The Sustainable Development Goals in Armenia
The Sustainable Development Goals are a global call to action to end poverty, protect the earth’s environment and climate, and ensure that people everywhere can enjoy peace and prosperity. These are the goals the UN is working on in Armenia:
15 July 2021
FAO helps Armenia improve seed systems
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) is implementing a regional project in four countries including Armenia, to enhance climate resilience in agriculture. The project aims to improve seed systems in the selected countries and build national competence to ensure a proper seed supply, improving and developing seed certification systems for quality control. “Activities address the introduction and testing of new varieties and revitalizing local varieties to strengthen the availability of high quality, resistant seeds to empower climate resilience of the rural population,” said Gayane Nasoyan, Assistant FAO Representative in Armenia “In this regard, the project marks the first step towards transforming food systems in the region for more sustainability, enhanced food security, climate change adaptation measures in agriculture sector and improved competitiveness.” The other countries include Kyrgyzstan, North Macedonia, and Tajikistan, who all face similar risks due to climate change, since their agricultural production strongly depends on irrigation, weather conditions, proper management of genetic resources, soil and water management. In this regard, seed systems and climate change, which is affecting food security and rural poverty in these countries are the main problem causing vulnerability of agricultural production. Thus, the project also supports the usage of high quality and resilient seed varieties through empowering breeders and seed producers to ensure climate resilient seed systems. This spring, the project imported four certified varieties of quinoa seeds (Blanca de Juli, INIA 420 Negra Collana, INIA 415 Pasankalla, and Kankolla) to Armenia. The sowing started in May on a total area of about 1 200 m2. The plots are located in Gyumri of Shirak region, Gavar and Martuni in Gegharkunik region, Edjmiatsin in Armavir region and Darakert in Ararat region. The ”Seeds Agency” state non-commercial organization of the Ministry of Economy of Armenia, which is the main partner of the project, is closely following the process of growth and effective implementation of planned agro-technical measurements. “These quinoa varieties will be tested to adapt to the agroecological zones of the country, for their incorporation as a production alternative within the strategy of adaptation to climate change and contribute to the improvement of food security of family farmers due to the high nutritious value of quinoa,” said Davit Babayan, director of the “Seeds Agency”. Quinoa offers an alternative food source for those countries suffering from food insecurity. It is an annual flowering plant primarily grown as a crop for its edible seeds that are rich in essential amino acids, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and dietary minerals in amounts greater than in many grains. Also is gluten free, therefore an alternative for people with celiac disease. It has the ability to adapt to different ecological environments and climates. Resistant to drought, poor soils, and high salinity, it can be grown from sea level to an altitude of four thousand meters and can withstand temperatures between -8 and 38 degrees Celsius. The project feeds into current government’s policies and strategies and will be integrated into its ongoing development actions to ensure the sustainability of the process beyond the project duration.
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13 July 2021
FAO and WWF Armenia join efforts for a greener environment
The Armenian Branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) singed the co-financing agreement today for a total amount of USD 200,000 as in-kind contribution to partner with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for a forestry project on enhanced adaptation and rural green growth. This is the first large-scale FAO project in Europe and Central Asia to be supported by the Green Climate Fund (GCF), and the country’s first forestry-oriented funding proposal. It will increase the role of communities governing and managing natural resources through forest concessions and improved fuelwood management, timber production and non-timber forest products. Since this is a relatively new approach in Armenia, it has the potential to act as a model for the entire country. The agreement was signed today by Karen Manvelyan, Director of WWF-Armenia, and Raimund Jehle, FAO Representative in Armenia. “The participation and contribution of the World Wide Fund is an important element to create a wide partnership for this important project,’’ said Jehle. "The expertise of WWF will add further value to the project implementation.” WWF-Armenia will co-finance the project alongside its duration of eight years, and provide technical and financial assistance related to community engagement and participation in forest management, and creating new forest areas in municipal lands in Syunik Marz. “To this end, the project will greatly contribute to our objective of securing the creation of an eco-corridors in the Caucasus eco-region,” said Manvelyan. “Forests are part of Armenia’s history and legacy and we do believe that no paradigm shift will be possible unless energy needs of vulnerable communities are considered and tailored knowledge is transferred to ensure participation of communities in community-based forest governance.” During its almost 20 years of operation in Armenia, WWF works to mitigate and adapt to climate change by taking measures to help forest ecosystems adapt to climate change. This is done via projects on forest rehabilitation, transformation and creation of forest protected areas. The eight-year project, with a total budget of USD 18.7 million, will rely also on co-financing and technical expertise from the Government of Armenia, the Austrian Development Agency, the Autonomous Province of Bolzano, Italy, and FAO. The project goals will be realised by FAO jointly with the Environmental Project Implementation Unit under Armenia’s Ministry of Environment.
