Geographic information system (GIS) database of forest eco-system was created


The RA Ministry of Nature Protection in collaboration with the Regional Environmental Centre for Caucasus  (REC Caucasus) and with the financial support of Norwegian MFA under the regional project “Strengthen Cleaner Production policy and practice in the South Caucasus countries through applying integrated and preventive environmental strategy” there was created (GIS) database and economic assessment plans of relevant eco-system services in the forest territories adjacent to Koghb and Joujevan communities, the RA Tavoush region. The main goal of the regional project is to improve the capabilities of local communities and authorities for the objective of preventingbiodiversity and forest loss in the South Caucasus mountainous regions by improving biodiversity participation management as well as degraded forest ecosystem restoration and enhancement of their meaning through the practical application of the pilot projects. 

As a pilot research in the initial phase of the project implementation economic assessment of eco-system and biodiversity (including forest eco-systems) of the zones adjacent to the chosen areas, informational functions, with the aim of knowledge and experience exchange regional and national conferences were held, a research was done on forest resource usage in the target zones in Armenia: territories adjacent to Koghb and Joujevan communities.(GIS) database of forest eco-systemswas developed for the latter. Capability assessment was fulfilled on the local point for the involvement of the biodiversity conservation in the local development policy, sustainable utilization, and forest community management issues.  A seminar was delivered to decision making people and residents on biodiversity conservation, sustainable utilization, forest community management and other issues.

Due to the pilot programs the maps of community cadastres, forest assessment, soils, on a scale of 1:10 000, Landsat -7 and RapidEye satellite images, economic assessment database of ecosystems in Koghb and Joujevan communities were assembled.

Initial maps were developed including 5m isohypse section; river net classified according to river ranks, springs, roadways, electric wiring, cultural-historical monuments, residential and forest boundaries.

As a result of analysis, necessary information for the economic assessment of eco-systems was collected: a relief digital model, slope sideways, slope declivity, rainfall maps, and surface temperature maps. There were acquired overall, direct, scattered solar radiation and radiation duration images as a result of the analysis. The forest plans of Koghb and Joujevan communities with their relevant database were developed out of the RA forest management plan database.

The successful performance of the pilot project will enable to expand the geography of activities in the future by creating the geographic informational maps of new territories in the RA which will include materials assembled by the economic assessment methodology eco-system services and their application opportunities will be mentioned.