YEREVAN–As part of the global 350 climate change campaign, Armenia Tree Project worked with the Young Armenian Scholars NGO and Agricultural Development Program to plant 350 pine seedlings in northern Armenia. The tree planting campaign was held on October 24 in the village of Jrashen in the Lori region.
“We formed a group of 40 students from four secondary schools–all of them are members of Eco-Clubs in their schools–along with teachers and staff of the partnering organizations to supervise the initiative,” noted ATP Yerevan Director Mher Sadoyan. “Participants planted 350 trees on a hillside at one of ATP’s newly established forests.”
“We were proud to represent Armenia in this international 350 movement to raise awareness of climate change. This campaign was initiated by activists and scientists concerned about rising levels of carbon dioxide that is causing climate change globally and even in Armenia, where we are witnessing more weather extremes and drier weather that has implications for forests and agriculture,” explained Sadoyan.
“Activists all over the world planned actions on this day to let global leaders know that carbon dioxide concentrations in our atmosphere need to be lowered to 350 parts per million, or scientists predict we will face climate changes that could lead to widespread disruptions for people and ecosystems,” added Sadoyan.
Armenia was represented by Armenia Tree Project, the Young Armenian Scholars NGO, and the Agricultural Development Program, all of which have been active in the environmental, educational, and agricultural spheres. The United Nations Development Program supported the event as part of its initiative on “Adaptation to Climate Change Impacts in Mountain Forest Ecosystems of Armenia,” and volunteers from Birthright Armenia also planted trees with the schoolchildren.
“We speak about climate change but unfortunately not much is being implemented to fight against it. We are thankful to ATP for such a great initiative. I’m happy today to see the enthusiasm of schoolchildren planting trees,” stated biology teacher Nvard Gevorgyan.
“It’s fun for schoolchildren and it has instructive significance. My pupils are so excited to be a part of 350 and to represent our country in this worldwide climate action,” added Gevorgyan. “I hope we can participate in other environmental initiatives.”
“Trees absorb carbon dioxide that causes climate change, so we hope our contribution to the global 350 campaign will help reduce the adverse impacts of climate change, especially for rural populations in Armenia and other countries that are most affected,” stated ATP Environmental Education Program Manager Alla Berberyan.
“The climate action was a positive event to raise awareness of the importance of the number 350 to the Armenian and the international community, and we are expecting it to have a practical educational impact especially for the local school and teaching community,” noted Berberyan. “We are proud that Armenia joined this international movement and look forward to learning about similar actions in other countries on the 350.org website.”
“This was the first tree I have ever planted and I feel terrific,” declared a tenth grade student after the event. “I know today is the international day of action to fight climate change. The world has united around the same initiative–to lower carbon dioxide levels to 350. I’m sure we will succeed as it’s our common goal.”
“Today we are planting trees in Lori on this sunny day. It is fun and a necessity as well,” noted another tenth grade student. “Trees absorb carbon so we have to plant a lot of them. I’m glad to be a part of this initiative. It is inspiring to know that all over the world such events are simultaneously taking place and that we made our contribution.”
Since 1994, Armenia Tree Project has planted and restored more than 3,000,000 trees at over 800 sites around the country and created hundreds of jobs for impoverished Armenians 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 additional information and to support ATP’s mission, visit the web site www.armeniatree.org.