ARMAVIR, Armenia – With the aim of raising awareness about the Armenian cochineal or Vordan Karmir, a critically endangered scale insect indigenous to the Ararat Plain and famous for the red dye derived from it historically. The “Essence of the Armenian Cochineal” project led by Galust Nanyan, engaged over 190 students throughout five communities of Armavir region, including Jrarat, Argavand, Eraskhahun, Eghegnut, and Arazap.
The project consisted of three seminars in September and October of 2015. Seminars included presentations and thematic film screenings to provide students with a deeper knowledge about the Armenian cochineal. In addition, the students toured the national reserve of the Araratian cochineal, the State Museum of Nature of Armenia, the Geological Museum of Armenia, and the Museum of Zoology of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia. Additionally, in several schools, informative posters and booklets were developed and distributed.
The project was one of the 10 winners of the Environmental Education Micro Project Competition. The winning projects represent the best from a pool of 130 applications from across the country. The competition was administered by the AUA Acopian Center for the Environment. A selection team, comprising EEN members, reviewed and made the final decisions on the competition’s winners.
The competition was financially supported by the Norwegian Embassy Small Grant Program. The aim of the Norwegian grant was to develop environmental education capacities in Armenia, including the establishment and strengthening of the Environmental Education Network (EEN), a learning partnership between civil society, educational institutions, government, and international organizations.
The AUA Acopian Center for the Environment (AUA ACE), a research center at the American University of Armenia, promotes the protection and restoration of the natural environment through research, education, and community outreach. AUA ACE’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.