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Restoration of the Waterland Ecosystems in the old riverbad in Armenia

armenia2Khazer Ecological and Cultural NGO with the financial support of GEF SGP/WWF Armenia is implementing the "Restoration of the Waterland Ecosystems in the old riverbad of Akhuryan River upper stream" starting from July of 2012. The lake Arpi is located in North-Western part of Armenia: Ashotsk plateau. In 1950 in Akhuryan inflow was build a dam and it became a lake-reservoir, which as a result impaired the water quality of the river.
Althogh the old flow of Akhuryan river was destroyed the rich biodiversity typical for this area is under danger because Arpi Lake became a reservoir and the water from the Akhuryan River flew to the chanel. There are types which are in danger of disappearance such as Candok (Nuphar lutea (L.) Smith), Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) Common crane (Grus grus). This biodiversity and its' survival depend mainly on the hydrological regime, and in the case of its violation the ecological balance of ecosystem is violated as well.

The project objective is to improve the environmental conditions of Akhuryan River upper stream area surrounding wetlands serve, to create conditions necessary for biodiversity, to protect vanishing Candok (Nuphar lutea (L.) Smith) last residual population, as well as many other species of the same status of biodiversity, to improve the preservation and restoration of biodiversity. The goal of the project is the restoration of Akhuryan River old inflow wet areas, the ecosystem approach which purpose is the biodiversity in-situ conservation. Special emphasis will be made on public (including municipal) property management problem.armenia1
Since July we organized:

  • 9 visits to the Shirak Marz, where the project implementers had meetings and seminars with the communities of the surrounding villages, representing them the goals and objectives of the project.
  • Were collected the seeds of Candok (Nuphar lutea (L.) Smith)
  • Were made visual-photographs.
  • Meetings with the communities, the community are regularly participating in monitoring and evaluation processes, with in advance introduction to the methodology.
  • Placed signboards
  • Water monitoring of the old flow of Akhuryan River, water temperature, water and river's floor pH and some elements of the content.
  • Constructions, metal pipe installation and 2 dams.

armenia3As a result the water in natural old flow of Akhuryan River has been added with 10 l/sec. spring water and the level has risen for more than 40 cm. The increase in population of Candok (Nuphar lutea (L.) Smith) and the reintroduction in Arpi and Ardenis lakes of this plant with the seeds that were collected is expected in 2013.armenia4

Zaruhi Stepanyan
Khazer Ecological and Cultural NGO