With millions of trees and hundreds of jobs established across Armenia, the organization celebrates its continued growth with series of events.
In recognition of International Day of Forests on Thursday, Armenia Tree Project announced its plans to celebrate the organization’s 25th anniversary through 2019 and into 2020 with a series of programs and celebrations.
Founded in 1994 by activist Carolyn Mugar, ATP has furthered Armenia’s economic and social development by restoring more than 5.7 million trees across the country and creating hundreds of jobs through tree-related programming.
In celebration of the anniversary, several events will expand the group’s reach as it highlights its success to date. In October, ATP will co-host an inaugural conference in Yerevan for local, regional, and global leaders in forest restoration. Forest Summit: Global Action and Armenia, will take place at American University of Armenia’s Acopian Center for the Environment from October 20-23, 2019. Further details on speakers and programming will be announced in the weeks ahead.
“The year ahead is shaping up to be a very exciting time in our organization’s growth,” says Jeanmarie Papelian, executive director of Armenia Tree Project. “We are proud of the progress that we’ve made thus far, and the benefits that our trees have provided to the people and ecology of Armenia. We’re excited for the work that lies ahead, and the partnerships and people that will join us as we go.”
Also in the fall, the organization will celebrate the planting of its six millionth tree in Armenia. In the US, the group is planning a series of receptions around the country for supporters to share in their passion for the organization.
“Much of our support over the past 25 years has come from the generosity of the Armenian-American community, with several notable exceptions including donors in Europe and Armenia,” says Ms. Papelian. “Through our large and small events in 2019, we’ll celebrate the successes we’ve enjoyed thus far, and our bold visions for the future, and we’re thrilled to get started.”
Armenia Tree Project supports three main initiatives: Planting trees in urban and rural locations, environmental education, and sustainable development and poverty reduction.
The decline of Armenia’s forest cover was caused by many factors including unsustainable logging, use of wood as fuel for cooking and heating, the blockade of the 1990s by Armenia’s neighbors, deforestation by the mining industry, and climate change. Erosion, habitat loss, and diminished supplies of clean water are consequences of a low level of forest cover.
“The level of deforestation in the 1990’s meant the landlocked country of Armenia was on a troubling trajectory toward desertification before ATP stepped in and began to reforest the country,” explains Ms. Papelian. “Through education and reforestation, ATP remains busy with reversing the trend.”
Armenia Tree Project (ATP), a non-profit program based in Woburn and Yerevan, conducts vitally important environmental projects in Armenia’s cities and villages and seeks support in advancing its reforestation mission. 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. ATP is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization in the United States with its own advisory board and registered as a project of the Armenian Assembly of America, Inc.