YEREVAN–Every day is Earth Day for Armenia Tree Project. Upon the eve of Earth Day this month, ATP completed its spring planting of 23,385 trees at 91 sites around the country. ATP planted 22,085 decorative and fruit trees from its Karin and Khachpar nurseries, as well as 1,300 pine trees from the Mirak Family Reforestation Nursery in Margahovit.
"We are proud of the work of our Community Tree Planting program which plants trees all over Armenia, from public sites in Yerevan to rural villages around the country," stated Executive Director Jeff Masarjian. "Each year we are especially proud to accomplish this work in time for Earth Day, which is celebrated around the world on April 22, although our environmental restoration programs are conducted throughout the year."
ATP has continued its partnerships with a number of institutions and community sites in Armenia this spring, including the Dzidzernagapert Genocide Memorial, the Sardarabad Museum, and the Diaconia Settlement of Hope. Tsitsernakaberd received more than 800 new trees, including 100 indigenous ash trees planted on April 12 in collaboration with HSBC Bank’s Climate Partnership program.
In the field of environmental education ATP plans to train another 540 public school teachers this year to use its "Plant an Idea, Plant a Tree" curriculum, and already more than 120 teachers have participated in seminars in Yerevan, Sisian, Goris, and Gyumri. ATP also planted 50 trees at the Berdzor Reception House, which is located in the strategic Lachin Corridor linking Armenia with Karabakh.
"This work is vital for Armenia’s future because the country has less than eight percent forest cover as highlighted in a recent study conducted by the Economy and Values Research Center," noted Masarjian. "Deforestation is a significant environmental threat because of its impact on ecosystem habitats, its role in biodiversity loss, and lost revenue from the associated benefits of forests."
"Our work seeks to reverse this trend, and we’ve been successful in planting and restoring more than two million trees at over 725 sites around Armenia and Karabakh since 1994," added Masarjian. "We’ve made a pledge to the UN Environment Program’s Billion Tree Campaign to plant at least 650,000 trees in Armenia this year."
Since 1994, ATP has planted and restored more than two million trees and created hundreds of jobs for impoverished Armenia’s in tree-regeneration programs. The organization’s three tiered initiatives are tree planting, community development to reduce poverty and promote self-sufficiency, and environmental education to protect Armenia’s precious natural resources. For more information, visit the ATP web site at www.armeniatree.org.