Forestry Experts to Congregate in Armenia for Inaugural Forest Summit

One of the Green Belt Movement's tree nurseries in Kenya; the organization's founder, the late Wangari Maathai, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004
One of the Green Belt Movement's tree nurseries in Kenya; the organization's founder, the late Wangari Maathai, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004

One of the Green Belt Movement’s tree nurseries in Kenya; the organization’s founder, the late Wangari Maathai, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004

YEREVAN—As Armenia affirms its commitment to double its forest cover by 2050, Armenia Tree Project and the American University of Armenia Acopian Center for the Environment are proud to announce additional speakers heading to October’s Forest Summit: Global Action and Armenia.

The event features education, dialogue, and networking among the leading minds in forestry from Sunday, October 20 through Wednesday, October 23. The keynote address at the inaugural summit will be delivered by Dr. Anthony S. Davis, dean and professor at the College of Forestry at Oregon State University, which is recognized as one of the world’s leading forestry research, teaching, and extension institutions.

Joining Dr. Davis will be Dr. Glenn Bush, an environmental economist at Woods Hole Research Center, Dr. Omri Bonneh, Chief Forester at KKL-JNF, Israel’s largest afforestation organization; Dr. Maya Nehme, Executive Director of the Lebanon Reforestation Initiative; David Mathenge from the Green Belt Movement – an organization whose founder won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for the group’s activism and reforestation work in Kenya; and Carmen Argüello of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s Green Climate Fund.

“These speakers bring insights from forestry across five continents, and the partnerships, innovations, and practices needed to foster their continued growth,” stated ATP’s Deputy Director Jason Sohigian. “Armenia serves as a fitting host for this inaugural conference. Our NGO, for example, has planted nearly six million trees in Armenia since 1994. As scientific research has shown, trees and forests deliver benefits to the environment and biodiversity, as well as the economy – especially in rural areas.”

In addition to the insights and addresses from these talented speakers and panelists, the conference will provide field visits to tree planting sites in Armenia and to the beautiful Dilijan National Forest. At its core, the conference will foster discussion and collaborative dialogue on the conservation and reforestation efforts much needed in Armenia and countries across the world.

For more information about the conference, AUA Acopian Center for the Environment, or Armenia Tree Project, please visit the website.

The AUA Acopian Center for the Environment, a research center of the American University of Armenia, promotes the protection and restoration of the natural environment through research, education, and community outreach. The AUA Acopian Center’s focus areas include sustainable natural resource management, biodiversity and conservation, greening the built environment, clean energy, and energy efficiency, as well as information technology and the environment. Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values. For more information, visit the website.

Armenia Tree Project, a non-profit program based in Massachusetts and Yerevan, conducts vitally important environmental projects in Armenia’s cities and villages. Since 1994, ATP has made enormous strides in combating desertification in the biologically diverse but threatened Caucasus region. More than 5,700,000 trees have been planted and restored, and hundreds of jobs have been created for Armenians in seasonal tree-related programs. ATP works to further Armenia’s economic and social development by mobilizing resources to fund reforestation. These vital new trees provide food, wood, environmental benefits, and opportunities for economic growth. ATP has a full time staff of over 80 in Armenia. The Yerevan office manages four state-of-the-art tree nurseries and two environmental education centers, partners with villagers to create tree-based micro-enterprise opportunities, creates urban green belts for public use, restores degraded forest lands, and employs hundreds of part-time workers to plant new forests. For more information, visit the website.


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