Between sky and mountains

11 May 2006

For more than four years UNESCO has been actively involved in the development, support and promotion of cultural and ecotourism in the mountainous regions of Central and South Asia, particularly in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

In Kazakhstan, continuous training of professionals in the ecotourism sector aimed at providing quality services to visitors and to significantly increase the income of rural households was provided by the Kazakhstan Mountaineering Foundation.

In Kyrgyzstan, UNESCO Almaty and the NoviNomad Tourism Development Company promoted community-based cultural and ecotourism in the Issyk-Kul area with a specific focus on poverty eradication, reducing rural-urban migration, and to develop and support school eco-tourism clubs and ecotourism service provider associations to develop an understanding of cultural and natural heritage and demonstrate the ecotourism potential of the region.

In Tajikistan, activities conducted in collaboration with ACTED Central Asia focused around issues of natural and cultural resource conservation as well as high community participation and self-mobilization in the East Pamir. Networking among stakeholders in the Murghab region was demonstrated by the formation of a Nature Protection Group and the strengthening of the development of regional community-based home stays, the production of high-quality handicrafts, the promotion of living eco-museums, and the protection archaeological sites.

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