Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tree planting in rural Armenia celebrates Earth Day…

Earth Day is gaining in popularity in Armenia. This year, Armenia Tree Project celebrated by planting trees in the Kotayk region. On April 20, the US Embassy and the United Nations joined ATP to plant a cluster of decorative and fruit trees in the town of Teghenik.

Click here for a gallery of Earth Day photographs by Alex Tarverdi 

“Our goal is to restore valuable environmental services including clean air, soil retention, and shade during hot summers,” noted Managing Director Tom Garabedian. “The creation of green spaces represents an important step in the improvement of the environment and quality of life in the region.”

US Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern joined his colleagues from the Embassy in the planting. “The trees we plant here will improve the environment and help highlight the necessity of maintaining our natural surroundings,” stated Ambassador Heffern.

The trees were planted as part of ATP’s innovative “community forests” program. “The aim of this program is to create community forests in areas that are deprived of nearby forests,” explained Garabedian. “While the trees are provided by ATP, the local community invests resources in planting and long-term maintenance of the trees on their land. The program was designed with sustainability in mind.”

“The proclamation of April 22 as International Mother Earth Day by the United Nations is an acknowledgement that the Earth and its ecosystems provide its inhabitants with life and sustenance. It also recognizes a collective responsibility, as called for in the 1992 Rio Declaration, to promote harmony with nature and the Earth to achieve a just balance among the economic, social, and environmental needs of present and future generations of humanity,” stated United Nations Resident Coordinator Dafina Gercheva.