Foundation for the Preservation of
Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC)


FPWC began in 2002 to address a lack of environmental concern in Armenia since its independence in 1991. It established the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge in 2011 through the leasing of land from local communities. Their work takes place within the Caucasus Biodiversity Hotspot and is focused on the connections between wildlife protection and environmental education. They engage with rural populations to assist with the sustainable development of their communities. Mutual respect between human beings, natural wealth, and cultural heritage is at the centre of their operations.



FPWC was founded by Armenian filmmaker Ruben Khachatryan alongside zoologist Hrach Ghazaryan. The organisation is rooted in the need to illustrate Armenia’s unique natural heritage and raise awareness of conservation issues, especially among young people.

In 2011, 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 over 26,000 hectares in the mountains of Armenia. In 2016, they established the first native tree nursery in Armenia which has aims to help reforest and restore this degraded landscape.
Since its creation, the rangers who take care of this refuge have been employed from local villages. Each day they navigate the undulating mountainous terrain of the refuge to conduct daily patrols, looking 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 and other support provided by FPWC which they can use to make improvements to their villages.

A view of the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge
Partnership with WLT

WLT has been partnered with FPWC since 2010, and the support provided is focused on the maintenance and protection of the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge. This is the first privately protected area in the South Caucasus and secures vital habitat where species from Europe, Asia and the Middle East meet.

In 2023, WLT launched a Plant a Tree appeal to support FPWC with funds to plant 700,000 trees between 2023-2027.



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Other Activities

SunChild Eco-club network

SunChild provides environmental education for children and youth mostly located in remote rural communities..

SunChild International Environmental Festival

Organised annually since 2007, the festival program includes wildlife and environmental films from all over the world, as well as workshops, exhibitions and media campaigns..

SunChild EcoTours

FPWC focuses on ecotourism to create economic opportunities for rural Armenians, and build respectful relationships between cultural heritage and nature.

Wildlife Rescue Centre (WRC)

FPWC founded WRC in 2016 in cooperation with Armenia’s Ministry of Nature Protection and Ministry of Emergency Situations. The WRC’s mission is to rescue and care for all injured wild animals. Notably, WRC has a long-term rescue project to tackle the widespread issue of captive brown bears in Armenia.

Bezoar Goat standing on top of a mountain

Awards and other achievements

In 2022, FPWC’s Ranger Team was awarded the 2022 World Commission on Protected Areas International Ranger Awards by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).


Contact Details

Director and Founder of FPWC: Ruben Khachatryan