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.