AUA Acopian Center and Armenia Tree Project Attend Regional Forest Congress in Kyrgyzstan
ISSYK KUL, Kyrgyzstan – On 28-31 May, 2019, Alen Amirkhanian, director of the Acopian Center for the Environment of the American University of Armenia (AUA), and Vahe Martirosyan, forester at Armenia Tree Project (ATP), joined the Armenian delegation in the Forest Congress for the Caucasus and Central Asia.
The AUA Acopian Center and ATP participated in this event to learn about work in progress on the regional and international level on forests as they prepare for the “Forest Summit: Armenia and Global Action” they are organizing jointly in Yerevan on October 20-23, 2019.
“The three days of intensive presentations and discussions in Issyk Kul helped us understand the regional and national efforts on forests,” says Amirkhanian. “It was also an important regional platform where we could share information on the Forest Summit and invite participants. This built on the UN Forum on Forests that ATP’s deputy director Jason Sohigian attended a few weeks ago,” he adds.
The Forest Summit to be held in October offers a unique opportunity for Armenia to bring national focus on forests, engaging stakeholders from government, communities dependent on forests, academia, civil society, and the business sector. “It can be a significant first step in national efforts to develop inclusive and participatory forest policy,” notes Amirkhanian.
The Congress was organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The Armenian delegation comprised Areg Karapetyan, head of the Republic of Armenia (RA) State Forest Management Service; Arthur Petroysan, head of the Biodiversity and Forest Policy Department of the RA Ministry of Nature Protection; Yevan Danielyan, RA Forest Monitoring Center; and Vardan Melikyan, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Forest Wildfire Management project manager.
Other countries represented at the Congress were Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Delegates from each country shared their work, challenges, and progress in forest policy, monitoring, conservation, and restoration.
The AUA Acopian Center for the Environment, a research center of the American University of Armenia (AUA), 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.