Thursday, August 18, 2005

Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2005 10:43:06 +0500
Subject: Armenia Tree Project/Thank You!

Dear Ara,

On behalf of the Armenia Tree Project I wish to extend heartfelt thanks for your response to our Action Alert to save the Shikahogh Reserve. Thank you very much for sending a letter to President Kocharian asking him to choose an alternate route for the road. Your letter was one of 55 from Armenia joining a total of over 745 letters from Armenians all over the world!!! This united and prompt response made a tremendous impact and was instrumental in achieving the incredible success of having the road re-routed outside of Shikahogh and the ancient forest of Mtnadzor!

After the June 14 Action Alert was sent to over 5000 people, the Shikahogh issue took a dramatic change of direction.

Minister of Transportation Andranik Manukyan and Minister of Nature Protection Vardan Ayvazyan announced during a June 17 Public Forum at American University of Armenia that the government is choosing a new route that by-passes the Reserve. The President gave instructions to submit a feasibility study on the alternative route and a commission was appointed by the Prime Minister to study the issue.

Later, Robert Kocharian signed the order for an alternate route and the construction of the road by-passing the Reserve started.

While the public campaign contributed to an extremely positive result, the SOS Shikahogh Working Group is continuing to monitor the situation to ensure that the new route remains on course and that adjacent habitats are not threatened by this proposed road. After visiting the site several times with engineers and environmental specialists, the coalition believes that with proper planning and implementation the road can be constructed while also protecting the natural environment of the region.

The movement to protect Shikahogh is a very significant step forward in the development of a civil society in Armenia. This united action from
NGO’s, international organizations, the Diaspora and Armenian citizens gave proof that the voice of the people can be heard and can effect positive change. Again, our deepest gratitude for seizing the moment and becoming part of the Shikahogh movement!

The Armenia Tree Project would like to keep you informed of the development of the Shikahogh alternate route and of other environmental threats which arise. We also invite you to visit our nursery and our Environmental Education Center and see firsthand ATP’s programs which are replanting, reforesting and protecting the environment of Armenia.

For further information, please, contact us at:

Tel.: 44 74 01 or 44 74 02; E-mail:; website:

With sincere gratitude,

Susan Yacubian Klein
ATP Foundation President

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