Head office of forestry was established in 1953; later in 1957 it merged with the Ministry of Forest Industry.
Based on the resolution of the Supreme Soviet of the Armenian SSR, adopted on March 24, 1966, by the decree, dated June 21, 1966, State Forestry Committee was established on the basis of the State Forestry Department, which reported both to the USSR State Forestry Committee and to the USSR Council of Ministers.
- Head Office of the State Forestry Committee was located in Yerevan
- The State committee had the following components
- Department of Forest Use, Conservation and Protection
- Department of Forest Crops and Forest Reclamation
- Department of Horticulture
- Department of Game Management
- Logistics and Supply Department
- Department of Capital Construction
- Department of Human Resources
- Finance Department
- Technical Security Inspector
Officials and experts of the State Forestry Committee of the Republic of Armenia were at the same time employees of the State Forest Protection Service, and had relevant titles, rights and responsibilities.
Approximately 40 regional subdivisions – forestry branches and state reservations (three state reservations) operated within the State Forestry Committee of the Republic of Armenia, which used to perform all the forest management activities and were responsible for forest management in the regions of the Republic of Armenia, the entire territory of the forest fund.
Formation, liquidation of forestry branches as well as appointment and dismissal of their directors, deputy directors, chief foresters and chief accountants were performed by order of the General Director of the State Forestry Committee of the Republic of Armenia. Other officials of forestry branches were appointed by the forestry directors.
The following positions were available in the Forestry branches:
- Forestry Director
- Deputy Director in Charge of Conservation
- Chief Forester
- Chief Accountant
- Warehouse Manager
- Forest Conservation Engineer
- Forest Protection Engineer
- Forest Crop Engineer
- Nursery and Seed Production Engineer
- Forest Guards
A number of specialized enterprises, that were responsible for solving specific professional problems, were operating within the State Forestry Committee of the Republic of Armenia.
Scientific Research Experimental Forestry Center /SREFC/ conducted researches, experiments, localized outstanding forest management practices and introduced these practices into industry. SREFC cooperated with the Forestry Department of the Institute of Biology of the National Academy of Sciences, as well as with other Forestry Institutions and Centers of the USSR.
Forest Seed Center controlled seed quality, graded the seeds, and issued passports for them. It was mandatory for all the forestry branches to submit samples of harvested seeds to the Forest Seed Center for identification of the quality and grade of the seeds, and issuance of passports.
Forest Reclamation Center conducted forest reclamation activities in afforestation and reforestation areas.
Forest Protection Center conducted forest pathology studies, diagnosis of forest pests and diseases, damage projections, design of activities to prevent the damage, and implemented these activities in a centralized manner. Specialists of Forest Protection Center cooperated with the specialists of the forest protection laboratory of the Scientific Research Institute of Plant Protection under the Ministry of Agriculture, and jointly conducted researches, projections on mass propagation of harmful organisms and damages, developed integrated measures to prevent the damage.
Yeghvard State Forest Nursery grew planting stock and provided forestry branches at low elevations with planting stock. Reforestation activities and development of forest management plans were performed by the specialized forestry groups operating within Transcaucasian Forestry Scientific Research Institute /located in Georgia/.
Reforestation activities and development of reforestation plans were performed in each of the forestry areas at least every 10 years, and forest fund accounting was performed every 5 years.
The aforementioned forest management system had all the necessary institutional components and personnel to perform efficient centralised management throughout the entire forest fund area of the USSR. The main shortcoming of that system was that the latter didn’t cover the efficient management of collective farms (kolkhoz) and state farms (sovkhoz); it was designed to implement the management of the state owned forests only. Distinct mechanisms of kolkhoz and sovkhoz forest governance and management, conservation, protection, state control and financing were missing. And even though forestation activities were perfectly performed, forestation plans were perfectly developed, their implementation couldn’t be perfect due to the imperfection of the management system and lack of specialists. This is the explanation for the gradual degradation of forests. The level of forest management was low; the volume of forest improvement and reforestation activities almost never matched the planned volume.
Further to resolution 362 of the USSR Council of Ministers issued on June 24, 1988, State Forestry Committee was converted into “Hayantar” Forestry Industrial Association.
Approximately 54 664 ha of kolkhoz and sovkhoz forest land was transferred to the management of “Hayantar” Forestry Industrial Association by resolution b 421, issued on June 24, 1991.
After the collapse of the USSR and after the Republic of Armenia gained independence /in 1991/ the status and structure of “Hayantar” Forestry Industrial Association remained the same for a certain period of time/till February, 1992/, but it was under the direct subordination of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Armenia and was funded completely from the budget of the Republic of Armenia.
In January 1992 “Hayantar” Forestry Industrial Association was included into the Ministry of Agriculture and Food upon the decree of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia.
In that period the Republic of Armenia was in economic and energetic crises for known reasons, and it was impossible to ensure the same level of financing for forestry. Of course a number of institutional organizations and positions were reduced due to the reduction in funding.
In 1990-s Forest Reclamation Center, Forest Seed Center, Forest Protection Center and Scientific Research Experimental Forestry Center closed down. A number of forestry branches merged, and their total number reduced from 40 to 30. Forest economy was in deep crises, like the other sectors of economy in Armenia.
By resolution 108 issued on August 29, 1995 by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia “Hayantar” Forestry Industrial Association was transferred from the RA Ministry of Agriculture and Food to the RA Ministry of Nature Protection and Mineral Resources and was modified into National Forest Service of Armenia – “Hayantar” State Enterprise.
By resolution 538 of the Government of the Republic of Armenia, issued on November 27, 1997 and based on decree 123 of the Minister of Nature Protection of the Republic of Armenia, issued on October 1, 1998, “Hayantar” State Enterprise was modified into “Hayantar” SNCO (State Non-Commercial Organization), and subsidiary forest production units of “Hayantar” state enterprise were modified into subsidiary production units of “Hayantar” SNCO.
This modification converted “Hayantar” into a profit organization. In addition to that, state management and state control functions were given to the Ministry of Nature Protection and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Armenia.
This situation and the reduced minimal financing didn’t contribute to the improvement of the forest sector. Just the opposite took place – the volume of illegal logging increased, the volume of forest management activities was reduced to the minimum level – particularly reforestation, afforestation, forest protection, and other important activities.
In 1997-1998 state reservations, Yeghvard State Nursery and arboretums were transferred from “Hayantar” SNCO to the Ministry of Nature Protection and Mineral Resources. Considerable changes took place in the system of forest management as well as in institutional organizations.
By resolution 7-N of the Government of the Republic of Armenia, issued on January 15, 2004, “Hayantar” again was transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture.
Thus forest management and state control functions, which were being theretofore performed by the Ministry of Nature Protection of the Republic of Armenia, were separated again; however the considerable share of the forest fund remained under the subordination of the Ministry of Nature Protection.
“Hayantar” SNCO /State Non-Commercial Organization/ was established by resolution 1054-N of the Government of the Republic of Armenia, dated 25.07.02, 2002; it received a state registration in June, 2005. Based on decree 116-A of the Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Armenia, dated July 19, twenty-two forestry branches have been established since October 1, 2005.
“Hayantar” SNCO now has 19 branches – 7 in Lori Marz, 4 in Tavush Marz, 3 in Syunik Marz, and one in each of the Marzes of Kotayk, Shirak, Vayots Dzor, Gegharkunik and Aragatsotn.
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