Map of Armenia

Armenia is a landlocked country in Southern Caucasus Mountains, bordered by Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran, and Turkey. The terrain is mostly mountainous, with fast flowing rivers, and few forests. Agriculture accounted for less than 20% of both net material product and total employment before the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. After independence, the importance of agriculture in the economy increased, its share at the end of the 1990s rising to more than 30% of GDP and more than 40% of total employment. This increase in the importance of agriculture was attributable to food security needs of the population in the face of uncertainty during the first phases of transition and the collapse of the non-agricultural sectors of the economy in the early 1990s. (Wikipedia)

Quick Facts

Land use

Total land area
2,847,000 hectares
Area of forest
11.7% of land area
Area of agriculture
59.0% of land area
Area of permanent cropland
2.0% of land area

People

Population
3.0 million
Population growth
0.4% annually
Rural population
37.0%

Economics and development

GDP from agriculture
20.4%
GDP per person
3489.10 USD

Climate change and biodiversity

CO2 emissions
1.80 metric tonnes per person
Threatened animal and plant species
114
National Restoration Targets
UNFCCC NC5 and NC6
Armenia’s Third National Communication on Climate Change (2015)

Policies and Measures: Sectorial Programmes 

  • Forestry: Forest Policy and Strategy of RA (2004) and National Forest Programme of RA (2005). The main objectives of these are to ensure the rehabilitation of degraded forest ecosystems, and develop the sustainable use of forests and their useful features (pg. 34).
  • The plan for 2009-2020 is to restore an area of 2,000-2,500 ha of degraded forest ecosystems; reforest 5,000-5,500 ha of forest lands; establish 600-650 ha of forest zones for field protection.
Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (2015)

Mitigation of Climate Change

  • [One of] the main sectors included in the mitigation contribution are: Land use and Forestry (afforestation, forest protection, carbon storage in soil) (pg. 3)
  • Consider 20.1% as an optimal forest cover indicator of the territory of the Republic of Armenia according to the Armenia`s First National Communication to UNFCCC (1998) and Government Decision No 1232 of 21 July 2005 “On Adoption of the National Forest Program of the Republic of Armenia”. To achieve that indicator by 2050 and consider the obtained organic carbon absorptions and accumulations in the INDC and expand the impact period up that measure till 2100.
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Country Profiles – NBSAPs, National Reports (5th)
Strategy and National Action Plan of the Republic of Armenia on Conservation, Protection, Reproduction and Use of Biological Diversity (NBSAP) (2016)

Positive outcomes of NBSAP 1 (1999): Forest rehabilitation and afforestation activities were implemented during 2004-2014 in “Hayantar” SNCO (pg. 4)

Strategy on biodiversity conservation and use (includes):

  • Enhancement of biodiversity and ecosystem conservation and restoration of degraded habitats (pg. 19) 

National Action Plan of the Republic of Armenia on Biodiversity Conservation, Protection, Reproduction and Use for 2016 – 2020 (pg. 26)

  • Strategic direction 2. Enhancement of biodiversity and ecosystem conservation and restoration of degraded habitats.
  • Carry out inventory and mapping of degraded and fragmented forest and pasture ecosystems, identify direct and indirect causes of habitat loss (timeframe: by 2019) (pg. 27)
    • Expected outcome: The threats which cause degradation of key biodiversity habitats identified
Fifth National Report of the Republic of Armenia to the Convention on Biological Diversity (2014)

Activities undertaken in Armenia on implementation of the Convention during 2009-2013 and their main outcomes

  • Reforestation and afforestation activities: According to the official data during 2009-2013 in “Hayantar” SNCO and SPNAs (Dilijan and Arevik National Parks) reforestation and afforestation activities have been implemented on the territory of 1,756.5 ha. The low indicator is attributed to limited financial resources allocated from the state budget for reforestation and afforestation activities (pg. 72).
  • The role of international cooperation and international programs in biodiversity conservation – one example: Forest Landscape Restoration in Northern Armenia (2012-2015) - project funded by WWF-Switzerland and implemented by WWF-Armenia. The project objective is restoration of the natural habitat of critically endangered plant and animal species through reforestation as well as income generation for the local population. It includes restoration of 70 hectares of mountain forest in the Lori Region as well as establishment of a nursery for rehabilitation of threatened forest species (pg. 75).

