Biodiversity watchdogs of Vanadzor Canyon
* Quality Assured Data from SGP’s Annual Monitoring Process as of June 30, 2021.
Biodiversity watchdogs of Vanadzor Canyon
This project aims at contributing to the conservation of biodiversity of the Vanadzor Canyon through development of a sustainable economic model with the following components: education and awareness raising, and environmentally sound leisure and eco-tourism facilities.
Vanadzor Canyon is an area rich of wildlife biodiversity, including endangered species, such as the Bubo-Bubo eagle-owl. The canyon experiences degradation of ecosystems because of forest logging, illegal hunting of extinct species, pollution of air, water and land. These practices are generally a result of lack of control mechanisms, and abandonment by local authorities and the society. The society generally is not aware of the valuable biodiversity of the canyon and its ecological importance for the town. Although some parts of the canyon are used by the locals for picnics, this ends up in heavy littering of the respective areas. Meanwhile, for travelers and hikers - local as well as foreign, the canyon is not a safe place for hiking because of absence of any infrastructure.
In order to create sustainable eco-tourism facilities in the Canyon, a camping site will be created; EcoLab’s Boo Alternative House will be refurbished as a space for hosting educational courses and canyon visitors - energy efficient solutions will be practiced for ensuring a round-year action of the house, relevant camping and bird watching equipment will be bought, a library of biodiversity will be created. In order to fight plastic pollution, waste spreading and burning of waste - garbage facilities, garbage separation and regular garbage collection will be fixed in cooperation with Vanadzor municipality.
In order to raise awareness about the importance of conservation of the Canyon guides to biodiversity will be trained, school teachers will be trained, educational tours for school students will be organized, and regular tours for visitors for discovering the Canyon biodiversity will be developed.
All of this will also affect economic development of the community, because small and medium hospitality businesses, such as B&Bs and tourist offices will have an increased income from the visitors of the canyon, e.g. including canyon tours in their packages, increased number of tourists staying overnight in Vanadzor because of the possibility of visiting the canyon, increased number of visitors in the period of building the infrastructure, etc. A special public relation campaign will be designed and implemented for this purpose.
The project will be carried out through cooperation among public, private and non-profit actors which have complementary experiences, have a long-term presence in Vanadzor, and have already made substantial investments in the town in terms of assets and human resources.
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Project Snapshot

EcoLab Foundation for Sustainable Development and Active Citizenship
Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 24,613.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 57,460.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 54,000.00
Project Number:
Currently under execution
Project Characteristics and Results
Gender Focus
Considering that Vanadzor Canyon is not populated, hereby, we assessed roles of women and men in two aspects – community of tour guides and community of hospitality businesses. In hospitality businesses women have relatively important roles: they often run the business and have decision-making roles there. One of the reasons is that this is a work connected with household and is considered an acceptable space for women, this is part of women’s traditional experiences. In terms of involving women as biodiversity guides, much efforts should be done, because presently hiking leaders and adventure tourism sphere are almost 100% lead by men. In order to address this issue clear gender quota will be set while selecting participants to the tour guides’ education.
Capacity - Building Component
Different partners of the project will act in the framework of their best qualifications. Capacity sharing and peer learning will take place during the project. EcoLab team members will participate in the trainings for tour and in the first aid trainings – this developed capacity will later be useful during EcoLab’s own educational activities as well as for services with visitors of the Boo Alternative House.
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Hectares of globally significant biodiversity area protected or sustainably managed by project 22
Number of women participated / involved in SGP project 100
Number of individuals (gender diaggregated) who have benefited* from SGP project 160

Grantee Contact

Ms. Yana Mkrtchyan
Phone: +374 77 794029


4/1 Aygedzor St.
Yerevan , 0019

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