Environment and Natural Resources Management

Sustainable use and protection of the environment and natural resources is one of the important areas of our work, cutting across many sectors: agriculture, forestry, biodiversity, water management, climate adaptation and mitigation, renewable energies, and rural development in general.

 

Soil degradation, water contamination and forests destruction can be avoided by proper management of natural resources. In our work we emphasize close cooperation with local stakeholders, local ownership and strengthening equitable access to natural resources to create sustainable growth.

 

Development of Forest Management Plans for 12 Communities of Tavush and Gegharkunik Marzes
Location Client/Donor Start End
Armenia World Bank September, 2006 September, 2007

Narrative Description of the Project:

 

The global objective of the assignment is in close cooperation with communities to develop the forest management plans and forest rehabilitation designs for the areas allocated to community management, which should be developed according to the following:
 

  • In a participatory manner taking into account the environmental, economic and social roles and importance of forest resources
  • Building the capacities of community members and Armenian professionals, preparing forest management plans with the mentioned approaches
  • In a manner which involves the community members in the forest management planning process, and other key stakeholders including, the forest industry, Hayantar, NGOs
  • Based on non-timber, ecological, biodiversity aspects of the forest, social functions and participation, which is important for integration of forest and watershed management plans

 

Description of Services Provided by VISTAA Staff:

 

Preparation and presentation of 12 Community Forest Management Plans of Gegharkunik and Tavush Marzes.

 

  • Preparation of forest management plans and forest rehabilitation design
  • Participatory Rural appraisal
  • Participatory resources assessment
  • Rapid Biodiversity Assessments (endangered flora and fauna, important genetic resources, watersheds, potential corridors)
  • Installation of experimental plots for pilot management and rehabilitation measures
  • Demarcation of forest compartments with use of GIS
  • Forest inventories according to current instructions (stock volume, timber quality, growth rates, spp diversity, critical biotopes, NTFPs), etc.
“Small Biodiversity Grants Scheme”, World Bank Natural Resource Management and Poverty Reduction Project
Location Client/Donor Start End
Armenia NRMPR Project Implementation Unit, Ministry of Nature Protection May, 2006 May, 2007

Narrative Description of the Project:

 

The primary objectives of the Project are to protect globally significant biodiversity by supporting local livelihoods in communities located inside or in buffer zones adjacent to the protected areas, and to reduce pressure on biological resources.

 

Specific objectives of the project are:

 

  • Identify alternative and sustainable income-generating activities for local communities and other stakeholders to reduce pressure on the pastures, hay meadows and forests
  • Strengthen local and national capacity through education and training
  • Raise public awareness of biodiversity values and increase participation in biodiversity conservation
  • Provide technical assistance to local communities for development and implementation of micro-projects aimed at recourse sustainable management, biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction
  • Create feeling of ownership of the project goals among the local population
  • Disseminate knowledge about innovative skills and technologies, as well as traditional methods of natural resource use aimed to improve living standards of the local communities in the project areas

 

Description of Services Provided by VISTAA Staff:

 

  • The specific tasks of VISTAA, contracted to implement the Small Grant Program are:
  • Develop, translate and finalize the draft SBCGS Operational Manual prepared by NRMPR PIU
  • Prepare, publish and disseminate a SBCGS operational manual, booklet, including description, scoring and selection criteria, and call for proposals
  • Prepare a proposal format for submitting proposal concept notes and full proposals for grant funding and ensure its availability for the potential applicants
  • Introduce the program goals to the local communities, using different methods of public awareness campaign; particularly field visits, meetings, community collective meetings, etc
  • Hold workshops with NRMPR Project communities’ RUAs and community members to build understanding of the objectives of SBCGS and criteria for selection and administration
  • Hold meetings with local communities population to introduce the SBCGS goals, selection criteria and administrative issues
  • Help the grant application participants to prepare concept paper and application package
  • Prepare Grant Agreement and Report Forms, which should be included in the SBCGS Operational manual
  • Collect and register the Applications, checking that all the proposals are in the required format (are stamped and/or signed, if the Grant applicant does not have a stamp)
  • Numerate all the proposals and prepare a summary sheet, putting in groups the proposals from the same community
  • Submit the Small Grant Proposals to NRMPR PIU Small Grant Proposals Evaluation Committee secretary; prepare a document (receipt) regarding the proposals submitted and not damaged; the document should be signed by two parties: PIU and Supporting Organization
On-going Preparation of Participatory Watershed Management Plans", World Bank Natural Resource Management and Poverty Reduction Project
Location Client/Donor Start End
Armenia NRMPR Project Implementation Unit, Ministry of Nature Protection March, 2004 December, 2005

