“My Forest Armenia” was founded in 2019 by Andre Gumuchdjian, a Belgian-Armenian philanthropist and entrepreneur. In the beginning, the idea was to offset our carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels. Andre felt that future generations should not be burdened with cleaning up previous generations’ pollution.
But the scope of the project grew. In his own words, “As I got more involved in the project, I realized the crucial importance of forests for our own survival on this planet. Forests are incredibly complex ecosystems and are associated with numerous aspects of life on earth. For example, 80% of our water resources come from forests. Also, the biodiversity they represent is essential for ecosystems to be strong and allow the human species to develop.”
Vahe Martisoryan was our very first employee. Andre and Vahe share the same vision. We need to have very high quality, as only projects of quality will ensure our success and the success of our afforestation. Considering the lack of quality seedlings in sufficient quantities, Vahe proposed that we do all the steps of forest creation ourselves.
In our first year, we started by creating two nurseries in Lori Province to grow forest tree species. In 2021 in cooperation with the Agrarian state university, we built a greenhouse in front of their Vanadzor branch main building. This greenhouse has a dual function: the major part is dedicated to growing tree seedlings in containers, and another part serves for educational and research purposes for students and professors of the university.
In our second year, in November 2020, we started our very first planting in Shirakamut. At the end of the season, in April 2021, we had planted 140.000 trees.
As for now, we have planted a total of 1,369,527 trees in Shirakamut, Jrashen 1, Jrashen 2, Urasar and Vahagni. The total surface planted so far is about 431 hectares.
We hope now to double our planting rhythm by 2025.
My Forest Armenia contributes significantly to improving the quality of life and the region’s socio-economic situation. In all the areas where we operate, workers are hired from the local and neighboring rural communities. Our staff grew to 49 persons, and up to 240 workers participated during the planting season.