Forest Summit: Global Action and Armenia Announces Field Visits

Forest Summit Armenia
Lake Parz, located in Dilijan National Park

Lake Parz, located in Dilijan National Park

YEREVAN—Armenia Tree Project and the American University of Armenia Acopian Center for the Environment are proud to announce details for field visits at October’s Forest Summit: Global Action and Armenia. The event will feature four days of education, dialogue, and networking among the leading minds in forestry from Sunday, October 20 through Wednesday, October 23.

The field visits announced today will bring these leaders to Dilijan National Park and to planting sites in Armenia, where seedlings meet soil, and purpose-driven workers help fuel the continued regrowth of the country’s tree canopy. The landlocked nation has recently committed itself to achieve 20 percent canopy cover by 2050 as a part of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

On October 21, guests will visit Dilijan National Park in the northern province of Tavush, one of Armenia’s most picturesque regions. The Park occupies 33,765 hectares teeming with forest landscapes, natural monuments, and rich biodiversity. Guided by Dilijan Park’s experts, guests will tour Lake Parz (Parz means “clear” in Armenian) and learn about the Park’s 1,150 plant species, 55 mammal species, and 190 bird species. Dilijan National Park is home to several rare and endangered plants and animals registered in the Armenian Red Books of Flora and Fauna. Guides will educate guests about the Park’s history and the current challenges and solutions the park faces.

Guests will learn how, in recent years, eco-tourism has developed significantly in Dilijan. From the creation of new hiking trails, to attractions such as zip line and paddle boats, guests will explore the role tourism can play in the park’s protection and future.

Additionally, guests will visit Margahovit Village, where they’ll tour both the Armenia Tree Project’s Ohanian Educational Center for Environmental Studies, and the nearby Hrant Dink Memorial Forest, planted in 2007. They will also visit the Mirak Family Reforestation Nursery, where seedlings for dozens of tree species are grown and cared for by 15 local villagers, full time. Since its construction in 2005, Mirak Nursery has served as the birthplace for millions of trees now rooted in Northern Armenia.

“It’s with great pride that we invite the world’s forestry leaders to Armenia and into our reforestation process,” stated Jeanmarie Papelian, ATP’s Executive Director. “While each tree tells a story, the best communicators of our mission and the powerful reforestation work we do are our staff and scientists. We can’t wait to showcase the work we do to produce millions of healthy trees.”

In addition to the field visits, Forest Summit: Global Action and Armenia will offer panels, breakout sessions, a keynote address from Oregon State University’s Dr. Anthony S. Davis, and networking opportunities. At its core, the conference will foster discussion and collaborative dialogue on the conservation and reforestation efforts much needed in Armenia and countries across the world

Also this fall, Armenia Tree Project will celebrate the planting of its six millionth tree in Armenia. For more information about the conference, AUA Acopian Center for the Environment, or Armenia Tree Project, please visit the website.

The AUA Acopian Center for the Environment, a research center of the American University of Armenia, promotes the protection and restoration of the natural environment through research, education, and community outreach. The AUA Acopian Center’s focus areas include sustainable natural resource management, biodiversity and conservation, greening the built environment, clean energy, and energy efficiency, as well as information technology and the environment. Founded in 1991, the American University of Armeni is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values. For more information, visit the website.

Armenia Tree Project, a non-profit program based in Massachusetts and Yerevan, conducts vitally important environmental projects in Armenia’s cities and villages. Since 1994, ATP has made enormous strides in combating desertification in the biologically diverse but threatened Caucasus region. More than 5,700,000 trees have been planted and restored, and hundreds of jobs have been created for Armenians in seasonal tree-related programs. ATP works to further Armenia’s economic and social development by mobilizing resources to fund reforestation. These vital new trees provide food, wood, environmental benefits, and opportunities for economic growth. ATP has a full time staff of over 80 in Armenia. The Yerevan office manages four state-of-the-art tree nurseries and two environmental education centers, partners with villagers to create tree-based micro-enterprise opportunities, creates urban green belts for public use, restores degraded forest lands, and employs hundreds of part-time workers to plant new forests. For more information, visit the website.

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