ArmInfo. Ecological tasks and in particular the issues of ensuring the conservation and restoration of forests are among the priorities of the Armenian government. This was stated by the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan on October 22 at the first ''Forest Summit: Global Action and Armenia'' organized by the Armenia Tree Project and the Hakobyan Environmental Center of the American University in Armenia.
According to Pashinyan, unfortunately, Armenia has long faced the challenge of reducing the viability of forest areas. This negative phenomenon, as the prime minister pointed out, originated in the first years of independence of Armenia, in particular due to problems in the energy sector. Then, such a thing as global climate change was added to this factor. "It is known that environmental problems never arise in isolation, they always have a global impact, and therefore require joint solutions," he said.
According to the head of government, many international partners of Armenia have already developed and implemented sustainable and effective programs to overcome global environmental challenges. According to Pashinyan, the Armenian experience may also be of interest to many.
In particular, thanks to the Armenia Tree Project, over 6 million trees have been planted over the past 25 years. "However, the program's scope is not limited to this: serious investments have been made in the development of rural communities, jobs have been created and educational programs have been implemented. I am convinced that the Armenia Tree Project will continue to contribute to the sustainable development of the country," the prime minister said. He expressed hope that the Armenia Tree Project will also take part in the implementation of the strategic program to double the forest territories of Armenia by 2050.
Nikol Pashinyan reminded the participants of the conference about the initiative of the RA government to plant 10 million trees in October 2020. "I hope the initiative will be the first significant event in this direction," he said. In addition, as Pashinyan pointed out, recently the government of the republic allocated 424 million drams for the program on reforestation of Armenia, which will be launched before the end of the year. Thus, as the prime minister pointed out, by the end of 2019, about 500 thousand seedlings will be planted on 140 hectares. The program will create about 1 thousand jobs, currently more than 500 jobs remain vacant: 300 jobs in the Lori region, 200 in Tavush and 50 in Syunik. "So, dear compatriots who want to join the process on a reimbursable basis, please contact the regional department of Armforest SNCO," Pashinyan said.
In order to ensure the preservation of forests, as the head of government emphasized, the new government introduced significant changes to the Criminal Code and the Code of Administrative Offenses, increasing sanctions for illegal tree felling. According to him, these measures are unprecedented and testify to the commitment of the Armenian government to the preservation and restoration of forests. Expressing special gratitude to the American philanthropist, public figure and president of the Board of Trustees of the Armenian Assembly of America Carolyn Mugar for the establishment of the Armenia Tree Project, Nikol Pashinyan said that in connection with the 25th anniversary of the program, a decision was made to create a Mugar Square in Margahovit forest.
To recall, on October 16, when speaking the "Global Innovation Forum-2019", the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan stated: "Our government has developed an ambitious program that should reach its peak on October 10, 2020. On this day we plan to plant 10 million trees in the country - on the 10th day of the 10th month, which will mark the solidarity of 10 million Armenians around the Armenian statehood and Armenia. "