Armenia Tree Project
57/5 Arshakunyats Street
Yerevan, Armenia 0026
Tel: (37410) 44 74 01
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.armeniatree.org

Press Release
April 28, 2006

US Ambassador John Evans and ATP Celebrate Earth Day

YEREVAN -- On April 21, US Ambassador to Armenia John Evans and
Mrs. Donna Evans marked Earth Day and Arbor Day in a ceremonial tree
planting initiated by Armenia Tree Project (ATP). Ambassador Evans
and honored guests planted evergreens on a specially prepared plot
at ATP's nursery in the refugee village of Karin.

In cooperation with the US Embassy, invited high ranking authorities,
and a number of international and local organizations, this event
coincided with worldwide environmental celebrations and was organized
to raise broader public awareness of ecological issues in Armenia. The
date of the ceremony was chosen in observance of the traditional Earth
Day and Arbor Day festivities, marked globally on April 21 and April
29, respectively.

Special guests in attendance included Minster of Nature Protection
Vardan Ayvazyan and Deputy Minister of Agriculture Samvel Galstyan. The
ceremonial tree planting was preceded by welcoming remarks from
Ambassador Evans and ATP Director of Operations Vache Kirakosyan. A
reception followed in ATP's Michael and Virginia Ohanian Environmental
Education Center.

Ambassador Evans expressed his heartfelt gratitude to ATP for
organizing the celebration and added that, "Planting another seedling
on Armenian land is a great pleasure." While touring the nursery,
the US Ambassador was impressed by the condition of nursery and the
work ATP has been able to do in Armenia.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Samvel Galstyan, also stressed the
significant role played by ATP: "Armenia Tree Project is reforesting
Armenia, and their mission is extremely important. Such an initiative
not only restores Armenia's greenery, but helps to solve other
interrelated ecological problems and diminish pollution, which is
necessary for keeping our environment clean."

In his remarks, the Minster of Nature Protection did not expect
the increase in the price of natural gas to result in additional
tree cutting, since Armenia is developing alternative sources of
renewable energy. "This will not lead us to mass tree cutting as
before," stated Minster Ayvazyan. "There are real possibilities for
using renewable energy, and Armenia has several alternative sources
which can produce enough energy."

ATP was founded in 1994 with the vision of securing Armenia's future
by protecting its environment and restoring its degraded forests. ATP
advances Armenia's socio-economic development by mobilizing resources
for large-scale reforestation, community-based tree planting,
environmental education and advocacy, and rural development through
job creation. With the establishment of the Mirak Family reforestation
nursery and expansion of the backyard nursery program in the Getik
River Valley, ATP is working toward the goal of planting over one
million trees in 2006.

PHOTO CAPTION: US Ambassador to Armenia John Evans (center) with ATP
Director of Operations Vache Kirakosyan (right) during the ceremonial
tree planting in observance of Earth Day and Arbor Day