To implement our reforestation mission, we cooperate with the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) established one of the first native tree nurseries in Armenia that utilizes the technique of growing tree seedlings in containers with a close root system. This methodology allows the cultivation of native tree species hard or impossible to grow through the bare root method more commonly used in Armenia.
Every year we organize massive tree planting, which is a part of long term activity oriented to the restoration of degraded lands in the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge (CWR). This includes 300ha land damaged during the wildfire in 2017 also eroded slops all over the territory of the CWR.
This technology has a strong component of potential environmental impact assessment to understand the impact of forest restoration on lands affected by the wildfire. This practice can be applicable later also for Khosrov Forest State Reserve.
A natural threat to land degradation at semi-desert ecosystems are wildfires, which are directly linked with climate change. Another threat is erosion due to the massive illegal logging during the first post-soviet years when an energetic crisis.
We choose native wild tree species, mainly wild fruit trees, to provide a valuable food source for wildlife.
The Reforestation project was launched with the technical assistance of the US Forest Service and IOWA State University Forestry Department, who provided consultations, staff training sessions, helped to develop nursery protocols, and weekly virtual correspondence to track nursery progress and troubleshoot issues.
All the reforestation areas are a part of Caucasus Wildlife Refuge, a privately protected area which consist of communal lands rented or given on perpetuity for wildlife conservation.
To conserve unique and endemic biodiversity of the region, in 2010 the first privately protected area in South Caucasus – Caucasus Wildlife Refuge (CWR) is being set up, an area of currently 75,000 acres on communal land which includes the important biodiversity areas of the country forming an ecological connectivity corridor for endangered wildlife.
The overall objective of CWR is to contribute to efficient biodiversity protection in Armenia by improving the protection of flora and fauna in the reserve’s previously unsustainably managed buffer zones and wildlife migration corridors.
The rangers are patrolling the area at a 24/7 regime preventing any illegal activity in the area, as well as monitoring the animals by applying the newest technologies to protect the territory against any negative human impact.