06 Dec, 2020

TREES FOR LIFE: Enriching and Preserving our Homeland

CLICK HERE TO READ TREES FOR LIFE (VOLUME 3, ISSUE 2)

Welcome to ATP’s second online-only edition of our Trees for Life newsletter. In our previous newsletter in July, we focused on the effects of COVID-19, discussed how ATP continued to provide employment and plant more trees than ever, and our various initiatives during these difficult times. The latest newsletter was released just before the provocations in Artsakh broke out.

For us, and Armenians all around the world, these past few months have been some of the hardest our people have ever faced. The war in Artsakh has left us devastated

For ATP and other environmental organizations in Armenia, the illegal use of white phosphorus by the adversary on Artsakh’s ancient forests has left us especially enraged. This has caused irreparable damage to the natural environment, making areas in and near the forest uninhabitable to Artsakh’s citizens, and jeopardizing the rich biodiversity.

Like so many of you, we don’t know what the future holds. We don’t know when and if we’ll be able to replant in the affected forests. If given the opportunity, we are prepared to provide critical aid with our knowledge, expertise, and healthy native seedlings grown in our nurseries.

Until then, we must continue enriching and preserving what we have. Our organization started with great hope for the future 26 years ago during a similar dark time after the first Artsakh war. We must keep going. Now more than ever, we must focus our energies on rebuilding, preserving, and enriching our country. Our collective efforts strengthen Armenia’s security and the well-being of its people.

ATP had a record breaking planting season this fall: over 390,000 trees were planted! The total number of trees planted since 1994 is now close to 6.5 million. This includes more than 1,100 hectares of new forest, and more than 1,300 community tree planting sites throughout Armenia and Artsakh.

We hired 150 villagers for seasonal job opportunities, and employed our 70 full-time employees despite the pandemic and war. In the last few months, some team members contracted COVID-19, and some served in the army. Despite these challenges, they helped us achieve our goals of planting more trees during planting seasons than ever before, and we are so proud of their perseverance to achieve this outcome.

With your continued support, we continue to plant with hope for the future, provide economic opportunities and economic security to our people, help to stabilize border villages, and preserve and enrich our country’s environment.

Thank you for your support and for helping us preserve and enrich our homeland.

ATP Executive Director
Jeanmarie Papelian