Research on Communities and Forests in Armenia
On 27 October 2010, within the framework of the ENPI-FLEG program IUCN presented results of the study “Knowledge, Attitude and Perception of People Living in Communities Adjacent to Forests”.
The Center for Ethnological Studies “Hazarashen” carried out the research and shared the main findings with governmental institutions, NGOs and other stakeholders. The study showed that the majority of communities living adjacent to forest areas have a very vague idea of forest management issues. Local communities mainly use forests for fuel wood, while they also collect non-timber resources. However the timber used by local communities contributes little to forest loss compared to the impact of industrial logging which was identified as the major cause of forest degradation in Armenia.
Following the presentation, the group talked about illegal logging and timber use by local communities. The Director General of the State Forest Agency in Armenia, “Hayantar”, Mr. Martun Matevosyan suggested involving local communities and NGOs more actively to improve the effectiveness of forest management mechanisms. Stakeholders also agreed that awareness raising of local communities and their involvement in daily forest management issues are crucial for improved and sustainable use of forest resources.