Community meeting held in Vayots Dzor against poaching

On August 5th , by the initiative of the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets,

Important meeting was held in Vayots Dzor administration with the participation of all stakeholders aimed at discussing poaching issues & unsustainable hunting practices in the region

In particular, the residents and the head of Vayots Dzor forestry department mentioned that hunting in the region is not organized in hunting grounds, despite the  requirement of the law, but occurs in all places where animals can be found.  Commonly the products of hunting are then sold regional restaurants or used for other business purposes.

The head of Areni community Husik Sahakyan mentioned that the hunting season in Rind community sounds like a battlefield, although Rind  is not included in the map of hunting grounds as per the RA laws.

The problems of easily obtaining a hunting permit, the possibility of testing the knowledge of hunters before granting permits, field control by communities and other issues were discussed during the meeting.

The Foundation proposed to remove the areas from the maps of hunting grounds that, according to obtained data, are part of the migration route or habitat of rare red – listed species

The gaps and controversial provisions of the legislation regulating the hunting field were also raised by FPWC as well as an offer was made to work over the legislative issues and come up with an offer to the Government.

The representative of the regional environmental inspection body mentioned that due to the size of the hunting grounds, the resources of the latter are not enough to control the areas effectively.

The parties agreed to set up special teams to conduct 24/7 territorial control during the hunting season in order to prevent any poaching possibility in the region

The Foundation will support this initiative by involving rangers with off-road vehicles, as well as provide professional and legal consultations.

During the meeting the possibility of compensating the damage caused by brown bears to the community residents was discussed, where the importance of agricultural insurance was discussed

The FPWC will further  support the community with this issue as well  through providing financial aid  with the amount of 1,000,000 / one million / AMD, as well as by donating electrical fencing for the protection of orchards against bears that are environmentally friend solutions for any community suffering from human – wildlife conflict.

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