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24 June 2021
UNFPA signs a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Armenian State University of Economics
On June 16, Tsovinar Harutyunyan, UNFPA Armenia Head of Office, and Diana Galoyan, Rector of the Armenian State University of Economics (ASUE) signed a cooperation agreement between UNFPA and ASUE. The Memorandum set out a framework for cooperation between the two parties in favor of the improvement of the potential for developing social policies and programs in Armenia. Given the existing demographic challenges that the country is facing and the current post-conflict situation in the country, both the ASUE Rector and the UNFPA Head of Office stressed the urgent need to acquire data and welcomed the opportunity of undertaking joint researches. Within this framework of cooperation, the study of "The impact of COVID-19 and NK confict on the Demographic Situation in Armenia" will be conducted through joint efforts. The study will be carried out by Amberd Research Center of ASUE, involving a young and competitive team. The signing ceremony was attended by the director of Amberd Research Center of ASUE, Davit Hakhverdyan, by the senior researcher of the center, Albert Hayrapetyan, by the associate professor of the Chair of Macroeconomics, Ruben Ghantarchyan, and by the Population and Development Programme Analyst of UNFPA, Anna Hovhannisyan. The parties present expressed their willingness to further discuss the possibilities for cooperation and for the development and implementation of curricula related to demographic issues.
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28 June 2021
UEFA and UNHCR team up to congratulate UEFA Football and Refugees Grant Scheme winners
UEFA, European football’s governing body and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, teamed up on 21 June to recognise six European national football associations for their success in using the game’s unifying power to help refugees rebuild their lives. At the start of a week when the international community marks World Refugee Day, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, joined the Director of UEFA’s Football Social Responsibility programme, Michele Uva, for an online event announcing the winners of UEFA’s annual Football and Refugees Grant Scheme. “All of today’s award winners show why football is so well-placed to assist refugees, as they settle into their new communities,” said Mr. Uva. “Our sport’s popularity bridges so many social barriers. It has the power to connect, regardless of age, colour, gender or belief. At the same time, football’s visibility can raise awareness of, and funds for, refugee programmes.” Each successful association - Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Northern Ireland and Wales - will receive €50,000 to support social responsibility projects that are helping refugees reintegrate into society. “The challenges of the past year have been even more harsh for the world’s most vulnerable, including the more than 82 million people whom my organisation, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, helps and strives to protect. This makes the UEFA Football and Refugee Grant Scheme and the work you are doing to support refugees, all the more important,” said Mr. Grandi. Since its launch in 2017, some 34 countries have applied for UEFA’s Football and Refugees Grant Scheme, which encourages national associations to support the inclusion and integration of refugees through football. Increasingly, football social responsibility programmes across Europe are using their local networks to assist refugees in finding work or offer vocational training as coaches, referees or volunteers. Other projects provide psychological support, language training or specialised support for women and girls. Many also draw on specialist knowledge from expert partners to maximise their impact and reach as many beneficiaries as possible. Earlier this year, UEFA and UNHCR signed a Cooperation Protocol to support refugee access to sport and enhance social inclusion. “Football is a universal language that has kept so many going, even during the current pandemic. For this reason, we at UNHCR, are thrilled about the partnership agreement which we recently signed with UEFA,” added Mr. Grandi. “The contribution that football can make to improving the lives of those who have, through no fault of their own, been forced to flee their countries - and those who so kindly host them - is immeasurable.”
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16 June 2021
5-day Campus for children to play and learn
FIFA Foundation and the Football Federation of Armenia with the participation of UN RCO, UNFPA, UNICEF and UNHCR organized a five-day Campus for 100 children from Armenia and Nagorno-Karabagh. The Campus that took place from 4-9 May, was led by legendary Youri Djorkaeff. The aim of the Campus was to provide children from under-privileged backgrounds the opportunity to play and learn in a safe environment. During these five days children improved their football, teamwork, and communication skills, played interactive games on different themes, had a session on building resilience skills and learned about the Sustainable Development Goals. The culmination of the Campus was a tournament played at Armenia’s National Football Stadium. On the last day of the Campus all children were presented with a diploma and gifts from FIFA Foundation CEO, Youri Djorkaeff, FFA President, Armen Melikbekyan, UN Resident Coordinator in Armenia, Shombi Sharp and Armenian football legend, Khoren Hovhannisyan. During the Campus, a friendly match was held between FIFA Foundation and FFA which was joined by the UN Resident Coordinator in Armenia.
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01 July 2021
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