12 Jan, 2023
Trees being transported to Mets Sariar planting site located in Shirak Region
As 2023 begins, we’d like to reflect on Armenia Tree Project’s achievements in its mission to improve the standard of living for the people of Armenia, through planting trees and conserving Armenia’s indigenous ecosystem, while promoting self-sufficiency to aid those with the fewest resources. Since 1994, Armenia Tree Project has engaged in a variety of environmental projects, from environmental education to backyard nurseries and greenhouses. However, the primary focus of ATP is the reforestation of Armenia. This year, ATP hired 179 seasonal workers, and the Forestry Division planted 570,000 native trees covering 170 hectares of land, the equivalate of over 200 soccer fields, in its target regions in Lori, Shirak, and Kotayk. The 570,000 trees planted are native to Armenia, and include oak, pine, birch, apple, ash and maple trees. Additionally, each tree was propagated by the ATP Forestry Division, or through the ATP Backyard Nursery Program.
Deforestation and forest degradation continues to impact Armenia due to mining operations and illegal logging for firewood. Additionally, disease and pest outbreaks are factors that impact the loss of forests. When we lose our forests, we lose the entire network they impact—trees filter the air we breathe, help to clean our waterways and soil. They help maintain our ground water through their root systems ensuring that fertile land does not become a desert. By reforesting, we are protecting the long-term sustainability for the animals and other plants that require the forest ecosystem to prosper.
The environmental and socioeconomic benefits of planting and preserving trees cannot be understated. ATP believes that involving communities with our planting projects is a necessary link for preserving our forests for generations to come, which is why ATP hires seasonal workers from the regions where we plant trees. Incorporating locals helps to further our mission of educating Armenians about the importance of trees, while also creating economic opportunities and assisting families to be self-sustaining in their villages.
This year, ATP hired 179 seasonal workers, 77 of which were women (roughly 43%), paying over 37,000,000 AMD in salaries. We intentionally hire women with the understanding that when women are given the knowledge and resources necessary to make positive change in their communities, they will, and they will teach their children and grandchildren to do so as well. The caretaking and protection of the planted trees is something that will last many lifetimes. We hope that the education we’ve instilled in local tree planters encourages communities to caretake their own forests.
In addition to the 637,531 trees planted this year, ATP also engaged in other projects, with support from planting partners. With a generous donation from HSBC, ATP was able to plant 4,000 trees (roughly 1.2 hectares) in Lernanist- Kotayk Marz. Under the EU4Environment “Green Community, Resilient Future” grant project, ATP was able to plant 300,000 trees (roughly 51 hectares) in the Urasar and Mets Sariar regions.
Next year, ATP plans to plant over 637,000 trees throughout Armenia, incorporating 10 additional planting sites (2 more than the 8 completed this year), and to maintain another 350,000 previously planted trees. In 2022, ATP undertook protective monitoring and maintenance on 27,000 of our trees, and reached a milestone in our organization’s history: planting our 7 millionth tree!
In the long term, our reforestation efforts are crucial for meeting Armenia’s climate commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement to reduce national emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Our commitment to a green future for Armenians and for the world is unwavering and ever-expanding.
With deepest gratitude, we want to thank everyone who made this successful year possible, from our donors to our community and project partners, to our staff in Armenia and in the United States who work tirelessly to create a green future for Armenia. Happy New Year to all!
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Armenia Tree Project, established in 1994, is a non-profit organization that revitalizes Armenia’s and Artsakh’s most vulnerable communities through tree-planting initiatives, and provides socio-economic support and growth. It is based in Yerevan, Armenia and has an office in Woburn, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit ArmeniaTree.org