Join the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) to restore 300 hectares of degraded habitat in Armenia’s Caucasus Wildlife Refuge – located in one of the world’s most extraordinarily biodiverse and threatened regions.

With your support, FPWC can fulfil its mission to repair a landscape once characterised by old growth Oak and Juniper forests. The ecosystems in this region have become degraded over recent decades. They are also vulnerable to the effects of climate change, which is already disproportionately affecting Armenia. Your donations will help plant 700,000 trees in the degraded habitat of a multitude of irreplaceable species.


Restoring Armenia's Forests

Habitat restoration

Plant 700,000 trees from carefully selected native species

With funds raised, FPWC will plant over nine different tree species best suited to the landscape and needs of the local context and ecosystem. This ensures the right trees are planted in the right place. These trees will benefit both the human communities living in this landscape, and other species which find refuge here.

Habitat and migratory route for almost a third of the Caucasus mammal diversity

Around 44 different mammal species inhabit the region in which the trees will be planted. These include Syrian Brown Bear, Grey Wolf, and Eurasian Lynx. Endangered species, like the rare and Endangered Armenian Mouflon, also roam here. Importantly, your contribution to this project will help reforest one of only a few places left in Armenia where the 8-13 Endangered Caucasian Leopards live.

Opportunities for local people

Provide environmental jobs in a region affected by emigration

Community benefits have long been built into the conservation of the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge. A key part of this project is to provide sustainable jobs in a region affected by the out migration of people looking for work. Specifically, you will be supporting the employment of both seasonal workers and all year-round positions in the tree nursery. For the tree planting, FPWC also works with local people who know the landscape well, and carefully collect and process seeds of local native tree species.

Help reduce conflicts between humans and other animals in local villages

FPWC’s approach to planting native fruit trees aims to reduce conflicts between humans and other animals in nearby villages. Over recent decades, bears have suffered from a lack of nutrition which has led to attacks on beehives, orchards and, in some cases, chickens. This has particularly affected people already suffering from poverty. By supporting this project, you will help mitigate these issues by offering species vital food sources provided by the trees.

Improve water security in an area affected by drought

The mountains and slopes of the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge are a major watershed for downstream communities. However, they are increasingly affected by periods of drought. Trees have an important role in the reversal and prevention of the drying out of water sources. Planting trees in this area will benefit both people and the diversity of species living in this landscape.

Reducing vulnerability in a scarred landscape

This project will improve the conservation status of an important region of the Caucasus Biodiversity Hotspot. Large tracts of forest within this landscape were lost due to logging during Armenia’s post-Soviet years, when the country faced an energy crisis. Though the bulk of deforestation took place in the 1990s, the land has not yet been able to recover on its own. This is due to a compilation of issues including illegal logging, overgrazing, and wildfires.

Additionally, Armenia is affected by climate change more than the global average. This area is thus witnessing firsthand the escalating impacts of the climate crisis. Increased droughts and wildfires due to periods of very dry weather are becoming more common.

The absence of remaining forest areas and the threat of desertification means that natural regeneration is not a viable solution. Active reforestation is needed which means your support will make a tangible difference to this unique and complex ecosystem.

Tree planting in the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge
Eurasian Lynx
The Caucusus Wildlife Refuge

Since 2010, FPWC created the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge with the support of WLT and others to safeguard part of the Caucasus Biodiversity Hotspot. So far, they have safeguarded approximately 30,000 hectares in this mountainous region of Armenia. FPWC are well versed in tree planting. In 2016, they established the first native tree nursery in Armenia and have had a vital role in the protection of vital habitat where species from Europe, Asia and the Middle East meet.

Local people are at the core of the refuge’s operations. Since its creation, the rangers who take care of it have been employed from local villages. Each day they navigate the undulating mountainous terrain of the refuge to conduct daily patrols, always keeping an eye out for signs of threatened species and illegal hunting activity. They also play a vital role in firefighting when wildfires break out.

FPWC has enlisted over a dozen communities across Armenia’s Ararat and Vayots Dzor provinces to ensure the long-term sustainability of the reserve. The people in the region cede land to the refuge and benefit through lease payments which they can use to make improvements to their villages. FPWC ensure that nature conservation happens in conjunction with community needs and wellbeing. They therefore assist with a range of support initiatives, including the provision of solar panels for schools, and streetlight installation to increase people’s safety from wild animals at night. This project will build on FPWC’s legacy of community support.


Trees of Life


Each native tree species selected for this reforestation project has been selected for its specific role in the ecosystem. Wild Pear, Caucasus Apple, and Common Barberry offer fruits high in nutrition for animals, whilst the acorns from the Caucasian Oak trees are key in the diet of wild boars. Meanwhile, Juniper is used by vultures for nesting and Russian Olive, when planted in riparian areas, helps mitigate river erosion.


More Information

World Land Trust (WLT) partner FPWC have spent decades protecting a global biodiversity hotspot and starting this year, they can reforest a crucial section – with your help.


"Trees are a symbol of the continuity of life"


“Trees are a symbol of the continuity of life. In Armenia, the words for tree and mother have the same root. For us, it is essential we do this work because without trees there is no water, and without water there is no life.”

Ruben Khachatryan, Director and Founder of FPWC