As 2023 begins, we’d like to reflect on Armenia Tree Project’s achievements in its mission to improve the standard of living for the people of Armenia, through planting trees and conserving Armenia’s indigenous ecosystem, while promoting self-sufficiency to aid those with the fewest resources. Since 1994, ATP has engaged in a variety of environmental projects, from environmental education to backyard nurseries and greenhouses. However, the primary focus of ATP is the reforestation of Armenia. This year, ATP hired 179 seasonal workers and planted 570,000 native trees covering 170 hectares of land, the equivalent of over 200 soccer fields, in its target regions in Lori, Shirak and Kotayk. The 570,000 trees planted are native to Armenia (oak, pine, birch, apple, ash and maple trees). Each tree was propagated by the ATP Forestry Division or through the ATP Backyard Nursery Program.
Deforestation and forest degradation continue to impact Armenia due to mining operations and illegal logging for firewood. Disease and pest outbreaks also impact the loss of forests. When we lose our forests, we lose the entire network they impact—trees filter the air we breathe, help to clean our waterways and soil. They help maintain our ground water through their root systems ensuring that fertile land does not become a desert. By reforesting, we are protecting the long-term sustainability for the animals and other plants that require the forest ecosystem to prosper.
The environmental and socioeconomic benefits of planting and preserving trees cannot be understated. ATP believes that involving communities with our planting projects is a necessary link for preserving our forests for generations to come, which is why ATP hires seasonal workers from the regions where we plant trees. Incorporating locals helps to further our mission of educating Armenians about the importance of trees, while also creating economic opportunities and assisting families to be self-sustaining in their villages.
This year, ATP hired 179 seasonal workers, 77 of which were women (roughly 43 percent), paying over 37 million AMD in salaries. We intentionally hire women with the understanding that when women are given the knowledge and resources necessary to make positive change in their communities, they will, and they will teach their children and grandchildren to do so as well. The caretaking and protection of the planted trees will last many lifetimes. We hope that the education we’ve instilled in local tree planters encourages communities to take care of their own forests.
In addition to the 637,531 trees planted this year, ATP also engaged in other projects, with support from planting partners. With a generous donation from HSBC, ATP was able to plant 4,000 trees (roughly 1.2 hectares) in Lernanist- Kotayk Marz. Under the EU4Environment “Green Community, Resilient Future” grant project, ATP was able to plant 300,000 trees (roughly 51 hectares) in the Urasar and Mets Sariar regions.
ATP plans to plant over 637,000 trees throughout Armenia in 2023, incorporating 10 additional planting sites and maintaining another 350,000 previously planted trees. In 2022, ATP undertook protective monitoring and maintenance on 27,000 of trees and reached a milestone in our organization’s history: planting our seven millionth tree!
Reforestation efforts are crucial for meeting Armenia’s commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement to reduce national emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Our commitment to a green future for Armenians and for the world is unwavering and ever-expanding.
With deepest gratitude, we want to thank our donors, our project partners, staff in Armenia and the US, for a successful year and their work to create a green future for Armenia.
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