ABOUT THE PROJECT
WHO WE ARE
The Green Rangers of Armenia for Sustainable Lifestyles and Education (GRA-SLE) is the students’ group created under the “Encouraging young specialists to power the agri-food value chains and building sustainable business models” project, which is implemented jointly by the “Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment” NGO (AWHHE) and the University of Chile, Energy Center (CE-FCFM).
The project is funded through the Sustainable Lifestyles and Education (SLE) programme of the One Planet Network. The SLE programme is co-led by the Ministry of Environment of Japan and the Government of Sweden, represented by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES, https://iges.or.jp/en) and Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI, https://www.sei.org/) respectively. The project was selected through an open call for proposals for Sustainable Lifestyles and Education Programme with the financial support of the Government of Japan.
The project will contribute to the SLE programme by developing and replicating sustainable lifestyles in the academic and economic areas. In the academic area, the project will develop the Sustainable Rural Internship/Academic Program in cooperation with the Institute of Energy and Electrical Engineering of the National Polytechnic University of Armenia. The micropilot to be conducted in Solak community under this project will develop Sustainable Business Models for agri-food value chains. The university students will work jointly with the Solak community to seek and introduce various clean energy solutions along the agri-food chains that are most popular among the Solak farmers.
The overall objective is to promote healthier lifestyles and power agri-food value chain by developing sustainable business models and encouraging young specialists to jointly-build capacities with Armenian rural communities.
- To promote educational and productive cooperation activities among young specialists, from universities and agricultural schools, with cooperatives, NGOs and private companies, encouraging faster renewable technologies adoption in rural communities, validating and demonstrating their effectiveness and benefits.
- To develop methodologies for analyzing the energy performance of agri-food value chains in rural communities in Armenia, identifying opportunities for better renewable energy integration, the introduction of efficiency improvements and product differentiation with local and sustainable identity.
- To introduce better lifestyles in rural communities by encouraging the development and adoption of sustainable business models and healthier agri-food production and consumption.
- To design and implement academic and internship programs to encourage and guide university and agricultural students to jointly build capabilities with rural communities, developing and implementing sustainable projects at the different agri-food value chain stages.
- To implement micropilot projects in Armenian as demonstrative experiences and Community Learning Centers (CLCs) for the student and community members.
- To identify and explore renewable energy incentive tools, including financing and net-billing instruments, developing market strategies for better product collocation and marketability
- Powering agri-food value chain examples in Armenia. The micropilot project will serve as community learning center for young specialists and template for new projects.
- Sustainable Rural Internship/Academic Programs for local universities and technical/agriculture schools.
- Methodologies and handbooks to identify and implement Sustainable Business Models for agri-food value chains in rural communities, collecting the experience and best practices developed during the micropilot implementation.
- Outreach and communication plans for both countries, showing to other local organization the technologies and the structure of the projects.
- Launch of the “Encouraging young specialists to power the agri-food value chains and building sustainable business models” project
- Project page at One Planet Network – Encouraging young specialists to power the agri-food value chains and building sustainable business models
- The academic program flyer
- Academic institutions
- Private companies
The territory of the Republic of Armenia is composed of ten marzes (regions) and Yerevan city which is governed by the law on local self-government in the city of Yerevan. Public administration in the marzes is governed by RA President’s decree “On public administration in the marzes of the Republic of Armenia” and other legal acts.
Marz governors implement the regional policy of the government. They coordinate the activities of local branches of the executive authority, except as otherwise specified by law.
Solak: Needs and Opportunities
Height above sea level is 1650 m. Solak has a population of 2678. The territory is 3020 square km. The community has a school, a library, a house of culture, a kindergarten and an ambulatory health care unit.
The villagers are engaged in cattle breeding, vegetableand grain growing.
