TRAINING WORKSHOPS AND MEETINGS IN AKTOGAI REGION
DECEMBER 4-6, 2012
Our activities aimed at ecotourism development in the territory of Kyzylarai ecosite are going on. On December 4-6, 2012 a number of meetings and a series of workshops, dedicated to the ecotourism development in the territory of Kyzylarai ecosite, were held by "Avalon" PF in Aktogai district of Karaganda region in the framework of the project, funded by GEF/UNDP SGP.
Meeting of the project team with the akim of Aktogai district, Saltanat Abeuova, revealed numerous areas of common interest and made it clear that future tourism development in the area will be carried out by joint efforts. Two parties also reached an agreement regarding distribution of the educational modules about the importance of protected areas (PA) and biodiversity conservation, which had been worked out in the framework of the project, in schools of Aktogai district.
Both potential ecoservice providers and those who have been taking an active part in ecotourism development at the site in the past three years (owners of guest-houses, guides, etc.), participated in the workshops organized in Shabanbai Bi village. It is worthy of note that topicality of the discussed topic also attracted the younger generation: thus, a number of the local school’s students were present at workshops.
For the workshops holding several educational modules had been prepared by the project team, namely "Practice of sustainable use of natural resources" and "Environmentally friendly behaviour at PA" (you may familiarize yourself with them in "Materials" section). Oxana Shuptar, a specialist in ecotourism development, first defined the concept of PA and told about its importance in the field of biodiversity conservation in Kazakhstan. Then the norms of environmentally friendly behavior at PA both for locals and tourists were touched upon. Moreover, basic principles of the rational use of natural resources on local and global levels were outlined.
In the framework of the trip were considered the conditions and perspectives of foundation of the community council dealing with ecotourism development in Shabanbai Bi village by the example of Saty rural district in Almaty region. Discussion on the subject took place with the participation of all interested villagers, concerned with tourism development. As a result decision was made to found such a council and add to its members the most authoritative and respected villagers, including representatives of the local administration of Shabanbai Bi rural district and Kyzylarai nature reserve administration, guest-houses owners and a spokesperson from "Avalon" PF.
Meetings and workshops which had been organized in Aktogai and Shabanbai Bi, have revealed concernment and enthusiasm of all the interested parties about the future development of Kyzylarai ecosite. The chosen direction for the development, concerned with the development of ecological and community-based tourism, is seen as the only correct and promising one: both in terms of inbound tourism and with the aim of domestic tourism development.
In conclusion, we would like to present to your attention some photographs of Shabanbai Bi in wintertime.