VAYOTS DZOR, Armenia – As a result of one of the winning projects of the Environmental Education Micro Project Competition, initiated by Vazgen Galstyan, a biodiversity group was established involving schoolchildren from the Gomk community in the Vayots Dzor Region. A group of 17 schoolchildren participated in environmental classes and practical activities on biodiversity.
At the beginning of the project, schoolchildren participated in introductory seminars on bird identification, followed by birdwatching activities near the village. Books titled “Birds of Armenia” and “The Nature of Armenia” were distributed to the participants for the classes. Topics of the class included the fauna and flora of Armenia, the Red Book of Animals and Plants of Armenia, and edible herbs and plants among others. Groups also learned how to identify various species from the Red Book, which are endemic to the region. Another practical class was held about creating and maintaining herbariums.
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 is financially supported by the Norwegian Embassy Small Grant Program. The aim of the Norwegian grant is 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.