In 2018, Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment (AWHHE) conducted a project, “Support of the development of Green Climate Fund project and capacity building development in Armenia”
The project Support of the development of Green Climate Fund project and capacity building development in Armenia (https://awhhe.am/2018-support-of-the-development-of-green-climate-fund-project-and-capacity-building-development-in-armenia/) was implemented with financial support from The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) under the FAO YUNGA programme. In frame of the project, AWHHE gathered baseline household data and data about the development and distribution of environmental education resources.
(1) rural household survey was conducted, which established baselines of energy use and type (wood, gas, etc.) at different times of the year and determined the main drivers of forest and other natural resource degradation focusing on women as actor of change of natural resource management;
(2) electronic versions of the YUNGA resource materials were prepared in Armenian language (challenge badges on climate change, nutrition and forestry) for distribution and use in Armenia environmental education network.
Brief summary of the household survey
In 2018, Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment (AWHHE) conducted a household survey as part of activities for the provision of “Support for the development of Green Climate Fund” project and capacity building development in Armenia”.
The household survey contributed to the FAO Strategic Objective 2 – Make agriculture, forestry and fisheries more productive and sustainable; organizational outcome 2.2 countries developed or improved policies and governance mechanisms to address sustainable production, climate change and environmental degradation in agriculture, fisheries and forestry; output 2.2.1 policies, strategies and investment programmes formulate, in support to sustainable agriculture, forestry and fishery, and address climate change and environmental degradation. The survey was conducted under FAO UNGA Programme and contributed to FAO support to the Government of Armenia in developing its Green Climate Fund capacities and project portfolio for achieving its commitments under its (intended) nationally determined contribution (I)NDC under the UNFCCC Paris Agreement.
AWHHE used a household survey template provided by FAO to undertake household survey, the work was based on the agreed criteria. The provinces (marzes) and villages where the household surveys was undertaken were determined in coordination FAO and Hyantar. The survey was conducted in 28 villages in three Armenia’s marzes: Tavush, Lori and Syunik.The work also ensured the engagement with local communities (the administration/ mayors of the villages). The criteria of selection of individuals to be interviewed were determined based on village, household structure as well as location of the villages compared to forested areas. The compiled numeric data was provided in one excel sheet to allow easy elaboration of the data and the non-numeric responses (worded replies) are provided in a word document. The information is also provided in a gender disaggregated form.
Key findings/ AWHHE observations
During the survey, AWHHE made observations regarding the key barriers and enabling factors which could be created in developing an overview/vision and roadmap of women’s engagement in forest management. One of key observations reflected a more active social role of women in rural Armenia. The biggest challenge seemed to be the lack of awareness about the forest and pasture management, particularly among women. The public participation in particular women in related decision-making was therefore low.
Women seemed to be more active in decision-making in the following circumstances: (a) when women have to assume responsibility as head of the household, e.g. in the households where men are away from home for considerable time period due to outmigration, as well as where women are widowed or divorced; (b) when women in the families are employed or are engaged in public activities, that is are more indepenent; (c) when there is a participatory setting in the culture of decision-making in an individual family.
In families where women are not employed (housewives) and where the traditional role of men as decision-makers is predominant, the female respondents were passive in their answers and they did not express willingness to participate in management processes; generally these women are less informed. Howerver, given the fact that women are more often responsible for household cores (cooking, washing, etc.) and creating general family comfort environment, there seems to be an enabling factor when it comes to engaging women in decisions related to the use of natural resources, forest conservation and climate change.
The survey results, as well as the observations of the survey interviewers showed that wood is the most widely used fuel for heating.Generally, gas is used more than wood for cooking. The rest of respondents use wood, liquid gas and electricity. The use of gas, electricity and liquid gas during the cold season is reduced due to wood consumption. The women prefer using gas for cooking, as it is easier, faster and more comfortable. This is also seen in those villages which are not gasified. In these villages during hot season, the people prefer liquid gas to wood. During the cold season, some respondents of the villages both gasified and without gasification use wood in order to save money as gas compared to wood is more expensive.
Due to the war erupted at the end of September, most of the population of Artsakh found refuge in Yerevan and neighboring communities. Underage male members, female, elder members of the community, people with disabilities coming from a war zone, losing their relatives, houses experienced immense stress and were left to bear the consequences of war alone. Many refugees report that they rely on finding support on their social network more than on the support offered by the state. Many families, guesthouses and hotels immediately offered shelter, before the government officials were able to fully respond to the issue. For many hosts their hotel/guesthouse was the main source of income, the arrival of Artsakh refugees led to financial difficulties.
