The experts assess the state of the forests in Armenia as heavy: 'The forests in Armenia have essentially destroyed and degraded. Reforestation is currently a priority,' “Mainstreaming Sustainable Land and Forest Management in Mountain Landscapes of North-Eastern Armenia” project Technical Task Leader Hovik Sayadyan said in his interview with EcoLur.
'Because of illegal felling the valuable tree species have been replaced with valueless ones and we are experiencing problems with forest area degradation. Numerous high-value forests, which have been cut after gaining the independence, have been replaced with “Drunk” forest,' said 'Sustainable Caucasus' Project (SCOPE) National Coordinator Armen Gevorgyan.
Because of the high demands of timber, the forest felling rates still exceed the natural recovery rates of the forest. According to the research findings held on the consumption volumes of fuelwood carried out by 'State Center for Forest Monitoring' SCNO for 2013-2014, it exceeds the volume of legally cut down timber by around 25 times.
The deterioration of the forest state increased after 2010 when the state ceased to fund reforestation programs. 'Now annually 100 ha of forest is planted or we support its planting, if the government supports us, we can annually plant 2000-2500 ha of forest, which is vital for our nature,' Hovik Sayadyan said.
For Armenia, the optimum forestation indicator is 20.1%. As of the latest forest and forest land area inventory conducted in 1993, the forest-covered area in the country makes up around 11.2%. According to the independent expert data, this indicator has reduced up to 7-8%.
17:39 September 20, 2017