The Conference Hall of the Ministry of Nature Protection hosted the Training on Red Listing which lasted for 4 days. Apart from 15 participants who were approved by the Organizing committee, the first day of the conference attracted other audiences as well. Among them, members of local CWR staff, representatives of the Ministry of Nature Protection, other interested parties.
Armen Danielyan, the national project coordinator, opened the training with a welcome speech. After a short introduction to the project, Mr. Danielyan stressed importance of the training both for Armenian and for the project. When talking about the guide of IUCN criteria and Categories version 3.1, which will be used during the training, he emphasized that the guide was translated into Armenian in the framework of the project. He also introduced the principal scientist of IPGRI, Mr. Ehsan Dulloo, who was invited to conduct the training.
Ms. Tatyana Danielyan, Head of Biodiversity conservation Division of the Ministry of Nature Protection and Ms. Siranush Muradyan, from Bioresource management agency of the Ministry of Nature Protection told about current state of Red Listing in Armenia. They mentioned that the list of threatened plants and animals was approved by the government in 2006. By the same decree development of program on researching animal and plant species was approved and scheduled for 2007. It is planned to do the treat assessment according to IUCN Categories and Criteria version 3.1. As a result of this Study the updated Red Data Books will be published. Ms. Danileyan stressed the difficulties they faced in overcoming budget constraints, but finalized her speech with optimism that the scheduled activities will be done on time and on the proper level.
Mr. Dulloo started the introductory session with short background information about his education, employment, current occupation and involvement in the project. He also presented a short history of development of IUCN Criteria and Categories.
During the morning session Mr. Dulloo gave a summary introduction to IUCN Red list Categories, listed the type of data required for Red List assessment and discussed concepts and definitions underlying the technical terms used in the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria version 3.1. The participants found confusing that certain terms known from biology were used under different definition in IUCN. In the Afternoon Session Mr. Dulloo presented Criteria A and B, each followed with discussion.
The next day started with a small test which was offered to test the understanding of definitions and concepts, discussed the previous day. The test was followed with discussion of points that were not clear to the participants. Participants suggested that main reason for confusion in terminology stems from the fact that the translation of presentations is into Armenian while the manual was translated into Russian. During the rest of the morning session Criteria C, D and E were covered with discussions. The afternoon session was devoted to the application of Red List Criteria at Regional level. This includes issues at regional level, categories at the regional level, applicability for regional assessment, contact of regional with other populations, procedures for using IUCN Red List at regional level, documentation and publication of regional Red Lists. Given the importance these issues have, participants asked many questions, regarding, particularly, the documentation required for regional assessment.
On the third day of training, a field trip was organized to Dilijan National park. Here the participants had an opportunity to asses the population size of wild pear (Pyrus caucasica Fed.) and wild apple (Malus orietalis Uglitzk.) in a filed exercise. Divided into 5 groups, each group of participants surveyed a transect belt 4 m wide and 100 m long. Results were extrapolated to estimate population samples on 1 ha.
The next day of training started with a test on understanding the 5 Criteria discussed on previous days. Almost all participants got 100% results. After a short coffee break the participants had an opportunity to assess the threat status of selected priority CWRs in a hands-on practical session, followed with presentation of working groups. As a result of this working session the threat status of 5 priority taxa of the project, i.e Triticum araraticum Jakubz., Aegilops tauschii Coss., Beta lomatogona Fisch. & C.A. Mey., Vavilovia formosa (Steven.) Fed. and Pyrus caucasica Fed. was assessed.