First-Ever International Forestry Summit Heading to Yerevan

Forest Summit: Global Action and Armenia will tackle a number of issues presented by the Paris Agreement, including Armenia’s commitment to increase its forest cover to 20 percent by 2050 (Photo: Jason Sohigian)

Armenia Tree Project (ATP) and the American University of Armenia (AUA) Acopian Center for the Environment are proud to announce plans for an upcoming conference which will bring global leaders in forest conservation and restoration to Yerevan, Armenia this October.

Forest Summit: Global Action and Armenia will be held from October 20 to 23 at the AUA and will feature three days of discussion and collaborative dialogue on the conservation and reforestation efforts much needed in countries across the world. 

The inaugural conference will showcase successful conservation and reforestation projects and their respective champions, bringing together the world’s best minds to collaborate on effective practices and industry innovations that help save trees and forests around the globe.

ATP has helped protect Armenia’s environment, empower its citizens, and invigorate local economies since its establishment in 1994. Since the group’s inception, more than 5.7 million trees have been planted across the country and hundreds of jobs have been created through tree-related programming.

“While we are very proud of our work in Armenia over the past 25 years, we recognize that our next 25 years are equally important,” says Jeanmarie Papelian, ATP’s Executive Director. “This summit with reforestation leaders from around the world will provide us the platform to share our best practices, learn from other nations and continue to make the planet a more verdant place.” 

The October conference will provide a first-hand look at the success of reforestation accomplished to date and the work that lies ahead in Armenia and other countries around the world. While success stories like the one in Armenia are gradually becoming more universal, efforts must be sustained to combat deforestation that continues to plague so many areas globally. The conference will offer sightseeing tours to Dilijan National Forest and ATP’s Mirak Family Reforestation Nursery in Margahovit Village, where attendees can observe reforestation work in action. 

“There have been many conservation and restoration initiatives in Armenia and the wider region for decades, and this Summit will enable us to review this experience, learn from mistakes and successes and plan for the future,” says Alen Amirkhanian, Director of the AUA Acopian Center for the Environment. “The AUA Acopian Center has been on the forefront of organizing such policy discussions and debates. The Summit is an example of our deep commitment to open and multi-stakeholder deliberations on critical environmental issues.”

Further details on speakers and programming will be announced in the weeks ahead. In addition to hosting the conference in October, ATP will celebrate the planting of its six millionth tree in Armenia this fall.

About the AUA Acopian Center for the Environment
The AUA Acopian Center for the Environment, a research center of the American University of Armenia (AUA), promotes the protection and restoration of the natural environment through research, education, and community outreach. The AUA Acopian Center’s focus areas include sustainable natural resource management, biodiversity and conservation, greening the built environment, clean energy, and energy efficiency, as well as information technology and the environment. Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.

About Armenia Tree Project
Armenia Tree Project (ATP), a non-profit program based in Woburn and Yerevan, conducts vitally important environmental projects in Armenia’s cities and villages. Since 1994, ATP has made enormous strides in combating desertification in the biologically diverse but threatened Caucasus region. More than 5,700,000 trees have been planted and restored, and hundreds of jobs have been created for Armenians in seasonal tree-related programs. ATP works to further Armenia’s economic and social development by mobilizing resources to fund reforestation. These vital new trees provide food, wood, environmental benefits, and opportunities for economic growth. ATP has a full time staff of over 80 in Armenia. The Yerevan office manages four state-of-the-art tree nurseries and two environmental education centers, partners with villagers to create tree-based micro-enterprise opportunities, creates urban green belts for public use, restores degraded forest lands, and employs hundreds of part-time workers to plant new forests.