Partnership for Environmental Protection and Community Development
05 June 2023
For more than 17 years, Viva-MTS and the Foundation for Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) have been implementing important and serious projects in different regions of Armenia. They are aimed at environmental protection and infrastructure development in rural communities. As a result of consistent efforts over the years, the cooperating parties have managed to implement quite bold projects, organize eco-education and ensure coordinated work.
This successful partnership has pretty remarkable achievements and results: creation of a sanctuary, camera-trap animal monitoring and finding a Caucasian leopard in a seemingly unlikely area, tree planting, human-wildlife conflict mitigation, solar-powered electric fences deployment, eco-education, and more.
About 13 years ago, the first and only privately protected area both in Armenia and South Caucasus, the Caucasian Wildlife Refuge (CWR), was created in a 400 ha almost steppe-like land. Now the area of the shelter is 20 thousand hectares. Every year, a serious, continuous increase in the number of various animal species, including those registered in the Red Book of RA, is recorded here. It is also a unique, experimental environment. As a result of accurate calculations and targeted work, the followings have been created here: a forest station, a tree nursery for growing native tree species, a wildlife rescue center, a veterinary clinic, an eco-educational center for the training of students and community residents and the development of eco-tourism. In the process, not only specialists and international organizations were involved, but also residents of Urtsadzor community.
Viva-MTS also contributed to the bear rescue program. Bears kept in captivity in areas adjacent to gas stations and restaurant complexes were transferred to a quarantine zone. In some cases, the Wildlife Rescue Center (WRC) has also managed to release the rehabilitated cubs into the wild. About 40 bears have been saved over the years. And yet another program protects the farms from the bears that appear to find food in the settlements. Viva-MTS and FPWC provided solar-powered electric fences to the communities of Ararat and Vayots Dzor.
Over the years, FPWC has planted around 350,000 trees in the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge, in which Viva-MTS also has its share.
The partners also contribute to the development of infrastructure in the regions, trying to mitigate the difference in the pace of development between the capital and the regions. The implementation of energy-efficient LED lighting systems is of great importance for us.
By regularly supporting FPWC's environmental projects, Viva-MTS shares their ideas: to preserve Armenia's rich nature for future generations and to ensure sustainable economic development of communities.
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