The process of Biospheric Reserve creation in Syunik region has entered into new phase
On February 11, 2016 a working meeting was held in Kapan Aarhus Center with the NGOs of Kapan and the team implementing “Support Programme to the Protected Areas – Armenia ” (SPPA) project led by the head Ramaz Gokhelashvili.
Welcoming participants on the occasion of launching the long-awaited project the Aarhus Centre Coordinator expressed willingness of the center to provide a platform for conducting measures and meetings during the project implementation, as well as for disseminating information.
Ramaz Gokhelashvili briefly presented that the SPPA–A program is the part of the Caucasian Initiative launched by the German Federal Ministry for Economic
Cooperation and Development (BMZ No: 2009.6657.2).
It is carried out in a five-year period in accordance with the intergovernmental agreement signed between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Armenia as well as the Special Agreement signed on May 18, 2013 between the KFW Bank and the RA Ministry of Nature Protection. The contribution of Germany’s side amounts to 8.25 million EUR equivalent amount.
The executive body of the project is the MNP, and the Director is appointed by the RA MNP. The ministry has signed an agreement with the GITEC Consult GmbH Company (Germany) in order to ensure consultation.
The program has two equally important and interrelated goals: the conservation of natural resources of seven protected areas in the southern part of the Syunik region and improve management of these areas without negative influence on the livelihoods of the local population and improvement of the socio-economic situation of the surrounding rural communities without negative impact on local biodiversity. According to the speaker the project’s ultimate goal is creation of a Biospheric Reserve and joint management (public authorities, local government and civil society).
Garegin Gabrielyan, chairman of “Kenny” ESC NGO raised the issues of conflict of interest of mining and the protected areas.
The others: Susanna Martirosyan, chair of “Rainbow leaders educational center” NGO, Armen Ghazaryan, chairman of “ARK” environmental NGO presented the opportunities and experiences of their organizations, offering their support.
At the end of the meeting Ramaz Gokhelashvili informed that active works will begin in March in anticipation of NGOs active participation and support.
Coordinator of Kapan Aarhus Center
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Editor: Mary Chakryan
Translator: Anush Beybutyan