- Solak Mayor and Administration, (contacts)
- Solak Women’s Resource Center
The Center was created in the frame of the WECF-France and AWHHE project with the Rhône-Alpes region of France . It helps the local women farmers in their agricultural activities for implementation of sustainable agriculture through the reduction of usage of pesticides, production and usage of plant tinctures, compost and biohumus and implementation of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The women of the center grow, produce and sell the following products: dried fruit, lentils, spelt, dry beans, herbs for tea-making, honey, home-made noodles, dried squeezed yogurt, fried ground wheat, cheese, traditional bread (lavash) and pastry. With the support of the One Planet Network, the Center’s solar fruit dryer was equipped with solar panels . The women farmers who are trained in the technique of drying products by solar energy and its advantages are sharing the knowledge with women farmers from other villages. Also, with AWHHE support, the trained women farmers established an experimental plot with a small 90m2 greenhouse. AWHHE provided the necessary infrastructure, such as electricity, irrigation and drinking water supply as well as agricultural instruments and tools. Thus, the Center is creating income-generation opportunities for the women farmers.
- Water User Association (WUA) (contacts)
PHOTOS, VIDEOS AND PUBLICATIONS
24B, Baghramyan Ave.,
This initiative is funded through the 10YFP Trust Fund established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The project was selected through an open 10YFP Trust Fund Call for Proposals for Sustainable Lifestyles and Education Programme with the financial support of the Government of Japan.
Project duration: May 2017 – October 2018
The main objective of the project
The project main objective is to contribute to the SLE Programme of the 10YFP objective 3 (Develop tools and incentives, provide capacity-building for achieving sustainable lifestyles and disseminating good practices) by promoting the practical use of renewable energy and energy efficiency in rural Armenia for climate change mitigation and environmental sustainability.
The project specific objectives are:
- Strengthen the target communities providing them with modern mechanisms for solar energy use, opportunities to enhance local initiatives for improving quality of life and the environment;
- Reduce energy costs (up to 50%) of the involved communities via implementation of renewable solar energy pilots
In 2020, the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) published a report that includes Armenia project, Co-Creating Sustainable Ways of Living 17 Stories of On-the-Ground Innovations. For details please visit:
Project activities implemented within the framework of the project:
Information materials produced within the framework of the project:
- Construction of a Solar Dryer
- Use of Solar Energy in Water Heaters
- Outdoor Lighting and Street Lighting
- Solar oven
- Armenia video in the One Plante’s 360 video series – video
Power Point Presentations
Empowerment & Local Action (ELA)
Building the capacity of poor local communities in rural areas.
Project name: “For Sustainable and Environmentally Sound Rural Armenia ”
Duration: January 2008 – January 2011
Location: 6 villages in Kotayk and Ararat Marzes
Funded by: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands
Special objective: To build capacity of poor rural communities, local citizens’ organizations, contributing to sustainable implementation of MDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 by increasing awareness and commitment amongst decision makers in public, governmental sectors and civil society; establishing partnership and strengthening collaboration between stakeholders; advocating human rights, supporting women equal participation in rural development processes.
Ecosan: The main objective related to ecosan activities in frame of ELA project was promotion of sustainable sanitation in rural areas. For this purpose AWHHE continued to monitor m aintenance of all toilets (3 school and 28 household toilets) constructed in the framework of ELA and TMF projects.
Household toilets: During the monitoring of the household toilets attention was paid to the proper use and maintenance of facilities. Monitoring showed that out of 28 ecosan toilets 23 toilets were used by the households. Not using of the ecosan toilets was explained that they were constructed only for guests. The trainings on ecosan products usage were organized for the villagers in Hayanist. 10 households (45.47%) used ecosan produce as a fertilizer. Urine diluted with water was used by 6 households on average 2-8 times in total. It was used for potato, pepper, cucumber, egg-plant, bean, vegetable marrow and fruit-trees. No substantial difference in crop yield was noticed. Faeces were used by 4 households. The 2 of the households used it after composting: one simply composted the faeces but has not used it yet, and the other made compost using worms and currently uses it like biohumus. The other two households after keeping faeces for an appropriate period of time used it for garlic and pepper, but as the householders stated no significant changes in crop yield were observed.
