Switzerland on Thursday, April 15 launched a new development intervention to assist Armenia in its efforts in nature conservation and economic development. The Government of Switzerland approved in principle a grant worth of CHF 4’500’000 (around $4.9 million) for the “Living Landscapes for Market Development in Armenia” project.
In close cooperation with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the project will be implemented by the World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF) as a part of a broader regional program Eco-Corridor Fund for the Caucasus (ECF).
"Armenia’s mountain ecosystem is an important productive source for rural communities. However, its ecological status is rapidly deteriorating. The Swiss funded project “Living Landscapes for Market Development in Armenia” aims at improving incomes of farmers and rural businesses in remote areas, thanks to a better economic and more sustainable use of local natural resources. As an effort to link economic growth, protection of natural resources and biodiversity, it also contributes to promoting environment and climate change policies," WWF Armenia said in a press released on Thursday.
The preparatory stage of the project will last until 30.11.2021, with a budget of CHF 200’000. After that, the main phase of implementation will last for eight years, with funds amounting to CHF 4’300’000. The project will be implemented in Tavush, Lori, Syunik and Vayots Dzor provinces of Armenia.
"The Project translates principles and objectives of Switzerland’s foreign policy and development cooperation into action. Switzerland supports the transition of Armenia towards a market economy and contributes to ensuring that the country’s population benefits from inclusive economic development. Switzerland provides assistance in areas where it has a clear comparative advantage. Being a mountainous country, it has sharpened its knowledge and experience over many years of dealing with challenges related to such environment and ecosystems. The project is fully aligned with national policies and objectives," the press release reads.
"The project will build on the work and synergies with long existing SDC funded interventions, such as the “Livestock Development in the South and in the North of Armenia” and the “Improvement of Local Self-Governance System in Armenia” programs."