To reduce dependence from forest near-forest communities shall have an alternative source for sustainable income and alternative energy, as near-forest Khashtarak and Ditavan community leaders in Tavush Region think.
'Forest is our largest wealth and we have always made use of it: our resident heat their houses with wood, as gas is expensive. As the forestry enterprise wants to protect the forest, the villagers also want the same, even more, as their water and nature are found in the forest,' Khashtarak Community Head Andranik Virabyan said in his interview with EcoLur. He noted that they have serious aims to develop solar energy. 'Due to the French Foundation, a solar energy center is being established in our community. Free-of-charge solar water heaters will be installed at the school, village municipality, and all governmental offices, while villagers will be provided them with a symbolic amount of money. If we can produce electricity with solar energy, it will promote forests to be more protected: nowadays we shall rely more on alternatives,' Khashtarak Community Head said.
Andranik Virabyan, head of Khastarak community
Ditavan Community Head Hakob Saribekyan expressed his belief that forest dependence may be mitigated due to the in the increase in their incomes. The statutory fallen deadwood of 8 cum is enough only for small families, while it's not sufficient for large families: they need at least 10-12 cum. We are implementing development programs in order to increase family incomes: 21 individual greenhouses have been built with the help of 'Armenia' Pan-Armenian Fund and our donors, donations have been made to relevant families, a cooperative development program have been built and we have constructed a large greenhouse where 6 families work. We have established 3 hectares of orchards for 4 families and we plan to establish another 7.5 hectares. We need to increase incomes, only in this way dependence from forests will be mitigated,' Ditavan Community Head said.
Hakob Saribekyan, head of Ditavan community
'Introduction of Sustainable Land and Forest Management in Mountain Landscapes of North-East Armenia' project plans to provide assistance to mitigate the dependence of near-forest communities from the forest. 'The project envisages to obtain anti-hail nets, which will be provided to near-forest communities, which deal with the cultivation of orchards, so as the villagers can form a stable income. If the villagers have a stable income, we hope they will use gas and not fuelwood. In this way, both their livelihood will be improved and the pressure on the forest will be mitigated. We also plan to establish passive solar greenhouses and to install fruit dryers. It won't solve all the problems, but, to a certain extent, it will mitigate the dependence from fuelwood,' Project Technical Task Leader Hovik Sayadyan said.
Hovik Sayadyan, expert
18:40 June 22, 2017