Narrative Description of the Project:

 

The work covers not less than 32 watersheds with about 81 associated village communities in Tavush and Gegharkunik Marzes. The objective is to prepare watershed management plans for selected villages. Currently, 16 watershed plans are prepared, which include activity plan and time schedule for each of the participant village. These documents are the basic guidelines for PIU during the Implementation Phase.

 

Description of Services Provided by VISTAA Staff:

 

  • Collection of existing data sets and data obtained during the Rural Rapid Assessment on selected watersheds and related villages
  • Raising awareness and capacity building in selected villages
  • Conducting participatory resource appraisal (PRA) including mental mapping and transect walks
  • Undertaking natural resource, environmental and social inventory of selected villages
  • conducting problem census meetings to identify priority needs of participants
  • Identifying overlapping needs between participants priorities and the project menu of options
  • Working with Project Marz Coordinators to solve priority problems that overlap with project mandate by using the project’s action planning and action scheduling frameworks to enable the PIU to prepare a phased budget for watershed activities
  • Other functions and duties stated in the Terms of References of the Watershed Management Component
Joint River Management, Kura Basin Armenia
Location Client/Donor Start End
Armenia TACIS Armenia February, 2002 December, 2003

Narrative Description of the Project:

 

The global objective of this Project is to support the prevention, control and reduction of adverse trans-boundary pollution impact caused by the quality of the four rivers (Kura River, Pripyat River, Severskv-Donetz River, Tobol River) selected for the Project. The Project is to contribute to the development of effective Guidelines for the monitoring and assessment of the trans-boundary waters. The results will be used to recommend modifications to the Guidelines. The Project will adhere to the provisions of the Convention and apply to the principles in the final adopted version of the EU Council Directive establishing a Framework for Community Action in the field of Water Policy. In particular, monitoring and assessment pursues a) quantitative coverage, i.e volume, level and flow rate; b) ecological and chemical status of the river or surface water. Tasks undertaken in the Project should be designed, as far as resources allow, to be sustainable and to apply river basin management principles.

 

Description of Services Provided by VISTAA Staff:

 

The Kura transboundary river is among those selected as subjects for a pilot evaluation of the Guidelines for which a Core Group has been set up to manage the evaluation:

 

  • To demonstrate experience of developing monitoring systems in highly resource-constrained environments and of innovative approaches both in terms of methodology and financing
  • To demonstrate the application of the Guidelines developed by the Task Force
  • To promote and assist in the upgrading of the monitoring, services in the involved Countries in accordance with the Guidelines
  • To train managerial and technical staff on modem systems for the monitoring and assessment of water quality
Natural Resource Management and Poverty Reduction
Location Client/Donor Start End
Armenia NRMPR Project Preparation Unit, Ministry of Nature Protection January, 2001 December, 2001

Narrative Description of the Project:

 

The objective of the assignment is to develop a detailed, phased design of the participatory watershed management component, and project coordination with relevant capacity building elements, action plan for participatory management of resources and a mechanism for providing environment performance based community grants which will have a direct impact on rural poverty. The assignment included rapid rural appraisal and assessment of the natural resources of the project area and an institutional stakeholders’ assessment, namely to assess the institutional capacity for project implementation, to design project management arrangements, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms and schemes for administering community grants. In addition, the assignment has defined the role of the key agencies – Ministry of Nature Protection, Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Environmental Inspectorates, environment and agricultural departments of Marzpetarans, and means to empower local communities to implement activities addressing their needs.

 

Description of Services Provided by VISTAA Staff:

 

  • Rapid Rural Appraisals of the project area
  • Natural Resources assessment of the project area
  • Institutional analysis of the institutions involved in the project, e.g. MoNP, Ministry of Agriculture, etc.
  • Development of Selection Criteria
  • Conducting Participatory Planning Workshops to identify participants’ needs and priorities;
  • Preparation of Watershed Management Plans
  • Development of Menu of Options
  • Other functions and duties stated in the Terms of References of the Watershed Management Component