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Viva-MTS: Harmless interaction between “Electric Fences” and bears
22/06/2023 13:24
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Viva-MTS: Harmless interaction between “Electric Fences” and bears

The practice of shift night monitoring of the areas of Vayots Dzor has a long history. Invasion of bears have become so commonplace that villages have created improvised means to announce their unexpected visit. But neither detectors fixed on trees nor vigilance are enough to protect farms from bears’ attacks. In the enlarged Yeghegnadzor community, which unites the villages of Getap, Gladzor, Malishka, Vernashen and the city of Yeghegnadzor, after the visit of bears, there are always photos of broken beehives and farmers’ financial losses.

“Two years ago, a bear took away beehives: one beehive from a neighbor, 9 beehives from our bees. We would get at least 170-200 kg of honey from nine bee colonies. The beehives were damaged, we lost the bee colonies. This is a serious damage for the farmer. There is no way to fight back. Obviously, we have no right to harm a bear. We are aware that there are solar-powered electric fences of high efficiency. Our beekeeper neighbors are confident that there is no harm from the electric fences. Now, there is an apiary above our village. Two years ago, when the bear damaged everyone’s beehives, it did not damage those protected by the fences,” said Zhirayr Minasyan, 63 years old, a resident of Vernashen village, who was born in a beekeeper’s family and continues the family business.

Years ago, Viva-MTS and the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) found the best way to mitigate the human-wildlife conflict. “Electric Fences”, which operate with the use of modern technologies have been added to the daily care of nature. For more than 17 years, partners who have been carrying out important and serious environmental projects in different regions of Armenia, in 2020, implemented the first project of embedding “electric fences” in Vayots Dzor. Farms that have used the solar-powered fence service were not attacked by bears in subsequent years. They managed to harvest without harming the animal. The steps taken have proven that this is a balanced approach to solving the problem.

In Vayots Dzor region this year, new farmers began to benefit from the support of Viva-MTS and the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC). In the almost alpine zone, where nature has created wonderful conditions for collecting abundant nectar, dozens of beehives have been entrusted to the “care” of “electric fences.” “Electric fences” are especially suitable for beekeepers who are constantly on the move throughout the year and farmers travelling to far-flung pastures. Donated systems have an advantage: they are easily transported, provide local work, allow to enclose the required territory within 10-15 minutes and are dismantled in a short period of time. With the systems provided in 2020, the farmers can enclose 7,500 square meters, and with this year’s systems – 1 hectare (ha) of area.

An electric fence operates at high voltage but low current (amperage). As a result, the animals are not physically harmed, but, feeling unpleasant, they no longer approach the fenced areas. The system consists of a solar panel, a micro-inverter, a battery, an electronic fence generator, and an easy-to-mount and dismantle fence. The system provided four years ago has the possibility of fencing 300 linear meters, and this year – 400 linear meters.

Viva-MTS (MTS Armenia CJSC) is Armenia’s leading telecommunications operator, having the widest network reach and spreading a wide range of Voice and Data services all across Armenia. Having the best of the Armenian people at heart since its launch on 1st July 2005 and in a short period of time Viva-MTS has managed to build a nationwide network and a considerable customer base. Viva-MTS drives innovation and aims at always being at the forefront of any development serving the Armenian mobile communications market.  The company follows the guidance provided by ISO 26000 (International Standard of Social Responsibility), ISO/IEC 27001:2013 (Information Security Management System) and ISO 37001 (International anti-bribery management systems standard). Additional information about Viva-MTS can be found at: https://www.mts.am

Eco villages network includes selected intentional or traditional communities throughout Armenia, that are consciously designed through locally owned, participatory processes to regenerate their social, cultural, economic and natural environments. The core idea behind the whole concept of the ecovillages is integrating the four dimensions of sustainability – ecological, economic, cultural and social – through integral, participatory design. The project is a new format of the long-term cooperation between the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC), VivaCell-MTS and the Global Ecovillages Network (GEN) in the field of environmental protection and sustainable use of natural resources.

The Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) was founded in Y2002. FPWC is a member organization of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since Y2012. FPWC’s mission is to publicize the unique natural heritage of Armenia and the importance of biodiversity conservation, environmental issues and the importance of preserving nature. We aim to reduce human and wildlife conflict and its consequences to reduce the risks of endangered species of flora and fauna. Biodiversity conservation, environmental education, community development and public awareness are the main directions of our activities.

28/02/2024
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