As a contribution to ecosan activity, salaries for maintenance of the school eco-toilets in Hayanist and Fantan are provided by the school administrations. Despite many householders had their contribution to construction of toilet at present they do additional works: facing, plastering, tiling etc.
Eco-sanitation generated more demand for such toilets .
Drinking water: The new water pipeline (length – 350m) is laid on in Hayanist and 20 households have access to drinking water. Out of the total cost 61% was the contribution of AWHHE and 39% in cash – local authorities. Construction of the new pipeline helped more families to have access to safe drinking water.
AWHHE jointly with WECF organized the training for teachers and AWHHE staff on WSP in May. As a result of the discussion with WECF 2 WSP small projects were developed for 2 village schools: Dzoraghbyur and Solak. 6 samples of drinking water for testing on presence of nitrates in water in 6 project villages were taken and tested. In addition during the organized training teachers were brought 3 water samples from each village (Dzoraghbyur and Solak). In 2 samples from Dzoraghbyur and Solak the amount of nitrates was above standard (more than 100 mg/l).
AWHHE continuously carries out a visual monitoring of the water sources and quality of water from 6 villages. Mainly w ater from three sources in Dzoraghbyur permanently has had microbial contamination during the last five years. 47 samples of drinking water for microbial investigation were taken and tested in 2009. 16 samples (34%) did not meat national requirements for drinking water quality. Water samples have been analyzed by the Republican Center of Disease Control.
Agricultural activities: Tree planting was organized in Solak village. On both sides of the road leading to the village 200 poplars were planted, and 40 poplars were planted in the school yard. Tree planting was organized also in Fantan school yard and yard of medical station. Altogether were planted 30 pear-trees and 20 apple-trees.
The studies and monitoring conducted in the village Fantan showed that there was a difference in quality between the fertilized winter wheat and the wheat which was not fertilized with biohumus. There was also a difference between different sorts of wheat. The yield of fertilized wheat was 1.5 times higher the control version. 7 ha of winter wheat seed were sown in fields without mineral ferilizers in Khachpar, Solak and Kaghsi villages. In case of growing the sort of tomato “Lia” a special attention was given to the ecological and economic efficiency of replacement of mineral fertilizers with organic fertilizers. There were carried out field observations and laboratory studies for nitrates accumulation specificity, the average weight, acidity, N, P, K, vitamin C, soluble carbohydrates, common carbohydrates in one fruit. The best result was observed in versions that were fertilized with biohumus combined with manure.
Certification of 2 organic orchards continued in the village Hayanist.
Improvement works were done in the school yards of Solak, Kaghsi, Hayanist, Fantan and Khachpar. Benches were made and installed in villages. The orchard in the schoolyard of Hayanist school was replenished with 70 seedlings of “Sateni” apricot sort, 6,5 m long and 1m wide road lying between the benches was paved with tiles and Junipers were transported and replanted along the road.
Plants’ protection activities continued to be conducted in the experimental orchards. Seven orchards in Hayanist, Dzoraghbyur and Solak were treated with herbal tinctures. To coordinate the agricultural activities in Kaghsi and Fantan were established agricultural centers. AWHHE provided these centers with spraying devices, dried plants for making tinctures, information materials and special films for dissemination. Each center has 10 members.
Farmers used the biohumus produced by them in their fields. The farmer from Khachpar sold his biohumus to “Armenian Tree Project” and got an income. As a result of AWHHE campaign a farmer from Aknalitch village, who has got a 2 ha green house for tomato growing, managed to persuade the administration of nearby located Arzni cattle-breeding farm of engagement in biohumus production and sharing the biohumus with him. After they had consulted with our farmer, they started up the biohumus production. The farmer benefited much from selling 300 000 worms and providing consultations.
AWHHE cooperated with ACDI VOCA organization that printed the brochure “Our Friend Compost” created by AWHHE for 22000 copies in order to distribute them among their farmers. Together with ACDI VOCA organization AWHHE produced a short film named “How to make compost”.
