope with local socio-economic problems they had been facing, among them: road improvement, laying water supply pipelines, provision for street lighting, and other activities.

Community Development Projects

A few community development projects were implemented at the target villages.  They included:

  • Installation of street lighting at the Khachik Village;

  • Provision of agricultural machinery to the villages of Khachik and Areni, including 3 tractors, mowing-machine, press, and other devices;

  • Drinking bowls were installed for domestic livestock in the pastures of the Khachik, Areni and Zangakatun villages;

  • With the co-funding provided by the GEF-UNDP Small Grants Program, street lighting was arranged in the Artavan village and solar heaters for water were installed at the houses of permanent residents of this village;

  • With the co-funding provided by the GEF-UNDP Small Grants Program, an irrigation system was built in the Zangakatun village;

  •  A wagon-house for shepherds and other facilities were installed at remote pastures of the Khachik village.

Program of Actions was developed to ensure conservation and restoration of forests adjacent to the villages of Khachik and Artavan.

© WWF Armenia
The Outcome

As a result, safe migration corridors for animals were installed, which led to considerably increased numbers of Leopards, Bezoar Goats and Brown Bears. Actually, the project contributed to bio-diversity conservation and sustainable land use without reduction of income of the local rural population.

The establishment of ecological corridors has fully served its purpose. This conclusion is well-proved by the increase of numbers of the target animal species. Below are some figures to support this statement.  

  • The number of Leopards in the area was 0 in 2010, and 2 in 2019;

  • The number of Bezoar Goats in the area was 400 in 2010, and 1200 in 2019.

© WWF Armenia