Our evidence-based livelihoods and environment programming is aimed at market-driven solutions to climate change. These solutions are based on in-depth market and contextual analysis to integrate effective behavioural change strategies. Our actions strictly reflect the importance of the impacts of climate change; we design programmes to enhance the resilience of people vulnerable to climate change and environmental degradation. This is done by harnessing solutions in line with green growth and circular economic principles that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stock carbon.
Geographically, improving livelihoods and the environment is one of our strategic pillars and a programming priority for almost all of PIN's country programmes worldwide. We have implemented a considerable portfolio of interventions. Most of our projects target the developing skills of vulnerable groups of people to improve their socio-economic situation and strengthen their independence from aid or state assistance.
Transcaucasian Trail – Promoting Cross-Border Tourism
Thanks to the project, new trails have been scouted in Georgia and Armenia—in Aragvi (122 km), Akhalkalaki (200 km), Lori (110), and Shirak (102 km) regions. The newly developed trails serve as a "honeypot" in the Caucasus to attract new visitors to rural areas in Georgia and Armenia. Check the GPS track here.
The project focuses on trail scouting and development and working with local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to enhance their capacities for tourist services. In Armenia, marketing training was conducted with over 20 SME representatives. The beneficiaries worked on their marketing plans and strategic development with the trainer. We also have helped beneficiaries with the creation of promotional materials.
A key focus of the project is networking and sustainability. To help with that, the project implementing partner Transcausatian Trail conducted trail-making training for 16 local activists from Lori and Shirak regions; Local Action Groups (LAGs) in Georgia and Women's Resource Centres (WRCs) in Armenia play a vital role in bringing together key public, private, and civil society stakeholders in their respective regions. They will facilitate initial buy-in for the activities and coordinate trail maintenance in the future.
In the framework of the project, PIN initiated a three-day familiarisation trip to the Lori and Shirak regions. Nine guides, tour operators, and journalists travelled to the regions and explored new local touristic services based alongside the newly scouted trails. The trip participants also met with over 30 members of Lori and Shirak Destination Management Organisation NGOs - they presented their services to the tour operators and discussed possible cooperation. Read more here.
Reduce! Reuse! Become a friend of Nature
The main focus of the project with an inspiring name “Reduce! Reuse! Become a friend of Nature!” is to motivate people to switch from single-use plastic bags to a more sustainable alternative in form of more environmentally friendly reusable bags. This is to be achieved thanks to the knowledge of behavioural change experts who visited Armenia and advised the most suitable way to motivate local people to adopt a new habit.
To improve the situation and encourage more people to carry their own bag, the project team designed new convenient and fashionable line of reusable bags fitting every lady’s purse or gentleman’s pocket.
In frames of the project a survey conducted, the reuslts if which were used to design the promotion campaing and reusable bags as well. The full study is available HERE.
We donated some of the new reusable bags to partner organisations and is actively encouraging everyone to make use of them. If all the establishments made use of reusable shopping bags part of their corporate culture, we could soon witness improvements in plastic waste management in Armenia.
Well-known actors, beloved teachers of Syunik region as well as doctors and other citizens already joined the single- use plastic bag reduction campaign. It is time for us all to unite for cleaner and healthier Armenia.
EU4Shirak: Wool for Jobs
We have designed an intervention to revive and modernise the wool value chain and the arts of wool crafts in the Shirak region with funds from the EU, Government of Armenia in partnership with our implementing partners: Amasia Municipality, Women's Development Resource Center Foundation, Shirak Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Acting as a motor for job creation and Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) development, this initiative is increasing employment and economic competitiveness of actors within, the crafts sector in the Shirak region, contributing in particular to women empowerment.
As one of the main outcomes of the project, Amasia Wool Factory was established. Wool specialists from Europe and Armenia organized training for future employees of the factory and other members of the community willing to get involved in the development of the newly established wool value chain.
Within the project, 6 new SMEs received financial and training support. This project contributes to the production of high-quality yarn processed industrially and semi-manually while it improving the design and production of woolen products based on local traditional know-how and adapting them to current and future domestic and international market fashion trends. Read more about the results here.
EU4Tourism: Outdoor adventures on the historic trails in Syunik
Within the project the Legends Trail was developed: it is a hiking route spanning about 150 km from Goris to Kapan, facilitating the exploration of many of the impressive natural and cultural heritage sites in the area, as well as an approach to developing and promoting alternative, eco-friendly tourism by the rural communities living along the route and creating opportunities for them to benefit from the growing influx of tourists to Armenia. The Legends Trail forms part of the larger Transcaucasian Trail, a proposed, 1,500-kilometre hiking path connecting northern Georgia and southern Armenia. Approximately 130 kilometers of the Legends Trail is shared with the Transcaucasian Trail, leading to the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders from both trail projects, and creating opportunities for trail users with a range of hiking abilities and ambitions to explore the Syunik Province.
This new tourist route between Goris and Kapan has been scouted, mapped, and marked by local community members and tourism experts, students, and volunteers.
The “Legends of the Legends Trail” book is published in five (Armenian, English, Czech, Russian, and French) languages and details local folk tales and legends.
The Legends Trail detailed guidebook, about the tourist destinations and services of the Syunik region, has also been developed and is available for sale at HIKE Armenia, Cartisan.org, and Amazon.
Within the project, more than 30 sub-grants have been distributed to support community-led initiatives and individual or family-run small enterprises in villages along the trail.
The project's implementing partner is ARK Armenia Ecological NGO. Read more about the project here.