Environment & biodiversity
Lake Sevan, Armenia
€50,000 at the 12 June 2017 Board
French Armenian Development Foundation
Located in Eastern Armenia, Lake Sevan (1,200 km2) is both the country’s largest lake and the largest freshwater body in Transcaucasia. But it is first and foremost a one-of-a-kind ecological system. In economic terms, it is also the entire region’s nerve centre, featuring swimming and a host of diverse water sports. Foreign tourists as well as Armenians go there in summer in great numbers (about 180,000 visitors in 2016).
Such popular success has gradually led to the area’s deterioration. The main reason is the substantial attendance at the eight public beaches that were or are being created in the zone. Visitors show little interest in protecting the environment, and the lack of any signage, litter bins, waste collection or rubbish tips are far from encouraging any collective raising of awareness.
The association which manages the recreational areas of the Nature Reserve was unable to stem this environmental deterioration on its own. So it asked for help from the French Armenian Development Foundation (FFAD). The Foundation then conducted field inspections and met with the Nature Reserve’s senior administrators in 2016 and 2017. This has resulted in a project entitled “Decontaminating the beaches of Lake Sevan”. Specifically, in this zone, the idea is simultaneously to perform operations protecting the natural environment and to create jobs. On a wider scale, the project will promote sustainable development throughout Armenia.
A vast project to raise awareness among tourists
With this project supported by the Veolia Foundation, the FFAD plans to install litter bins and rubbish tips. It also wants to set up information panels at the entrance of every beach to encourage best practises. There will also be the launch of two awareness-raising campaigns aimed at users for the preservation of the natural environment of all beaches. As for cleaning up the beaches, that task will be performed by about twenty additional employees, hired among the local long-term unemployed to strengthen current staff. Listed in an agreement signed between the FFAD and the Nature Reserve, the operations will be scheduled during a strategy workshop to be held at the start of the project. Ultimately, an event will be organized to explain what initiatives were performed, making due mention of the support provided by the Veolia Foundation.
The Sevan Nature Reserve will be in charge of the upkeep of awareness-raising panels and of managing the waste disposal. For its part, the FFAD is committed to renewing the self-adhesive posters whenever required, and to distribute awareness-raising flyers for a period of three years. It will also be in charge of monitoring the project, including on-site visits, monthly reports, schedule readjustments if needed etc.
Over 100 projects conducted by the FFAD
Founded in 2004, the FFAD focuses its efforts on promoting and protecting the rights of vulnerable persons and underprivileged populations in Armenia. Its projects are part of the priorities established by European and Global Institutions and by Development Agencies. Since it was founded, more than 100 projects were completed in partnership with UNICEF, the EU, the World Bank in Armenia, the Open Society Institute, the French, British, Polish, Czech and German Embassies, the OFII (France’s Agency for Immigration and Integration), the BAMF (Germany’s Federal Migration Agency) and the French and Armenian ministries.