Ranger Campus will serve as an environmental science and education hub․ VivaCell-MTS
VivaCell-MTS General Manager Ralph Yirikian, The Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) founder Ruben Khachatryan and IUCN NL Nature Conservation Senior Expert, Land Acquisition Program Coordinator Marc Hoogeslag have attended the opening of the Ranger Campus in the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge (CWR). The aim of the Campus is the promotion of educational-scientific research in environmental sphere. It will contribute to biodiversity conservation, development of natural sciences and to the welfare of community as well. The Ranger Campus is entirely constructed with eco-friendly materials and equipped with state-of- the-art “green” technologies. It will serve as the second ranger station for the CWR, as well as a research, scientific and educational center. It will be a space to connect with nature and get all the necessary means for the accomplishment of scientific research projects. The construction of the CWR’s Ranger Campus has been financed by the Netherlands Committee of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN NL) and VivaCell-MTS in frames of “Strengthening the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge” project. “The more urbanized our environment gets, and the more we try to adjust the nature to our demands, the more important it becomes to create such shelters where one can re-connect with nature, away from noise, away from artificial lights that distort the starlight, closer to wildlife. The Ranger Campus introduced today is a self-sufficient system equipped with state-of- the-art eco-friendly technologies for heating, hot water, and electricity.
The Ranger Campus will serve as a scientific and educational hub, as well as a second station for the CWR rangers. This highly important area has been purchased for conservation purpose with the support of our partners VivaCell-MTS and IUCN NL, to shape a buffer zone and an eco-corridor connecting the CWR to the Khosrov State Reserve,” said FPWC founder Ruben Khachatryan. “The root of all problems is indifference. Careless attitude to environmental protection may have serious consequences. The society that suffers those irreversible consequences is the very same society that created them in the first place. Sometimes indifference comes from lack of awareness. Creation of Campuses of this kind will allow making eco-education available to more people and translating the message that it is easier to prevent problems, than find solutions to them. I am convinced that the Ranger Campus will serve its purpose,” noted VivaCell-MTS General Manager Ralph Yirikian.
“FPWC has proved that with passion, commitment and tireless effort real conservation results can be achieved. The Ranger Campus will foster their efforts and make the CWR a showcase example of passion-driven conservation success,” said IUCN NL Nature Conservation Senior Expert, Land Acquisition Program Coordinator Marc Hoogeslag. The Caucasus Wildlife Refuge with the territory of 10 000 hectares is the first privately protected area in the South Caucasus. The CWR and its adjacent lands have vital importance for the South Caucasus biodiversity and its exceptional fauna. The evidence of the project efficiency is the significant growth of the territory’s biodiversity, including a number of species listed in the Red Data Book of Armenia, particularly the quantitative growth of the Bezoar goat, Golden eagle, Bearded vulture, Brown bear and the existence of the Caucasian leopard. The Caucasus Wildlife Refuge is located in Ararat region. The targets of its activity are biodiversity conservation, community development and environmental education. The CWR with its rich unique biodiversity is adjacent to "Khosrov Forest" State Reserve and is managed by the FPWC. This project, aimed at conservation of the endangered wild species’ most important migration corridors, has been implemented since 2011.