The Outcomes Of Implementation Of The Aichi Biodiversity Targets In Armenia

  • Aichi Target 15: At present a number of pilot projects are implemented in Armenia aimed at adaptation of natural ecosystems to climate change and improvement of carbon sequestration capacity of ecosystems. It is necessary to expand such activities with involvement of more ecosystems in different regions. It is also urgent to study and assess all ecosystems in the country in terms of their capacity on carbon sequestration and accumulation as well as to develop and implement national programs on rehabilitation of the most important ecosystems (pg. 94).
United Nation Forum on Forests (UNFF) National Reports
Voluntary National Report to the 11th Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (2014)

Since 2007, what activities has your government undertaken to reverse the loss of forest cover and/or to enhance the area and quality of forests? (pg. 7)

  • Afforestation: 1,977.9 ha
  • Reforestation: 13,093.4 ha
  • Restoration: 137.8 ha

Is Armenia engaged in international cooperation to promote SFM? YES

  • Example: WWF-Armenia – Increasing the resilience of forest ecosystems against climate change in the southern Caucasus through forest transformation (pg. 11)
National Report to the Tenth Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (2013)

National Forest Policy and Strategy of the Republic of Armenia (2004): The objective of the National Forest Policy and Strategy of the Republic of Armenia is to ensure restoration of degraded forest ecosystems, sustainable use and development of useful properties of the forests. To achieve this objective the National Forest Policy and Strategy of the Republic of Armenia will ensure:

  • Long-term and scientifically justified sustainable forest management;
  • Implementation of institutional and legislative reforms to support sustainable forest management;
  • Application of international indicators for sustainable forest management and quality standards for forest certification and assessment. 

The resources of the forest ecosystems will be professionally managed to retain their ecological, social and economic functions. The extent and productivity of the Armenian forests will grow significantly. The forest sector will be overseen by state bodies with public support, mutual trust and integration of the interests of all stakeholders.

National Forest Program of Republic of Armenia (2005): The main aim of the National Forest Program of Republic of Armenia is to guard forest ecosystems, rehabilitate degraded forest ecosystems, use forest resources in a continuous and efficient manner and ensure sustainable forest management strategy. The objectives of the National Forest Program of Republic of Armenia are as follows:

  • Plan and implement activities aimed at sustainable management of forests and forest lands in line with the National Forest Policy and strategy.
  • Promote the development of State, community and other types of ownership:
  • Stimulate cooperation at national and international levels;
  • Support the involvement of internal and external investments;
  • Implement measures promoting sustainable forest management in compliance with international treaties of Republic of Armenia.
Other (National Strategies and Plans, Rural Development Programs, Natura 2000 areas, projects, and goals)
National Forest Policy and Strategy of the Republic of Armenia (1993)

Strategic Objective(s): The provision of strategic ways for the processes of restoration of forest ecosystems, development of useful forest properties and sustainable forest use (pg. 50)

Social-Economic Issues and Illegal Logging

  • Ensure forest sector profitability and encourage investments in forest rehabilitation (pg. 63) 

Forest Management and Biodiversity Conservation – strategic objectives (pg. 68):

  • Rehabilitation of formerly degraded forests
  • Expansion of forested areas

Forest Rehabilitation, Re/Afforestation and Agroforestry – strategic objectives and activities (pg. 73):

  • Rehabilitation of over-logged and degraded forests
  • Develop mid and long-term forest rehabilitation, re/afforestation programs
  • Rehabilitate the forest’s capacity to absorb carbon
  • Rehabilitate forest protection belts
  • Assist in natural forest regeneration
National Forest Program of The Republic of Armenia (2004)

Reforestation and Afforestation – during the development of climate change mitigation strategy studies on the optimal forest cover were carried out considering the following factors (pg. 55):

  • Required level of forest cover in watersheds; required level of soil protection and water regulation forest belts; population density; required level of surrounding forest cover for urban population; etc.
  • Optimal forest cover was calculated to be 20.1% if the forested areas are expanded by 266,500 ha
  • The aim of reforestation and afforestation activities is to protect and enlarge forested areas by preventing erosion, unfavorable changes of species composition

Timetable for NFP measures 2006-2015 (Annex 2)

  • Rehabilitation of logged and degraded forests and afforestation of new areas (5,000 ha annually 2006-2015) (50,000 ha total)
  • Protection agroforestry development, establishment of protection forest belts (1,000 ha annually 2006-2015) (10,000 ha total)
5th National Report (2014)

The strategy of sustainable development of the village and agriculture of the Republic of Armenia in 2010-2020 and the list of activities to ensure implementation of the strategy of sustainable development of the village and agriculture of the Republic of Armenia in 2010- 2020 was approved by the Decision #1476-N of the Republic of Armenia Government in 2010. It defines the main directions of the state agrarian policy and the measures on their implementation. Environmental protection and conservation of natural landscapes, agro-tourism and development of organic agriculture are in the list of sub-targets derived from the main target on modernization of agriculture and increase of competitiveness (pg. 83)

Global Environment Facility (GEF) projects
5353: Mainstreaming Sustainable Land and Forest Management in Dry Mountain Landscapes (CEO Endorsement Date: 06/18/2015; duration: 48 months; cost: $17,058,428)

Expected Outcome: Reduced degradation over 650,000 ha of forest landscapes in NE Armenia leading to unabated provision of ecosystem services such as water supply and carbon sequestration as a transformative result of improved land-use planning (pg. 1)

  • Expected Output 1.1: Output 1.1 Integrated Forest and Land Use Plans (IFLUPs) developed for the two districts (marzes) totaling 650,000 ha, enabling optimal allocation of land between different land uses
  • Expected Output 1.5: Output 1.5. A set of national level policies and regulations on sustainable land and forest management to facilitate adoption of SLM and SFM in Armenia

Expected Outcome: Demonstrated sustainable forest management at 190,000 ha: Adoption of SFM by forest enterprises; Improved water provision services and reduced threats of landslides; Increased Connectivity between Core Biodiversity Rich Areas

  • Expected Output 2.1: Forest management plans of 10 Forest Enterprise Branches revised to be reconciled with SFM principles.
  • Output 2.2: Set asides for High Conservation Value Forests created at 85,000 ha of current production forests
  • Output 2.3: Restoration of 3,000 ha of degraded forest adjacent to productive forests to counteract ongoing and past land degradation.
  • Output 2.4: Alternative livelihoods program for local communities designed and tested in order to relieve pressures from local communities on forest resources
8005: Sustainable Land Management for Increased Productivity in Armenia (CEO Endorsement Date 11/20/2015; duration: 72 months; cost: $33,483,560)

Soil erosion prevention through ecological restoration measures

Three types of technologies for soil erosion prevention are prioritized:

  • (i) the implementation of permanent soil cover through conservation agriculture systems and technologies, such as mulching and crop rotation;
  • (ii) the restoration of degraded forests and pasture land at the landscape level to prevent soil erosion upstream and downstream agriculture land;
  • (iii) the restoration of windbreaks in between farmland plots and along irrigation canals to prevent wind erosion and avoid siltation
IUCN Projects

IUCN projects in Armenia ended in 2016; focused on the improvement of forest law enforcement at national and local scales, enhancing transparency and raising public awareness on forest crimes such as illegal logging. The work undertaken by IUCN is now informing FLR decision-making in the country.

Good governance in the forest sector

IUCN supported the creation of a public monitoring of forests programme, which supports good governance and law enforcement in the forest sector by involving citizens in monitoring forests and reporting illegal acts. Learn more at the project's web portal.

Outreach to forest-dependent communities

The creation of roadshows throughout rural Armenia (in collaboration with EcoLur), consisting of a series of visits to forest-dependent communities by a team of forest experts with the aim of developing a dialogue with villagers on forest issues, raising environmental awareness, and increasing the sense of community ownership of forests and natural resources. 

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