Living Landscapes for Market Development in Armenia


Mountain ecosystems in Armenia are an important productive asset for rural communities, but they are rapidly deteriorating due to inappropriate exploitation and management. Within a region-wide project that preserves the natural basis of life through more sustainable use of resources, the Swiss contribution will introduce in Armenia economic incentives for the conservation of natural resources, while creating additional income. This will reduce rural poverty and support the implementation of Armenian policies and international commitments.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Armenia
Employment & economic development
Climate change and environment

Rural development
Biodiversity
15.04.2021 - 31.05.2025
CHF  2’800’000
Background

The Caucasus ecoregion is an area of rich biological diversity, however threatened by the impact of climate change, poor land-use practices and weak governance related to natural resources. Rural communities and local government often lack the capacities, resources and access to markets to develop and take advantage of opportunities for sustainable livelihoods. Significant rural poverty and rural migration result in ageing rural populations while rural economies rely on a limited range of traditional farming sectors. There is an urgent need to find sustainable drivers for economic growth. National policy makers and local stakeholders increasingly recognize these challenges but innovative approaches are rare and lack efficient implementation.

A region wide project (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) implemented by the WWF will be complemented by a Swiss contribution combining conservation of nature and income creation in Armenia. This contribution is based on successful Swiss projects and positive experiences of collaboration between WWF and a sub-contracted Armenian NGO, the Strategic Development Agency.

Objectives The livelihoods of the rural population in selected areas are preserved through the protection and economically sustainable use of natural resources and climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Target groups

Low income households and municipalities in at least 6 selected rural municipalities in Northern and Southern Armenia. Direct beneficiaries are:

  • Market actors in selected value chains: small and medium-sized farmers, commercial suppliers, producers’ associations, consumer organizations, supporting services.
  • Local self-government institutions and national institutions in charge of the management of protected areas, forest and forest land as well as pastures.
  • Tourism and the interconnected value chains have been chosen as this allows over proportional participation of women.
Medium-term outcomes
  • Outcome 1: Men and women in at least 6 selected rural municipalities (4 in Lori, 2 in Vayots Dzor and Syunik) produce and sell environment-friendly products and services via diversified economic opportunities based on landscape-based value chains.
  • Outcome 2: Rural development, agriculture and biodiversity policies at various governance levels integrate the natural resource-based value chain approach and these policies are implemented accordingly.
Results

Expected results:  

  1. Supply chain strengthened to promote sustainable and inclusive tourism
  2. Supply chains strengthened for inputs to the tourism and hospitality sector and other markets (wild harvested products, dairy, locally produced food etc.)
  3. Market infrastructure and facilities in local businesses improved to provide services and inputs to the tourism and hospitality and other markets.
  4. Skills and capacities of input and tourism service providers enhanced and expanded (accommodation, caterers, guides, hosts, language interpreters, wild harvesters, edible products/produce etc.)
  5. At least 2 regulations (Pasture Management Guidelines and Community based conservation – By-Laws) adopted and implemented
  6. Relevant public institutions and non-governmental stakeholders informed, selected staff trained, and dialogue processes to replicate the principles and experiences in other locations of Armenia have been undertaken.


Results from previous phases:  

  • Success factors of combination of nature conservation with sustainable economic development (from previous project phase by WWF: Ecoregional Corridors Fund)
  • Analysis of potential of landscape-based value chains; selection of target areas and relevant value chains (tourism and accompanying supply chains) (Inception phase), inclusion of most vulnerable groups in the value chains


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO


Other partners
WWF Caucasus Programme Office
Coordination with other projects and actors
  • Improvement of Local Self-Governance in Armenia (LSG)
  • Modernizing Agricultural VET in Armenia (MAVETA) Women Economic Empowerment (WEE Regional)
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    2’800’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    1’298’799