Refugees, especially women and children, have difficulty adapting to the realities of life in Armenia, as the host country itself is going through economic and social hardships with huge pressure on the safety nets and declining economic activity, combined with the complete uncertainty about the assistance that the state supposedly had to provide. While there is big desire from the international and Armenian community to help, the efforts are often not well targeted.
The Swiss Sourire vers I’Avenir Foundation offered generous financial help to the hotels and house owners where Artsakh people found refuge, in the towns of Yerevan and Dilijan.
The project consisted of 2 trimesters. First one, directed to offer relief aid to hotels in form of payments of rent and/or utility bills, during the harsh months of the winter. The relief aid ensured the safe stay of more than 130 Artsakh people (around 27 families). During the second trimester the project, funds were allocated towards rent payments for 9 Artsakh family refugees (80 people) living mainly in the Town of Dilijan.
The shelters that have been provided to refugees have enabled them to have time to adapt to the new environment and life of Yerevan and Dilijan, find a job and resolve housing issues for the future
Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment NGO (AWHHE) gathered baseline household data and data about the development and distribution of environmental education resources. The project was implemented with financial support from The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) under the FAO YUNGA programme.
YUNGA Environmental Education Work
Formed in 2009, the Youth and United Nations Global Alliance (YUNGA) is a partnership between United Nations agencies, civil society organizations and other entities that work with children and young people. YUNGA acts as a gateway for children and youth from around the world to participate in the activities and initiatives of the United Nations. YUNGA seeks to empower children and young people to have a greater role in society, raise awareness and become active agents of change. YUNGA aims to engage young people in activities of key environmental and social concern at both national and international levels.
Project Duration: 2017-2018
Target Communities: For the survey were selected Lori, Tavush and Syunik provinces of Armenia. In this provinces were selected those communities that were located at the nearest to or farthest distance from the dense forests.
Project Goal: Support to the Government of Armenia in developing its Green Climate Fund capacities and project portfolio to contribute to its achieving its commitments under its (intended) nationally determined contribution NDC under the UNFCCC Paris Agreement. For the provision of “Support for the development of Green Climate Fund project and capacity building development in Armenia” there was conducted household survey by AWHHE NGO. The survey was conducted in 28 villages in three Armenia’s provinces.
Project objective: The project will contribute Armenia to develop or improve policies and governance mechanisms to address sustainable production, climate change and environmental degradation in agriculture, fisheries and forestry.
Project Outcomes: The outcomes are (1) completed rural household survey which establishes baselines of energy use and type (wood, gas, etc.) at different times of the year and determine what are the main drivers of forest and other natural resource degradation focusing on women as actor of change of natural resource management, (2) electronic versions of the YUNGA resource materials: challenge badges on: climate change, nutrition and forestry and its distribution and use in Armenia environmental education network.
Project Activities implemented within the framework of the project:
The selection of households was done in a multi-layered way to ensure that the full picture of each community is reflected.
For additional information please visit FAO website: http://www.fao.org/yunga/resources/challenge-badges/en/
Additional information materials:
Forest Challenge Badge: http://www.fao.org/3/a-i3479e.pdf
Climate Change Challenge Badge: http://www.fao.org/3/a-i5216e.pdf
Nutrition Challenge Badge: http://www.fao.org/3/a-i6590e.pdf
On the 14th of June 2016, the solemn opening ceremony of a kindergarten took place in the village of Ditak of Ararat province of Armenia. The dream of 40 children became a reality. They will attend a kindergarten of their dreams, where all conditions are provided for their education and leisure. Renovation and reconstruction of the kindergarten has become possible thanks to the generous financial support from the Swiss Sourire vers I’Avenir Foundation. All the work connected with the operation of the kindergarten was carried out under coordination of the “Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment” NGO. During the event, the NGO thanked all national and international organizations and individuals who have brought their contribution to the fulfillment of children’s dream. Words of gratitude were conveyed to the government of Armenia, Ararat regional administration, Mrs. Silva Atolikyanin and Mrs. Tivol Kalandgyan from the United States, as well as the OSCE Yerevan Office and a number of individual donors.
The network of key stakeholders /governmental and NGOs/ is created for strengthening effective anti-trafficking strategies in Armenia.
Public awareness on trafficking issue and its connection with poverty is increased.
Cross-sector sustainable dialogue between governmental bodies, NGOs and media on anti-trafficking issue is established.
Healthy Environment for Our Children – Healthy Generation for Armenia