Jiliza forests in Lori Region have frontlie significance and besides the forestry enterprise they are also protectd by the border-keeping armies. Jiliza forests are spread along the Armenian-Georgian border and the total area of the forestry enterprise is 15292 ha.
Jiliza Forestry Enterprise Director Aram Baroyan mentions, “The forest is ours, and as soon as it finishes, we can see Georgia. This is how the border is marked.” In reply to the question whether there are illegal tree fellings by the Georgian side, Aram Baroyan briefly said, “It’s impossible.”
The control is exercised in the border zone by border-keeping armies, while in other areas forest preservation is carried out by the forestry enterprise.
The forestry enterprise has 19 foresters and each controls 700-800 ha area. Jiliza forestry enterprise Chief Forester Levon Kirakosyan confesses there are difficulties mainly related with complicated roads and absence of necessary machinery.
“We don’t have any guns, transportation, and the forester has to control the area on foot. Illegal tree fellings occur- this year we hav had 13 cases of illegal felling,” Levon Kirakosyan said.
Near-forest communities completely depend on the forest regardless of the fact whether or not they have gas supply.
“Our area has 7-8 communitis, which don’t have any gas supply – Shamlugh, Bendik and Jiliza. Even if the communities have gas supply, they anyway make use of wood: they can’t afford gas,” Forestry Enterprise Director Aram Baroyan said.
“There is a governmental resolution, which gives each family 8 cum of fallen deadwood. Last year we provided 200 cum of fallen deadwood to the families. If this 8 cum is not enough, we provide cutting spots and they pay 9720 AMD for one cum,” Levon Kirakosyan said.
Shamlugh Community Head Lendrush Bezhanyan said that in the season community residents use around 1200-1500 cum fuel wood. They make use of not only Jiliza, but also Lalvar forestry enterprise. According to Bezhanyan, there are no conflicts among foresters and residents.
In Shamlugh EcoLur’s camera fixed piled up fuel wood almost in all the yards, but we weren’t able to speak to the residents, as they evidently avoided the camera.
This material has been prepared in the course of the training and media tour designed for journalists in the frames of ENPI FLEG II, which is implemented by the World Bank in partnership with the IUCN and WWF with the financial support of the Austrian Development Agency.
Jiliza Forests from Georgian Side
10:51 November 04, 2016