01 Dec, 2020
Fruit tree distribution in Ashnak village after the war.
It has been an extremely difficult year for the entire world and even more so for Armenians. Despite the country facing crisis after crisis, Armenia Tree Project was able to fulfill its plans thanks to the continued support and generosity of its donors. In 2020, ATP planted more trees than ever before in its 26 years of environmental work.
A record-breaking 397,702 tree and shrub seedlings were planted throughout the spring and fall seasons. This year’s results bring the total number of trees planted by ATP since 1994 to 6,517,702.
The majority of plantings were carried out by ATP’s forestry program. The program also provided 229 temporary tree-related jobs to villagers to help alleviate some of the economic consequences brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Artsakh. ATP continued to support its full-time staff of 70 as well as around 40 families growing trees for ATP through the backyard nursery program.
The upsurge in tree numbers, which in previous years was 250,000 at most, is no accident but the outcome of ATP’s ambitious plans to expand tree production, especially with containers. With Armenia’s goal to double its forest cover by 2050 ahead, ATP is working to ensure it creates ideal conditions for a variety of tree species at its four nurseries. ATP intends to raise the number of trees it plants to half a million annually in the coming years and is taking calculated steps towards that goal.
Several improvements were made to ATP’s nurseries during the year, including the expansion of more modern irrigation systems, netting, plant containers, as well as the establishment of a new grafting facility. The goal is to keep progressing and scale up the use of these methods and technologies to optimize nursery work and seedling quality.
899,360 kg / 1,982,749 pounds of fruit were harvested from ATP’s trees in community sites across the country. In addition, over 8600 fruit trees were distributed to village households within the year.
“Although it’s difficult to rejoice over anything at the moment, we are certainly glad that our plans to plant more trees this year weren’t interrupted. In the future we will all celebrate the work that’s being done today because we’ll have a more secure and healthier homeland for it,” says ATP Operations Manager Arthur Harutyunyan. “Resilience is our nature. We have lots of important work to do and we have to keep going.”