Armenia successfully completes SGF training project


Armenia successfully completes SGF 2000 project "Regional training course on wetland management for technical staff of wetland conservation and management institutions in the new independent states of the European region"

During 15 days (9-23 September 2001), 19 participants from Armenia (6), Belarus (1), Georgia (3), Moldova (1), Russia (2) and Ukraine (6) lived and worked together with the teaching staff in the "House of Writers' Creation" (Armenia) with a magnificent view of the Lake Sevan. The course was intended for the staff of central and regional state environmental bodies, nature reserves, NGOs, research institutes and universities, international organizations, business. The core of lectures staff included experienced experts in wetland training and conservation from Armenia, Netherlands, Russia and Ukraine. The working language was Russian.

The organizers aimed to provide participants with the important knowledge and skills necessary for wetland management. Additional objective of the course was to provide participants with basic skills in computers. And last but not least the course was an excellent occasion to the participants to know and understand each other better than before.

The course venue, Writers' House on Lake Sevan

The course programme contained of lectures, workshops, fieldwork, excursions, meeting with stakeholders, presentations of outputs (management plans) and plenty of different cultural events. Various subjects were covered during the training: Introduction to the Wetlands (1,5 h lectures), Basic Ecology (3 h lectures), Inventory and Monitoring (5 h lectures), Wetlands Values (5 h lectures), Stakeholders Involvement (1,5 h lectures), Limiting Factors (3 h lectures), Wetland Restoration (5 h lectures), Management Objectives (4 h lectures), Management Problems and Measures (3 h lectures). The course set-up was based upon the international recognized Wetland Management and Wetland Restoration courses organized by the Wetlands Advisory and Training Centre of RIZA (The Netherlands).

Additional lectures and exercises were given to allow the participants to acquire or improve their skill in basic computer software as Windows, Word, Excel, Power Point, Access.

During the course participants, divided into two groups, prepared draft management plans for Lake Lichk and Torgom & Gevorg Fishponds.

Two resolutions were approved by the course participants. Resolution 1 treats problems in conservation and wise use of wetlands in the region and the need of regional transboundary cooperation such as creation of a regional wetland oriented NGO, common projects, data base, training, youth ecological education, promotion of wetland conservation, editing a regional information bulletin, editing a case study book of the regional experience in wetland management.

Resolution 2 expresses participants' concern about existence of the endemic species of fish Salmo ischchan occurring only in Lake Sevan and draws attention to immediate need of complex conservation measures to be taken.

The evaluation of the course by the participants is very high. Concerning the course contents positive opinion varies from 96% to 100%, mean 99%. To the organizational aspect were given grades from 4.04 to 4.96 (highest possible 5.0).

The course was organized by the NGO Professional and Entrepreneurial Orientation Union (briefly NGO Orientation) which already had experience of organization of First (1999) and Second (2000) National Armenian Courses on Wetland Management. Contribution to course organization was made by the NGO Stichting Felovolandschap (The Netherlands).

Financial support has been provided by the Ramsar Small Grants Fund with additional support of the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Kyiv, Office of the Agricultural Counsellor, MOU Programme, and in-kind support of the Ministry of Nature Protection of Armenia and Wetland Advisory and Training Center (RIZA, The Netherlands).

-- reported by Sergey Dereliev, Ramsar.

Group photo of the course participants

Interviews with stakeholders

A lecture session

Outdoor lectures

Management planning for Lake Lichk

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