Improving the legal and institutional framework

Mapping of pastures and grasslands of Armenia

Natural fodder areas, such as pastures and grasslands, constitute 39% of the Republic of Armenia’s total territory and 57% agricultural lands.   They have a fundamental role in feeding herbivores and ruminants and provide essential ecosystem services, including erosion control, water management, and water purification. Grasslands also support biodiversity and cultural services and are a vital stock of carbon. However, Armenia’s pastures and grasslands are at risk of advancing soil erosion and degradation caused by over-grazing and non-sustainable management practices. Besides, holistic approaches to the sustainable and biodiversity-friendly use of natural resources lack in Armenia. Thus, an integrated and sustainable management approach by the decision makers on national and community level is required to sustain resources in the long term and protect many pastoralists’ livelihoods in Armenia.

To address these challenges, the “Management of natural resources and safeguarding of ecosystem services for sustainable rural development in the South Caucasus (ECOserve)” project supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Environmental programme together with the RA Ministry of Economy, German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the International Center for Agribusiness Research and Education (ICARE), will jointly implement a “Factor-Based Mapping of Pastures and Grasslands in Armenia by Improving Data Access” to facilitate decision-making. Later the RA Ministry of Economy (MoE), will ensure the availability and accessibility of the maps. The RA Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure will make these maps available primarily addressing the capacities of the pastoralist communities, which will apply the maps.

These measures will help the communities protect their pastures and grasslands and sustain the resource for the long run. The generated maps/layers will be piloted at the correspondent rural communities of the Lori and Shirak marzes, to assess the impact of available robust data and maps on the pasture management practices on the ground level and the result of those improved procedures on the environmental condition of pastures and grasslands and their ES and the socio-economic impact on the population.

Updated as of 05.08.2020