Restoration of degraded forest lands through implementation of sustainable forestry practices in Chambarak community of Gegharkunik region
Restoration of degraded forest lands through implementation of sustainable forestry practices in Chambarak community of Gegharkunik region
Former Krasnoselsk settlement received a status of a town and was renamed to Chambarak in 1994. Despite the status of a town with a population of 7,000, the majority of residents still continue their rural lifestyle, where the main activity is animal husbandry. Chambarak population primarily consists of socially vulnerable resettled people, families of deceased soldiers, which is the direct effect of the 1990s armed conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.
In early 1990s the forests and urban green areas of Armenia suffered a lot due to the energy crisis caused by the economic and energy blockade. The same was true for Chambarak forest areas; in order to survive the cold winters, the population began cutting down the trees to use them as firewood. As a result of massive loggings in a typical alpine area of Chambarak, especially on steep forested slopes, the area faced the problem of landslides as a dominant erosion process. Therefore, if in 2009 the landslides were in Aygut community, which is 22 km far from Chambarak, in 2011 the landslide prone areas expanded intensively and reached to Ttajur community which is only 7 km far from Chambarak. Besides, the landslides are quite active, destroying and damaging many houses.
Currently, Chambarak and the surrounding areas lack forests. The clear-cut forest areas are being used for cattle grazing which further exacerbates land degradation. During USSR era, there was a state forest planting programme which included Chambarak and neighboring Getik communities. These activities had started but failed to complete - instead of 25 ha forests, only 6.4 ha were planted which were later cut by the neighboring households for firewood. Nowadays, this mountain slope area is exposed to water and wind erosion. Moreover, this area is used for cattle grazing and haymaking, which further deteriorates the problem.
Several problems typical for Chambarak town with its neighboring rural communities can be grouped into:
• The vast majority of agricultural land is either not being used or is used unsustainably;
• The horticultural practices are not in place as the main activity is cattle breeding;
• Application of wrong grazing practices in agricultural lands: farmlands, pastures, meadows;
• Illegal loggings of the neighbouring forests continue.
These problems are caused by poor socio-economic conditions of the population of the region. Besides, local population lack knowledge on community forestry and effective use of natural resources, in particular land and water. Also there is a lack of information about anti-erosion, anti-landslide and melioration activities.
The local NGO acknowledges the importance of environmental problems in the project area caused by unsustainable use of forests, land and wrong agricultural practices and proposes planting a 7 ha forest on the sleep mountain slope to soothe landslides and improve livelihoods. Reforestation of the community lands is deemed a carbon stock conservation and enhancement measure which also contributes to the improvement of forest ecosystem and agro-ecosystem services. The latter is essential for the local population as they are highly dependent on ecosystem functioning for their livelihoods and thus motivated to fight land degradation. The project will also invest in training of the community members on sustainable land use and community forestry practices and raise their awareness on the global environmental issues.
In view of the aforementioned, the overall objective of the project is to restore carbon stocks and mitigate land degradation in forest and non-forest lands of Chambarak community. The project aims at reducing the extent of land degradation through demonstration of sustainable land use and forest management practices and thus improving local livelihoods. The project also aims at supporting local capacity development to implement community forestry practices through education and training.
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Project Snapshot

Chambarak Branch of the Council of Mothers and Wives of Deceased Soldiers
Area Of Work:
Climate Change Mitigation
Land Degradation
Grant Amount:
US$ 26,607.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 21,982.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 11,227.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Gender Focus
Being a women-led organization, the NGO will ensure that all gender-related issues are properly incorporated in the project activities. Since the percentage of families of deceased soldiers is high in Chambarak, women constitute the agricultural labor force and are responsible for most of the household food production. They have a vital role in achieving sustainable agriculture, rural development, health and food security.
Policy Influence
In line with GEF strategic and national environmental and development priorities, the project will contribute to the prevention of land degradation through introduction of sustainable land and forest management practices. The project concept has already contributed to the local level decision on land allocation for the establishment of the forest park and covering the forest maintenance costs for at least five years after the project completion.
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Number of women participated / involved in SGP project 3035
Hectares of degraded land rest 10
Increase in household income by increased income or reduced costs due to SGP project 19500



Grantee Contact

Mr System Administrator


1 September 21 St.
Chambarak , Gegharkunik , 1301

SGP Country office contact

Mr. Hovhannes Ghazaryan
+374 60 530000+116
(+374 10) 543811
Ms. Svetlana Harutyunyan
+374 60 530000+117


14 Adamyan St.
Yerevan, 0010

Country Website