Given the severe disempowerment of the vast majority of the population, it is important to engage youth and others in effective approaches to solving environmental problems in Armenia. This is an important path to bringing positive change for environmental protection and sustainability.
The Foundation has been taking the following actions aimed at helping develop the next generation of empowered, informed, involved leaders from the youth and nonprofit sectors:
• Through Armenian Forests NGO the Foundation conducted a very effective program which provided training and support to local residents and NGOs to engage youth in environmental protection.
This two-year USAID-funded Community Environmental Action Groups project has identified interested individuals and organizations in 10 communities throughout Armenia. These groups work on a combination of lobbying/advocacy, community awareness/education and hands-on actions to improve the local environmental situation, and have already been successful with stopping polluters, establishing parks, regular trash clean-ups, eco-tourism activities and restoring forests.
These local groups have been active in 5 province (marzes)—three communities in Tavush marz: Sarigyugh, Ijevan and Gosh; 3 communities in Lori Marz: Lejan, Stepanavan and Vanadzor; Tsakhkadzor in Kotayk marz; 2 commuinities in Gegharkiunik marz: Sevan and Martuni; and Jermuk in Vayots Dzor Marz.
• Spearheading coalition actions with other local and international organizations aimed at protecting and restoring Armenia’s fragile environment.