About Us

Daniel De Belder

Daniel De Belder, a Belgian entrepreneur and botanist is passionate about dendrology. A graduate from the University of Birmingham, he holds a major in Plant Physiognomy and Genetics. 
His parents, Robert De Belder and Jelena Kovacic are renowned botanist, authors of many scientific books. Robert De Belder founded the International Dendrology Society in 1952. Daniel is the co-founder of the Arboretum in Kalmthout, Belgium.
 
Daniel is concerned about global warming and is keen to see reforestation activities increase in the world while making sure to conserve biodiversity to ensure the balance of our fragile ecosystems.

John Stafford

John Stafford is a US financier and entrepreneur, living in London. A graduate from Harvard University, he is committed to philanthropy. After a career in investment banking, John founded in 2008 a solar panel company in the US installing large-scale solar projects with a novel financing model. To this day, he has installed more than 2.3 MW of renewable energy.

John and his family are concerned about global warming. In our western societies, our lifestyles and particularly flying contributes a lot to our carbon emissions. Planting trees is the only available tool we have today to offset our carbon emissions.

Dr. Gary Assarian

Dr. Gary Assarian is a practicing pathologist, and lives in Detroit, Michigan, USA. He holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Biology, and completed independent work in cellular botany and cellular mycology. In addition, he holds a medical degree and is certified in anatomic and clinical pathology. He is a medical entrepreneur and philanthropist focusing on Armenian related projects.  He and his wife have supported a number of projects and organizations which address the economic and social development of the Armenian people, both in the US and Armenia. 

My Forest Armenia offers a means to support Armenia’s efforts to adopt plans to responsibly manage its natural ecosystem.  This project will help Armenia fulfill its obligations agreed upon in the adoption of the Paris Climate Accord of 2015. The ecosystem approach to reduce greenhouse gases will ensure a healthy and stable environment. This will help Armenia prosper as a nation and global citizen. Also, in My Forest Armenia he found an opportunity to support the economic development of rural Armenia through local job training and meaningful employment.

Andrés Tahta

Andrés Tahta is an Argentine-Armenian professional with a career in telecoms and government. A graduate from Dartmouth College and MBA from Harvard Business School he is very concerned about the environment.

Andrés has always been passionate about trees. Maintaining and expanding forests are crucial to sustain life on our planet. He is happy to join and support the work that My Forest Armenia is doing.

Andre Gumuchdjian

Founder and Executive Director

Andre Gumuchdjian is a Belgian-Armenian philanthropist and entrepreneur. A graduate from Harvard University, he has been involved in different projects in Armenia and Artsakh since 2013.
Andre has decided to found My Forest Armenia because he feels future generations should not be burdened to clean up previous generations’ pollution. It is the moral duty of each of us to clean up our carbon emissions. Fortunately, there is a way to do that by planting trees.
As he got more involved in the project, Andre realized the crucial importance of forests for our living planet. Forests are incredibly complex ecosystems and associated with numerous aspects of life on earth. The biodiversity that it creates is essential for the human species to develop.
Andre provides the strategic vision of My Forests Armenia. He is responsible for the funding of the organization as well as financial and economic planning.

Vahe Martirosyan

Project manager

Vahe, a long time forest specialist, puts the necessary skills and knowledge to the service of My Forest Armenia to push it forward and develop its mission, vision and objectives. Together with the founder, he provides the strategic vision of the organization. Vahe’s previous work experience is forest restoration and nursery management. He worked on different projects for forestry development in Armenia. He holds a PhD in forest eco-physiology from the institute of Botany of the National Academy of Science of Armenia.

Taron Aleksanyan

Chief scientist

Taron is responsible for the technical aspects of the forest restoration projects and oversees the research program. He has a strong background in environmental modeling, geographic information systems technology and remote sensing. His previous work experience concerned natural ecosystems of Armenia, Climate Change and forest restoration. He holds a PhD from the institute of Botany of the National Academy of Science of Armenia. His published thesis was “Climate Change impact on some rare Armenian ecosystems”.

Ani Harutyunyan

Digital Marketing Specialist

Ani is responsible for developing, implementing, tracking and optimizing our digital marketing campaigns across all digital channels of My Forest Armenia. She has a strong grasp of current marketing tools and strategies and can lead integrated digital marketing campaigns from concept to execution.
Ani has a demonstrated history of working in civic & social organizations, as well as the marketing industry. Having a university degree focused on linguistics she is skilled in storytelling, content writing and copywriting. Over the past five years, Ani has been engaged in Digital Marketing and developed solid skills in Social Media and SEO.

Alla Yeghiazaryan

Administrative assistant

Alla is the administrative assistant of  My Forest Armenia. She supports managers and employees through a variety of tasks related to organization and communication.

She is responsible for managing and distributing information within the office. Being a student at the University of Languages and Social Sciences, she knows how to communicate with people and understand their needs.

Gagik Amiryan

Nurseries’ Manager

Gagik, an experienced silviculturist/forester, is responsible for organizing and managing the nurseries. He has worked over 30 years in forestry consulting, engineering and instructing, for “Hay Antar”- the State Forest Managing Institution. Also he is a lecturer in the Forestry department at the Vanadzor Branch of Armenian National Agrarian University. Gagik has a forest specialist degree from Voronezh State University of Forestry and Technologies. 

Our Vision

Humans need to learn to live in harmony with nature. Forests and their complex ecosystems are essential for sustaining life on this planet. We need to restore our forests and reconnect people with nature and the importance of preserving it.

Mission

By empowering local communities, under the direction of scientists and expert foresters, our mission is to decrease carbon in the atmosphere, sustainably increase forest coverage and preserve biodiversity using numerous endemic species.

Values

We ascribe to the following values: Transparency, Responsibility, Efficiency and Care

Sustainable Development Goals

The main focuses of this organization are two of the 17 SDGs voted by the United Nations:

Combat climate change by reducing carbon in the atmosphere

Protect and restore ecosystems, manage forests and combat desertification.

At the same time these other SDGs will also be achieved:

Reduce poverty by lifting communities living near them

Improve nutrition

Ensure availability of water

Promote sustainable economic growth

Geographical area

We are planting trees and creating forests in Armenia for the following reasons

At 11,2% forest coverage, the country has a relatively low % relative to its neighbouring

Improving the nature of this attractive mountainous country

Low labor costs

Rural communities that can help for its maintenance.

Our reforestation projects will concentrate in the beginning in the Lori and Tavoush provinces.