Partnership and Action for Rural Prosperity in Armenia
July 12, 2022
"Partnership and Action for Rural Prosperity in Armenia" international conference took place on 10 June in Dilijan, Armenia, aiming at signing formal Partnership Agreements of the five Local Action Groups (LAGs): “Tashir+”, “Lorva Dzor”, “Gandzor”, “Aghstevi hovit” and “Tsili Tsov” formed in Lori and Tavush Rregions within the scope of the European Union funded “EULEAD4Lori and Tavush Regions project” - based on LEADER methodology, following the territorial principle of integrated development and formed by partnerships of the local public, business and civil society representatives🤝✍️
In her welcome speech Natia Natsvlishvili, UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia said: "UNDP, as a lead implementer of the “EULEAD4Lori and Tavush Regions” project, is delighted to acknowledge the successful implementation of the project to this stage, resulting in the formation of five Local Action Groups - LAGs in the target regions that will be soon embarking on leading-edge projects aiming at invigorating and boosting the rural communities in Lori and Tavush Regions. While helping the target communities to form Local Action Groups based on local tripartite partnership from public, private and civil sectors, UNDP has provided significant expertise and technical assistance to the LAG members in developing their priorities and development strategies. And today, we are happy to have the Local Action Groups ready to onboard to their journey as the leaders of their local development strategies and community-driven projects."
The EU Ambassador Andrea Wiktorin delivered a video address saying: "LEADER is a methodology for development in partnership, it has proven to be very effective by putting people at the centre of local development, bringing together local authorities, businesses, and civil society to strategize and drive local development. We support in Armenia piloting of the LEADER in Lori, Tavush, and Shirak regions and are keen to see this collaborative methodology succeeding in Armenia and becoming a useful institutional tool for local development."
Vache Terteryan, Deputy Minister of Territorial Development and Infrastructure, emphasizing the role of Local Action Groups as units of collective development created by the efforts of public, private and civil society in communities, noted: "Local Action groups are now on formed and ready to propose development projects that will receive financial support from donor organizations in the near future, laying the foundation for their first development projects and creating a stable capital for implementation of more large scale projects in the future."
"I am hopeful that an effective partnership of public, private and civil society representatives will be established in these Local Action Groups with the technical assistance and guidance of UNDP and FAO. This is critical for the formulation of inclusive, resilient and sustainable territorial development strategies that will facilitate the local development process on the longer run by giving a space for women and men, youth, elderly and diverse groups, including the minorities, for decision making and active participation in the implementation of local initiatives under the LEADER umbrella. We hope that this is going to contribute to better production, better nutrition, better environment and better life in Armenia," FAO Representative in Armenia Raimund Jehle said in his video address.
The event also served as a meeting platform for learning about the project progress and next steps, panel discussions by international and national experts, exchange, networking, exhibition of local agricultural and hand-made products and cultural programme.