Caucasian Leopard that is in the IUCN Red List

Life On Land

Armenia in the heart of the biodiversity hotspot

There are 25 wildlife hotspots worldwide that are the most diverse and endangered. The Caucasus is one of them. Armenia occupies just 5% of the region, while is a refuge for most of the species endemic to the Caucasian Biodiversity Hotspot. Moreover, many of them are wild animals and crop wild relatives that have a huge economic and social value.

The goal of The Distrikt is to preserve these natural resources by creating alternative paths of economic development and by introducing sustainable technologies.

Extracting and exporting natural resources

In 2019 the top three exporting products of Armenia were copper ore and gold. In 2020, we have lost 18.5 ha of tree cover.

Forests are the habitats of wildlife. So, by destroying forests, many species are going extinct. Moreover, many animals are endangered to do the illegal hunting and wildlife trade.

Therefore, the challenge is to keep the economy alive while conserving precious natural resources. So far, the short-term thinking is prevailing – exploiting natural resources with the hope of economic growth.

  • Ores, slag and ash
  • Precious stones and metals
  • Drinks
  • Tobacco
  • Ferrous metals
  • The rest

Armenia’s Export Portfolio for 2019

Once forests were covering 40% of Armenia. However, with mining, intensive agriculture, and illegal logging now it is just 11.2%

In The Distrikt we shift the economy from natural resource exploitation to high tech services and creative industries

Development of Creative Industries and High-Tech

Instead of natural resource exploitation, we focus on the export of high-tech, creative industries, and light manufacturing. Here the main resource is human talent and creativity. Thus, to attract creative and talented people to Gyumri we build The Distrikt which is an urban regeneration project. The focus is to rebuild abandoned space and to make it an attractive place to live and work.

Making sustainable technologies accessible

By applying clean and renewable technologies, such as solar-based, geothermal energy, biogas we prevent air pollution and deforestation. We develop aquaponics technologies for food production with the objective to reduce unsustainable aquaculture and intensive agriculture while saving water resources.

Create alternative income sources for the local communities

The reason for natural resource exploitation such as illegal logging is sometimes poverty. When people don’t have alternatives and are in the desperate poverty trap, they are focused on daily living. By creating alternatives for the locals, we aim to preserve local natural resources.

Tree planting and forest recovery

By planting 10,000 trees we aim to recover the local biodiversity, improve air quality, prevent climate change and contribute to the Gyumri Green City Action Plan implementation in collaboration with the Gyumri Municipality.

SDG 15: Life on Land

The Distrikt contributes to the SDG 15 Life on Land. The goal is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

SDG 15 Life on Land
UN Logo

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

World Resource Institute

The tropics lost 11.9 million hectares of tree cover in 2019, according to data from the University of Maryland, released today on Global Forest Watch.


Human activities are destroying the natural world, leading to the extinction of animal and plant species at an alarming rate. Now, world leaders are promising action to tackle the problem. But will it be enough?.

The Guardian

Buildings covered in plants do more than just make the cityscape attractive – they contribute to human wellbeing and action on climate change.