In the Energy Globe Awards, also known as the World Award for Sustainability, Armenia Tree Project (ATP) won the national award for Armenia for its backyard nursery micro-enterprise program. The program was selected from 853 projects from 109 countries at the European Parliament on May 26, where representatives from ATP attended.
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mikhail Gorbachev was honored with an honorary Energy Globe Award at the televised evening gala held in the European Parliament. In recognition of his role as a cofounder of Green Cross International, Mr. Gorbachev received the award from President Hans-Gert Pottering and President Jose Manuel Barroso.
A program of the ATP Foundation, recognized by the Energy Globe Award, is creating micro-enterprise tree nurseries in northern Armenia to combat poverty-driven deforestation. By participating in the program, Armenia’s poorest families have doubled their annual income by owning these nurseries.
According to ATP’s Deputy Director Jason Sohigian, the program began with 17 families in 2004 as a pilot project, and has expanded to 400 families this year. Our goal has always been to invest a portion of the additional income into creating an economy for natural gas infrastructure in these villages, so that they will no longer rely on forests for heating and cooking fuel.
“Thank you for recognizing our contributions to sustainable development in this remote rural region of Armenia for the Energy Globe Awards,” added Mr. Sohigian on behalf of his staff and the program’s creators.
The ATP Development Officer Paul Yeghiayan, who attended the event, said that the organization is immensely proud to have been selected for this prestigious award. “We have and will continue to reach out to the international development community in recent years.”
As a result of the award gala in Brussels, the winners receive a unique distinction for their projects that aim to protect our environment and conserve resources. A press release after the event stated that the Energy Globe has developed into the world’s most prestigious environmental award in the past nine years. Dionne Warwick and Alanis Morissette performed at the television gala, which included remarks by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
ABOUT ARMENIA TREE PROJECT
With its tree-regeneration programs, Armenia Tree Project has created hundreds of jobs for impoverished Armenians since 1994 by planting and restoring more than 2,000,000 trees. In addition to tree planting, the organization also promotes community development in order to reduce poverty and promote self-sufficiency, and environmental education in order to protect Armenia’s natural resources. For more information, please contact us.
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