We are developing ecotourism as part of a green economy in the region!
To accomplish its objectives, ARK is focused on the following priority areas:
- Creating an extensive network of marked hiking trails that will encourage travellers to explore the region and bring exposure to the unique natural landscape while promoting meaningful engagement with local communities along the way.
- Establishing eco-camps stationed along these trails, designed with permaculture standards and made from recycled material, as bases for tourist and volunteer accommodation, local gatherings, environmental seminars, fitness activities, etc.
- Attracting enthusiastic volunteers from within and outside of Armenia to come to Kapan and help build a sustainable future for the region while exploring the beautiful nature first-hand.
- ARK has realized a number of projects since it was established.
ARK HOLISTICA PROJECT
On our way to creating better conditions for harmonic and healthy lifestyle we are taking the next step and launching a new campaign – ARK Holistica.
With the help of two crowdfunding campaigns World Vison Armenia and European Union Armen has already created place for massage and fitness trainings in ARK Camp Kapan, where one can get a massage, or train in yoga, pilates or learn to breathe happily enjoying gorgeous view of majestic mount Khustup. But unfortunately, there is lack of training apparatus that makes the rehabilitation process faster and more effective.
We help people, we do it with love, we teach them mechanics of happiness, now we want to buy equipment to be able to help more people.
The following equipment is necessary for “ARK Holistica” Project:
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT THROUGH SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP
ARK Armenia was recently selected as the most promising socialentrepreneurship initiative in Armenia as part of the Community Development Through Social Entrepreneurship project!
We will receive a start-up grant of about 7000 EUR for further developing our eco-camps as models of social entrepreneurship. We're so happy to be chosen and will keep working hard towards sustainable communitydevelopment in Kapan and the region!
Thank you to the project team, jury, fellow participants and partner organizations for their support and friendship:
ASEA- The Association of Social Enterprises of Armenia
International Center for Intercultural Research, Learning and Dialogue
KASA Fondation Humanitaire Suisse
Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Armenia
ECO & ETHNO FITNESS CAMP IN KAPAN, ARMENIA
In December 2014 ARK had its first crowdfunding campaign.
The project – eco and ethno fitness camp is called to revive the memory of the Lost paradise and help lots of people from all parts of the world to find the Paradise within themselves.
Due to our friends' generous donations ARK built its first camp, a budget accommodation for eco tourists and eco volunteers, the place for holding ecological seminars.
HIKING TRAILS FOR ECOTOURISM IN ARMENIA
ARK's second crowdfunding campaign as to establish a network of sustainable hiking trails around Kapan. Though not fully financed ARK built the first 100 km. of hiking trails in Kapn region. These hiking trails give visiting tourists access to the ecological, cultural and historical riches of the region while stimulating the local economy with the creation of an alternative industry.
ARK BRIDGE PROJECT
ARK Armenia's ambitious new project is to professionally mark and map 45 km of hiking trails linking the famous attraction of Tatev Monastery to Kapan and onwards towards Shikahogh State Forest Reserve. This trail network will include an information support system and 2 eco-camps stationed along the way where hikers can rest and relax.
Through leveraging the appeal of Tatev Monastery to promote ecotourism, this trail is part of ARK's mission to help provide direct economic benefits for rural communities in the region while also preserving and fostering appreciation of the natural landscape that surrounds them.
ARK firmly believes that ecotourism in the region can be built on a sustainable platform that provides economic and environmental benefits to everyone involved.
We are currently crowdfunding for this project on Indiegogo! Every single dollar you contribute to our campaign will go directly towards making this project a reality and developing ecotourism from the bottom up!
WHAT WE'VE ACCOMPLISHED
In only one year, ARK has been able to accomplish quite a lot!
To kick things off, ARK has built the first eco-camp in the region! Located a 15-minute walk from Kapan's city centre, the camp is made from 80% recycled material and offers all the necessary facilities (kitchen, bathroom, bungalows, electricity, water). The camp will incorporate permaculture design in an adjacent plot of land so that organic food can be sustainably grown for volunteers and tourists. We hope that this is the first of many eco-camps in the region, stationed along our hiking trails and offering tourists an eco-friendly alternative that encourages a deeper connection with nature.
On top of that, we have marked 6 independent hiking trails in the areas around Kapan, totalling over 30km! These trails allow visitors to explore some of the region’s most unique cultural features (Vahanavank Monastery, Halidzor Fortress, Baghaberd Fortress) while experiencing first-hand the beautiful nature that makes the area unique.
We've even marked a hiking trail that takes you all the way from our eco-camp to the magnificent Mount Khustup, which overlooks Kapan and offers breathtaking views!
Our accomplishments so far couldn’t have been done without the enormous help from international and local volunteers as well as our large network of supporters, contributors and friends! In addition to several agreements for cooperation that we’ve made with other local NGOs, ARK has received letters of support from governmental authorities at the local and state levels because they see the value in promoting ecotourism to the region.