Context and challenges
The objective of planting 20,800 trees is to restore forestland and a microclimate the Armenian villagers once knew. Indeed, the forests of Dzoraglukh in the Aparan community suffer from illegal logging and irregular grazing, which in turn are threatening the natural reproductive cycle of the forests. Some areas have become scrubland, there is soil erosion and soil and water resources have dwindled. Restoring the forestland to its former glory by tackling illegal logging (electric fencing, guarding, etc.) will encourage the return of biodiversity and natural resources vital for the ecosystem and local populations.
This forest restoration project involving 20,800 trees across five hectares has several aims:
– the selected trees are extremely good at absorbing CO2,provide substantial shade, and protect the downstream slopes from erosion. They serve as shelter for a wide variety of fauna and flora at risk due to their deteriorating natural environment;
– the involvement of local communities in planning and carrying out the work helps to unite the people around a common goal for the future, which will benefit them directly. Indeed, the fruit from wild shrubs will provide additional income for the local population;
– the project involves the active participation of young people and schoolchildren at every step in its implementation. A course on forestry introduced into the school curriculum and training on environmental protection will help them get involved in tree planting, as well as conservation actions later on;
– the project includes installing an 800-metre-long water pipe for irrigating the village land. Thanks to this new infrastructure, 50 hectares of land adjacent to the village can then be watered. The villagers will be able to grow high quality vegetables and berries: potatoes, cabbages, carrots, raspberries, etc.
The project will thus help restore the forest and eliminate soil erosion at the same time. example of a successful project will stimulate neighbouring local communities to replant new forests, too.
The inhabitants of Dzoraglukh: 277 people, of which 131 women and 146 men
Number of trees
20,800 trees are expected to remain perennial for several years, following a planting programme involving 26,000
– Five forest tree species: Pedunculate oak (Quercus macranthera); Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), High mountain maple (Acer trautvetteri), Birch (Betula litvinovii), High ash (Fraxinus excelsior)
– Two fast shrub species: Yellow Acacia (Caragana arborescens) and Masreni (Roza)
– Two fruit tree species: Oriental apple (Sorbus torminalis) and Caucasian pear (Pyrus caucasica)
End April/beginning May 2020: two hectares fenced off and exploited. Soil preparation and forest planting with 10,400 trees, laying the irrigation pipe.
End April/beginning May 2021: three additional hectares fenced off for one hectare of farm. Soil preparation and forest planting with 10,400 trees.
End April/beginning May 2022: two hectares become operational.
Soil preparation and forest planting with 5,200 trees.
Shen was created in 1988, by a group of professors and students from Yerevan Polytechnic Institute, to tackle some of Armenia’s urgent humanitarian issues. Since then, as an NGO, Shen has played an active role in development work in over 350 rural communities in Armenia, spanning practically all the phases of rural development, such as: humanitarian aid, rural development based on an integrated approach, infrastructure rehabilitation in rural communities, community development based on local resources, developing the value chain through the Markets for the Poorest approach, developing agricultural cooperatives.
The cornerstone of all Shen’s development projects is long-term sustainability. This has been its vision since 1988 for all activities carried out in more than 350 rural communities in Armenia.
Right from the start, long-term sustainability has always been, and remains, the cornerstone of all Shen’s development projects.
The total budget to be collected by A Tree for You is €41,600, or €2 per perennial tree, broken down as follows:
– Fencing work: €0.65
– Operating costs (labour, planting preparations…): €0.57
– Plants: €0.38
– A Tree for You collection, monitoring and communication costs (20%): €0.40
The local community, with a budget of €7,721 and the NGO SHEN Armenia, with €21,865, are contributing to financing this project for other operations not covered by A Tree for You, including irrigation works.