Official equipment hand-over ceremony at the USS State Employment Department

Within the framework of the Reconomy “Skills, Knowledge and Intermediation Development” pilot project Strategic Development Agency (SDA) NGO has been cooperating with the Unified Social Service (USS) of the RA Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs since 2021.

Between 2021-2022, a number of activities and events were implemented in order to improve the capacity and skills of the USS staff, as well as to strengthen the relationship between the employers and the beneficiaries, particularly unemployed women and youth.

By taking into consideration the latest technological and modern innovations, SDA NGO, within the frameworks of the pilot project, provided 15 computers, a professional camera, as well as other equipment that will contribute to the improvement of the quality of the USS services.

The official equipment hand-over ceremony took place at the USS State Employment Department, where SDA NGO project manager Ms. Lilit Hovhannisyan and USS deputy secretary-general Mr. Ashot Arshakyan signed bilateral contracts. The event was also attended by Ms. Tamara Torosyan, Deputy Head of USS, and other representatives of the department.

Reconomy is a regional inclusive and green economic development program of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), implemented by HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation in partnership with SDA NGO and others in the Eastern Partnership and the Western Balkan countries.

The 9th Workshop of the Coordination Platform for Sustainable Management of RA’s Natural Fodder Areas

On May 13, the 9th Workshop of the Coordination Platform for Sustainable Management of RA’s Natural Fodder Areas: Pastures and Grasslands was held in Agri-Tech hall of National State Agrarian University (ANAU). Among the workshop participants were representatives of various ministries related to the sector, local and international public organizations, Platform partners, as well as international and scientific institutions.

Mr. H.Zakoyan, the Vice-Rector for Education of ANAU, welcomed the participants of the workshop, emphasized the existence and activity of Pasture Coordination Platform, and wished fruitful work process.
Welcoming speech was made also by Mrs. A.Alaverdyan, senior agriculture specialist of World Bank (CARMAC-2 project coordinator). In her speech, Mrs. Alaverdyan emphasized the importance of World Bank participation in the workshop, as it provides opportunities to address issues existing in the field of natural feed and pasture management.
The speakers welcomed the initiative of organizing the workshop and highlighted the importance of the Platform’s activities the main initiatives of which are aimed at the sustainable management of natural resources of RA and the projects implemented to address those issues.

During the workshop CARMAC-2 project representative Mr. K.Torosyan presented the results and achievements of CARMAC-2 project, then Mr. V.Hovhannisyan presented the results of livestock development projects implemented by SDA NGO, and the new livestock development project launch.

Pasture management expert Mr. G. Tovmasyan made a presentation of the project “Long-distance livestock movement across the grazing routes from Goris, Tegh and Tatev communities to the pastures of Gorayk community and it’s serving infrastructure”. The participants of the workshop highly appreciated the positive results and achievements of all implemented projects in the field of pasture management, as well as the steps taken to implement long-distance livestock movement project and the role of stakeholders.

The presentation was also made by the GIZ legal adviser Mr. V. Petrosyan, who presented the draft legislative acts for sustainable pasture management and the necessity and significance of their adoption.
At the end of the workshop, the participants expressed their readiness to jointly raise the existing gaps in the sector and work on developing on ways to supplement them. Subsequent workshops within the Pasture Coordination Platform frameworks will address the discussed issues.

The Coordination Platform for Sustainable Management of RA’s Natural Fodder Areas is a joint initiative of the Strategic Development Agency (SDA) NGO, Environmental programmes implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarthe beit (GIZ)and CARMAC II project implemented by the RA Ministry of Economy with the support of the World Bank.

National Inception Workshop of the projects “Promotion of Eco-Corridors in the Southern Caucasus” and “Living Landscapes for Market Development in Armenia”

On May 6, the National Inception Workshop of the “Promotion of Eco-Corridors in the Southern Caucasus” and “Living Landscapes for Market Development in Armenia” Projects took place.

During the workshop the Chairman of the Strategic Development Agency (SDA) NGO Mr. M. Ayvazyan presented the goal and the expected outcomes of the project, as well as the conducted work so far.

Director of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF Armenia) Karen Manvelyan presented the interconnection of these projects.

Welcoming speeches were given by  Mr. Werner Thut- the Deputy Head of Mission of Embassy of Switzerland in Armenia, Deputy Regional Director of Swiss Cooperation for the South Caucasus, Mr. Aram Meymaryan – Deputy Minister of Environment of RA, Mr. Frank Mörschel -Senior Portfolio Manager of KfW Development Bank and other officials.

The project is funded b the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and is implemented by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Caucasus and Armenian offices (lead implementer) and Strategic Development Agency (SDA) NGO.

The “Living Landscapes for Market Development in Armenia” project will be implemented in 16 selected target rural settlements of Tavush, Lori, Syunik and Vayots Dzor regions of Armenia.

“Mozzarella cheese making technology” training for beneficiary milk processors and cheese making experts

On May 3-4 “Mozzarella cheese-making technology” training and master class was conducted within the framework of the project “Livestock Development in Armenia: South-North 2” implemented by the “Strategic Development Agency” NGO. The training was conducted in “Rozi – 1” AC in Khachaghbyur rural settlement by the experienced cheese-making expert Mr. Catrinus van der Sluis, who was invited from the Netherlands by “PUM Netherlands Senior Experts” Organization. Project beneficiary milk processors and cheese-making experts participated in the training.

During the 2-day training, the participants gained necessary theoretical knowledge about the general technological process of mozzarella cheese production and all components of cheesemaking.

The main purpose of the meeting was to strengthen the capacities in real working conditions and create new products that will be competitive in both local and foreign markets.

The project “Livestock Development in Armenia: South-North 2” is funded by the Austrian Development Agency the operational unit of the Austrian Development Cooperation.

Meetings with potential beneficiaries of the “Living Landscapes for Market Development in Armenia” project

On April 27-29 representatives of the Strategic Development Agency NGO visited  Debet, Yeghegnut, Margahovit villages of Lori region in the frameworks of the “Living Landscapes for Market Development in Armenia” project. During the visit our representatives held individual meetings and discussions with local potential beneficiaries, as well as the head of administrative district of Debet village A. Sahakyan.

The aim of the visits was to meet potential beneficiaries personally, listen to their ideas and plans, and discuss perspectives of sustainable tourism promotion in their communities.

The Project is implemented by the Strategic Development Agency and WWF Armenia with the financial support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.