Needs assessment for establishing regular hydrobiological monitoring in the Lake Sevan Basin


Project Title: Needs assessment for establishing regular hydrobiological monitoring in the Lake Sevan Basin

Project Time Period: November 2021 – July 2022

Funding: This assessment was part of the “Environmental Protection of Lake Sevan” (EU4Sevan) Project, co-financed by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project is implemented by GIZ under the umbrella of the ECOserve Programme and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Project description:

The goal of this assessment is to review the state of hydrobiological monitoring of Lake Sevan and the rivers that flow into it, analyze and highlight the needs in infrastructure and human capacity, and suggest a roadmap toward establishing a more comprehensive lake monitoring plan to ensure the ecosystem’s long-term sustainability. The assessment will particularly focus on 3 hydrobiological parameters (phytoplankton, phytobenthos, and macroinvertebrates) and offer guidelines for the sampling, analysis, and storage of these samples, as well as recommending specific methods and standards to ensure quality control and comparability of the produced data to international datasets.

The assessment is composed of the following components:

  1. Literature review of all previous publications on Lake Sevan’s aforementioned hydrobiological parameters. The list of publications will be added to AUA Acopian Center’s online domain libraries.
  2. Capacity assessment of monitoring stakeholder institutions. Through a series of interviews with key stakeholder institutions, we will identify the current efforts and available capacities for hydrobiological monitoring and assess the gaps needed to be filled for establishing high-standard regular monitoring of the Lake Sevan Basin.
  3. Organize a workshop with the relevant stakeholders (researchers and policymakers) to receive feedback on the capacity assessment, proposed methods, data sharing, and collaboration between key stakeholder institutions.
  4. Develop a roadmap towards the establishment of the regular monitoring of the hydrobiological parameters (phytoplankton, phytobenthos, and macroinvertebrates) in the coming years. Following the gap analysis and the feedback received during the workshop, and learning from the experience of other countries and the European Water Framework Directive, the research team will develop a roadmap detailing different methods and standards to follow to ensure the regular measurements of the aforementioned parameters in the Lake Sevan Basin. Efforts will be made to suggest innovative methods to minimize costs while ensuring the production of high-quality data. Lastly, the research will include specific recommendations for collaboration and data sharing between partner institutions to avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts, minimize costs, and establishment of a sustainable monitoring mechanism.

The published report will be available for download soon in both English and Armenian versions.