“Environmental Education and Awareness Building in Vayots Dzor Region of Armenia”

Concept note:

I. Key information about the project
Applicant organization: Syunik-Development NGO
Address: 5 Momik str.,
3601 Yeghegnadzor, Vayots Dzor region,
Republic of Armenia
Contact person: Mrs. Anna Krausse, project manager
Tel/Fax: +374 (0281) 20788; 24009
Mobile: +374 (0) 93 85 03 90
Mail: annahovhannes.syunikngo@gmail.com

 

Duration of the project: 1
st April 2019 – 31 st December 2019

 

II. Project distribution:
This project wants to enhance the environmental awareness of the rural population in Vayot Dzor
region of Southern Armenian and address some of the issues related to waste disposal problems and
to growing energy consumption in the region. This will be achieved through the transfer of knowledge
during the environmental seminars and secondly, with a number of practical small-scale pilot projects,
which all aim to raise awareness for the change of people´s habits towards a more sustainable
lifestyle.
Since the environment is a matter of concern to all of us, the proposed project was thought to be a
pilot project by Syunik-Development NGO in Armenia and organised as one of the Twinning
Partnership projects with the Christian Institute for Environment OAV in the Czech Republic and the
European Christian Environmental Network.
Before the onset of today’s modern age of globalization and technological innovation, the earliest
environmental problems caused by people were local in nature. Many of today’s environmental
problems are local, where “local” may refer to a municipal jurisdiction, a neighbourhood or even a
specific property such as a dump or industrial site. Air, water and soil pollution are all specific
examples of environmental problems that have a major impact on the local, community level.
Localized forms of pollution not only affect the immediate communities they take place in, but have an
increasingly negative impact for the entire global community and on global environment. In this
context the missing concepts for the disposal household waste has a huge environmental impact and
causes serious problems for communities in rural Armenia. The ever-increasing waste, especially the
usage of plastics is creating huge challenges for local administrations. Until recently most waste would
be damped in landfill sites and eventually rot. In other villages, where no transport could be organized
the waste would simply be burnt. However, these methods are no longer viable as more and more
plastics and especially plastic bags are used for packaging. There plastics will not rot and tend to
produce toxic substances when burnt. Therefore, developing a viable waste disposal concept is a high
priority of the Armenian government and of local communities. Our project will address the issue and
hopes to make a contribution in awareness building among local community members.
This project will also help to address the growing energy crisis amidst the global warming and point to
the untapped resources of renewable energies, especially solar energy in our region. Climate change
and the unsolved issue of Armenia’s ageing atomic power station, which is placed in an earthquake
zone, makes the change to renewable energy sources all the more urgent. The project will help to
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prepare for a follow up project, where it is planned to build a demonstration centre of renewable
energy to explain the usage and the benefits of solar energy to local people.
Environmental problems are relatively new and have overwhelmed local people and authorities in
recent years. This project wants to address these issues and create an open forum, where the
growing environmental challenges can be discussed. The project wants to encourage people to take
responsibility for the wellbeing of their environment as their own quality of life and the whole economic
development of the region depends on it.
III. Target groups:
Church members and priests:
The Vayots Dzor region of Armenia is presently struggling with a number of environmental problems,
such as waste disposal, mining and energy- and water supply issues. This situation is well known to
the local Church, which wants to help people to improve the environmental situation and promote
awareness building about the ecological challenges among the local population.
Local authorities and community representatives:
Presently, the deteriorating environmental situation meets our authorities and local population
helpless. A lack of awareness and the absence of knowledge about the environment become obvious,
therefore the involvement of local authorities becomes essential for the success of the project.
Local community members:
No amount of environmental legislation, policy formulation, or imaginative project implementation can
succeed without the active participation and support at all levels of society through public awareness.
It remains critical to have educated and engaged community members. Day-to-day actions of
community members and civil society have a huge influence on the environment. The main driving
force for reducing the damage on the environment, locally and globally is currently seen in awarenessraising educational activities, which form the main objective of this project.
IV. Core Activities Proposed:
Environmental awareness courses: In the first phase of the project three environmental awareness
courses will be organised for local community members, where all participants receive an overview on
the current challenges – and the consequences of global climate change for the region. Each course
will be organised for 15 participants for two days in Yeghegnadzor, Vayk and Jermuk communities of
Vayots Dzor. Each participant will receive at the end of the course a certificate and work as an agent
of change in their respective communities to solve some of the most urgent environmental issues.
Landscape cleaning operation: After the environmental course we will start and clean a designated
area of waste in cooperation with the local authorities. This will be an initiative to raise public
awareness and to mobilise people and authorities to do something for the development of an
environmentally friendly waste disposal concept for the region.
Small scale environmental projects: In order to increase the visibility and the effectiveness of the
project all participants are called upon to submit a small-scale project, which could improve the
ecological situation in their local community. A committee of four people from Syunik Development
NGO and the course trainer will select up to three applications that will be awarded with a grand for
the implementation of their project proposal. The maximal grant that can be awarded to one
application can be up to 10 00 €. The winning small-scale projects prove, that people care about
their environment and that small steps can make a difference in improving the environmental situation
in a local community.
Two pilot projects for a waste disposal plan: Two local communities will be selected for developing
a waste disposal plan in cooperation with local authorities. As part of this plan waste bins will be set
up and emptied by the local authority. These examples will serve as a pilot project for other
communities in the region.
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V. Project overall Goal:
To increase awareness among Vayots Dzor region’s church membership, local
authorities and community members about local and global environmental problems in
order to change people’s habits towards a more sustainable lifestyle.
VI. What we will achieve:
1. The implementation of three seminars of two days on relevant environmental issues and a
landscape cleaning operation. Each course participant will be issued a certificate.
2. Participants are invited to apply for three small-scale projects in their respective communities
to address relevant local environmental issues.
3. The partnership between civil society and local authorities has been strengthened by
developing local waste disposal plans.
Vii. Indicators for the project success:
1. When at least 45 beneficiaries take successfully part in the environmental courses and
received their own certificate.
2. 3 small scale projects have been successfully implemented by seminar participants at the end
of the project.
3. At least two villages have developed a waste disposal plan and installed waste bins, which
could serve as best example for the other communities in the region.
VII. Innovative and original nature of the project:
Innovative about the project is the link between theory and praxis during the seminars. People will be
motivated by achieving a higher level of understanding of environmental challenges and by being able
to implement small scale projects in practice themselves.

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