Energy: 3 solar water heaters were installed in Hayanist. The 3 households had their financial contribution which made 21% of the total cost. After the installation was completed, t he solar water heaters were handed over to the villagers. The agreements were signed. The main aim of these agreements is that the beneficiaries understand their responsibilities and become committed to manage and maintain the facilities.
Experience in solar water heating for local dwellers: 3 solar water heaters were installed for 3 households (15 people) in Hayanist. As a result people have hot water for household and personal hygiene needs. Even water gets so warm, that the household users need to cool it before using. The neighbors (11 people) also use hot water for their own needs.
Raising awareness activities: AWHHE conducted many educational and awareness activities. The main purpose of executed activities was to increase awareness about ecological sanitation, safe drinking water for all, sustainable agriculture and waste management and to get them interested in current ecological situation. Information materials including the already existing materials and new brochures and booklets were prepared, printed and disseminated. See sheet of publications. Lectures, trainings and workshops were conducted on health, sanitation, ecological agriculture and biodiversity for schoolchildren, teachers and local authorities.
AWHHE widely uses mass media in its work. Articles were published: on drinking water, pesticid es issue, organic farming, waste and landfill of obsolete pesticides in newspapers and electronic newspapers.
Capacity building of AWHHE: The ELA project led to increased capacity of organisation by sharing and exchanging lessons learned among other WECF organizations, building up knowledge, disseminating lessons learned at national, regional and international conferences. There is a clear increase in technical and management capacity of the organisation. Most notable was the increase in knowledge and skills related to ecological sanitation and water management. AWHHE actively participated in trainings on different topics organized by WECF in Georgia.
Two main categories of activities are distinguished: the provision of physical facilities like drinking water piping and solar water heaters and awareness and advocacy activities.
The implementation of organic agriculture is attractive and sustainable because it is implemented by farmers and therefore can be continued and expanded after project closure. Organic farming addresses actual environmental problems, and it also leads to increased income of the farmers. At the end of 2009, the certification process for two farmers have been in process.
Ecological Sanitation provides an easy technology to reduce environmental pollution. Its implementation improves the state of groundwater and soil by reducing the anthropogenic pollution. Besides the nutrients are returned to the soil thus generating a nutrient close cycle. Interst by the government (Water State Committee) and NGOs also shows that the ecosanitation will be introduced widely in Armenia.
Improvement of drinking water supply in Hayanist was one of the activities in 2007. The community of Hayanist asked to make an investment in water piping. A stronger sense of ownership and operation and maintenance resposibility were the keys for sustainability of the pilot. Positive experience encouraged AWHHE to continue and laid down pipes in new area of the village.
Healthy Environment for Our Children – Healthy Generation for Armenia
Project duration: November 2008 – March 2009
Location: Armenia, Kotayk Marz, Solak Village
The kindergarten in Solak village (Kotayk Marz) consists of 2 buildings: in one building stay children and the other one is the kitchen. The main building where the children stay has central cold water supply, but the kitchen lacks it. For dish washing and hygiene purposes water is brought in buckets from the main building.
In summer for the purpose of having warm water the employees put the bowls full of water under the sun, and in winter they have to heat it on a gas stove.
To contribute to energy saving through the use of alternative energy sources (solar energy).
- To promote the concept of using alternative energy by installation of one solar water heater in the kindergarten kitchen of Solak village.
- To introduce to the community the efficiency of using solar energy through awareness raising campaign.
Healthy Environment for Our Children – Healthy Generation for Armenia
The video gives a glimpse of the indoor air pollution situation in schools and in homes in some parts of Armenia with compelling interviews with school children. About 50% of the Armenian population regularly use biomass fuels for heating and cooking. Cooking and heating with solid fuels on open fires or traditional stoves results in high levels of indoor air pollution which can lead to various respiratory diseases and damage to the nervous system.
Directed by Inga Zarafyan
Duration: 15.49 minutes
Produced by AWHHE
Co-produced by WECF
With financial support by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Development Cooperation
Healthy Environment for Our Children – Healthy Generation for Armenia