08 Oct, 2020

Empowering the ATP Community; Rooting for Our Homeland

Empowering the ATP Community; Rooting for Our Homeland

Presently, Armenia is enduring a crisis as great as that experienced 25 years ago after the earthquake. The worldwide pandemic from COVID-19 has had a serious impact on Armenia. In addition, the attacks on the border villages Aygebar, Berd, Chinari, Movses, and Nerkin Karmiraghpyur and the economic instability pose unique challenges to our agricultural employees and to our programs in Armenia. 

Thankfully, over these past months, with your continued support Armenia Tree Project’s (ATP) infrastructure in Armenia has been able to serve as a safety net for many villages. These events, however, have led us to reimagine how we can best serve Armenia’s sustainability.

As you know, the long-term vision of ATP has been and continues to be to empower Armenia’s population with the right tools to be self-sustaining. In order to fulfill this vision, we have begun the process of transitioning our operations to Armenia. 

Over the past few years our country has become a hub of new opportunities with bright talented individuals who are ready to bring these opportunities into fruition. We focus our work on finding synergies between people and the planet that will impact the long-term sustainability of Armenia’s land and environment. ATP’s advanced planting techniques have enabled us to be a center of excellence and model within the country.

With the generous aid of supporters like you, we have been able to continue our operations, employ our full-time staff of 70 in Armenia, and initiate new programs to continue our mission. ATP will plant more trees in 2020 than it has in any previous year since 1994. Here are some other highlights from this past year:

Forestry Program:

The spring season of 2020 showed us the vital importance of the economic opportunities that ATP provides for families. As family incomes dropped due to loss of jobs, ATP managed hundreds of calls from locals requesting to help with spring planting. ATP plans to hire hundreds of local temporary workers in the fall season as well.

  • ATP addressed this need by hiring 110 locals in the spring and planted a total of 102,206 trees in its afforestation and reforestation plots.
  • In the Aznvadzor, Privolnoye, and Bovadzor villages, this provided families with immediate income.
  • ATP’s forestry program continues to employ 16 people full time at its Mirak Family Reforestation Nursery.

Community Tree Planting (CTP):

ATP’s three nurseries in Karin, Khachpar and Chiva villages continued to produce trees for CTP.

  • This spring, 25,942 trees were planted through the program in 84 sites with the most need for vegetation across Armenia. ATP continued to distribute fruit trees to villagers, and in doing so, aided those with the fewest resources.
  • A total of 1,376 fruit trees were distributed to residents in the Chiva Village, the home of our newest nursery.
  • Plans for the fall planting season include planting in 80 additional CTP sites.

Willow Tree Project with the Republic of Armenia Ministry of Environment:

We partnered with the Ministry of Environment with a planting project designed to alleviate financial hardship brought on by the pandemic.

  • The program covered seven provinces, with ATP leading the work in Gegharkunik province.
  • ATP provided expertise and assistance, and with planting of 299,107 willow tree cuttings, 147 locals were employed.
  • This fall the project will recommence on an even larger scale, and ATP will hire many locals on a temporary basis

Environmental Education:

During this pandemic, ATP’s environmental education program shifted to remote learning. The team prepared and released free at-home lessons via social media and email to its large network of students, parents, educators, partners and supporters every week since the lockdown began, and will continue to do so in the fall.

Now more than ever, we are relying on your generous donations to continue our success and to support ATP operations in Armenia. Armenia’s ambitious goal to double its forest cover by the year 2050 can only be achieved through ATP’s expertise, but most importantly, by your dedication to our mission and vision to protect Armenia’s environment. Please use the attached envelope to make your contribution.

Sincerely,

ATP Executive Committee,

Carolyn Mugar

Julia Mirak Kew

Tom Garabedian

Anthony Barsamian