Conservation Agreement in new village communities of South Eastern Lesser Caucasus Corridor joined ECF sustainable land use plans.
Active dialogue within the local communities in Ararat, Vayots Dzor, and Sisian regions of Armenia have resulted in the conclusion of several conservation agreements. Through the introduction of sustainable land use plans implemented by local communities, these success stories have made it possible to introduce a new conservation approach and improve the habitats of the wild animals in key sections the South-eastern Lesser Caucasus Corridor.
The villages that joined the WWF conservation agreements are Zangagatun of Ararat region, bordering the Khosrov State reserve in the south, Khachik and Areni of Vayots Dzor Region located in the middle of the corridor, and Arevis, Tasik, Salvard, and Brnakot villages immediately bordering the State Biosphere Sanctuary of Zangezour in the north. The villages have agreed to co-operate with WWF and local civil society sectors for the implementation of the proposed nature conservation measures for better protection of key species of the Ecoregional Corridor (Bezoar goats, Armenian muflon, Caucasian leopard and the Brown bear), through sustainable land use practises.
Following the conclusion of conservation agreements in four more villages in June 2018, the overall protected area will cover 56,494 hectares.
Following the conclusion of conservation agreements in four more villages in June 2018, the overall protected area will cover 56,494 hectares, which will positively impact the improvement of the wildlife habitat of all key species. The home range of the Bezoar goats is anticipated to increase by 15% which will help secure the presence of resident Armenian muflon populations. A significant increase in population numbers is also expected in the next 10 years, with up to 70% increase in the number of Bezoar goats and Armenian muflon. It is expected that an increase in Mouflon and Bezoar populations will lead to increase of presence of leopard in this area as well.
The seven villages that have already signed conservation agreements received 796,136 euros from the ECF to implement the biodiversity conservation measures over seven to ten years. Additionally, they will use these funds to address the socio-economic needs of the villages, according to the ECF objective, securing conservation and socio-economic development at the same time.