The RERAM project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under the grant agreement no. 609573.






Armenia (Armenian: Hajastan) is a landlocked mountainous country in the South Caucasus region. Located between the Black and Caspian Seas, it is bordered by Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Iran. It covers a land territory of 29,700 km² and has a population of 3 million. The capital city Yerevan has a population of around 1 million.


The country is only sparsely forested, with a forest cover 331,000 ha or 11% of the land area. Forests are completely in State ownership and designated primarily to protective functions (40% protection of the environment, 40% multiple use, 20% timber production). From the early 1990s Armenia has lost up to 30% of its forest cover due to uncontrolled logging: most of the wood was used for household heating.


Armenia earth map (Source: Google - click to enlarge)


Forest sector reforms started in the late 1990s to stop forest degradation, and considerable progress has been made. Yet, the institutional setting is not working effectively to stop illegal logging and corruption continues to thrive. The Annual Allowable Cut (AAC) set by the forest authority is quite low and stands in strong contrast to the estimated demand for wood (at least 6 times higher), which is met by the persisting shadow market. As a consequence, forest degradation and accompanying environmental problems continue.


Armenia’s wood processing industry, which during the Soviet era was well developed but relied heavily on imports, declined rapidly. Nowadays it is fragmented, under-utilised, and relies on old and inefficient equipment. Owing to the legal context, surveys of the industry have difficulties to identify and obtain information from reluctant operators, which today face a lack of supply, increasing costs, stricter controls and growing NGO pressure. Nonetheless, it is suggested that a few large sawmills operate very profitably.


RERAM will disseminate findings from project activities to and engage in mutual exchange with key stakeholders in the forest sector of Armenia.



RERAM partner: 

RECC - Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus