In June 2023, partners from the Scientific Center of Zoology and Hydroecology (SCZHE) of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia visited BOKU Vienna. This visit aimed to gain valuable insights into multiple stress approaches and methodologies, which would later be applied in the Armenian context. Additionally, the Armenian team had several meetings with BOKU experts specializing in landscape planning, biodiversity conservation, and hydroecology. These discussions laid the groundwork for establishing a training room at SCZHE, designed to enhance students' practical knowledge.
In July, EcoServ team members participated in the Caucasus Mountain Forum 2023, held in Kutaisi, Georgia. EcoServ team members took part in workshops and presented their research, focusing on the sustainable governance of aquatic ecosystem services in Armenia. This engagement led to the establishment of valuable connections with various international and regional organizations operating in the Caucasus Ecoregion.
During July and August 2023, field studies were conducted in the Hrazdan River Basin, Armenia, which is one of the main case studies of the EcoServ project. Surveys and group discussions were conducted with local stakeholders, providing crucial insights into the social perspective of ecosystem services in the area. Furthermore, EcoServ organized meetings with diverse stakeholders, including policymakers. The aim of these meetings was to explore current needs and opportunities for developing a comprehensive ecosystem services assessment framework at the national level.
Currently, the EcoServ team is actively involved in Citizen Science approaches, collaborating with several experts. The outcomes will be used for planning upcoming activities and case studies scheduled for Armenia in 2024.
The EcoServ project website can be found here.