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Kristine Aghalaryan

Armenia's Plan to Plant Ten Million Trees Flounders

Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan’s ambitious program to plant ten million trees in the country by October 2020 has not materialized.

Pashinyan announced the program at the 2019 Global Innovation Forum in Yerevan, saying the number was chosen to symbolize the unity of ten million Armenians worldwide around the reality of Armenian statehood.

Today, Environment Minister Hakob Simidyan confessed that due to the Covid-19 epidemic and the 2020 Artsakh War the grandiose project has remained unfulfilled.

While some saplings were planted, Hetq, in an October 2021 article, found that 90% of the 23,500 saplings planted in the country’s Armavir Province had withered and died.

“Some of the saplings were planted in parched areas, without adequate watering.   Other saplings were already dying when supplied. The attitude of the local authorities leads us to believe that the entire project was more a publicity event than a concerted effort to create mini-green spaces,” Hetq wrote at the time.

Simidyan said his ministry has yet to relaunch the project, adding that it plans to plant 1,000 hectares of forested land in 2024, totaling some one million trees.

The minister confessed that the maintenance of planted saplings remains a problem and that the ministry will review international field experience to boost survivability.

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