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Understanding the Forestry-Poverty Linkages in Rural Communities in Armenia

Rural households in Armenia are heavily reliant on fuelwood to meet their heating and energy needs. In addition to fuelwood, the forest-adjacent population uses the forests for various means, including shelter, fodder for grazing cattle, and a means to access grazing lands and to supplement their income by selling non-timber forest products. Many communities also benefit from ecosystem services provided by Armenia’s forests, including erosion and flood protection. 

However, Armenia’s forests, which make up between 6-12% of its total land area, have been in decline since the 1990s. Illegal logging, inadequate forest management and harvesting practices, uncontrolled grazing, fires, and the spread of insects and diseases continue to pose significant challenges. Much of the demand for wood is met through the informal sector, denying revenue that would otherwise have been collected by to the rural communities and by Hayantar, the state forest authority. Illegal logging also contributes to worsening watershed erosion, wood over-harvesting, and biodiversity loss. Unfortunately, current institutional structures are weak and underfunded, and are consequently insufficient for enacting sustainable forest management policies. At the current harvesting rate, with low forest cover, limited replanting, and no change in the direction of forest management, Armenia is facing a declining forest stock.

APPROACH

This activity aims to inform forest sector policies through a survey of rural communities on forest dependence and poverty in Armenia. The study will also contribute to higher-level understanding of linkages between poverty, forest dependence and rural energy use in the context of the World Bank global study being carried out in parallel. This work will build on progress made through the €6 million ENPI Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) program by supporting the government, civil society and the private sector in the transition towards sustainable forest management practices across seven countries in the region.

RESULTS

This activity is ongoing. Findings will be shared on this page when they become available.

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Last Updated : 02-24-2017

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