Armenian Progressive Youth (APY) NGO volunteers and staff members took part in forest amelioration activities in the framework of the “Integrated Biodiversity Management, South Caucasus” (IBIS) programme. The programme is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, with co-finances from the Austrian Development Agency (ADA). Erosion prevention measures form an integral part of the IBiS programme in Armenia. The aim is to develop strategies for integrating erosion control into national regulations on sustainable land use and the conservation of biodiversity. To achieve the goal, erosion and the condition of pasture land are assessed and mapped in the pilot regions as a basis for identifying suitable erosion control measures. Targeted reforestation of small areas, community forest management and mechanical and biological erosion protection measures are carried out.
In Armenia, the Global Armenian Response NGO is collaborating with IBiS Armenia in the framework of erosion control activities. APY volunteers contributed to the project by assisting the ongoing forest amelioration activities in the Aragatsotn region, village Quchak. In total, approximately 100 trees were planted by the APY members. During the tree planting, volunteers worked together with active members of the region’s local communities, shared stories and experiences, enjoyed the stunning sceneries of Quchak and created some unforgettable memories. Also, from an open air lecture by a forester Hasmik Khurshudyan, APY team learned about the secrets behind successful tree planting, alongside with the importance of the prosperous agriculture for the country’s sustainability.
Erosion control is very important for Armenia, given its mountainous terrain, and tree planting, as it turns out, is a great team-building activity. Hence, it is certainly not the last time that APY volunteers participate in such event. Margaret Mead once said, never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. While participating in the afforestation activities, APY volunteers took a small step forward towards change, by helping the nature, and as Hasmik Khurshudyan assured, in 20 years, very tangible results will be already visible.