In an attempt to shift the development of the tourism sector to a more sustainable path, the Kyrgyz Government has decided to include tourism as a priority sector in the National Programme for the Development of the Green Economy 2019-2023. This programme recognises the importance of tourism and includes environmental protection as a principal strategic direction. For businesses in the tourism sector, these general policies are unlikely to effect changes in their energy and resource use practices. The root cause for this is the often inconsistent and incoherent environmental legislation, which lacks provisions for SCP and, combined with limited enforcement, encourages wasteful practices. In the regional context, despite its small size, Kyrgyzstan is only second to Kazakhstan in attracting foreign visitors (6.95 million in 2018). The country has several specific assets that make it a preferred destination, against its larger neighbours. Nevertheless, pollution is an emerging concern and, with growing numbers of tourists expected to visit the country, the problem is likely to become even more substantial. According to a recent survey, 25% of tourism companies perceive the touristic sites where they operate as polluted. Unless addressed, pollution at tourism sites, compounded by wasteful practices of tourism businesses, threatens the country’s opportunities to secure an ever-steady influx of nature-loving visitors.
Fosters the adoption of SCP and energy and resource efficiency measures through the introduction of different tools and training while promoting the adoption of voluntary green certification; develops an online Self-Assessment Tool for MSMEs; promotes access to green finance for MSMEs of the tourism sector in order for them to adopt SCP and resource efficiency measures, while creating appropriate enabling environment for related policies.
The specific objectives include:
- Raise the awareness of consumers and SMEs in the tourism sector about SCP and ERE practices;
- Build capacity and technical readiness of tourism SMEs to adopt SCP and ERE measures;
- Develop new green financing products tailored to the needs of SMEs in the tourism sector;
- Facilitate and advance the national policy dialogue and policy formulation on SCP and ERE implementation;
- Promote industry commitments geared towards achieving the country’s Green Economy goals by facilitating the development of voluntary ERE certification targeted at tourism SMEs.
The Way Forward
- Increased awareness of the importance of SCP practices and ERE measures;
- Increased local capacity among tourism SMEs to implement SCP and ERE;
- Increased access to green finance for tourism SMEs to adopt SCP/ERE measures;
- Increased awareness among company executives, consumers (travelers, citizens), local media, and educational institutions about the importance of SCP and ERE;
- An improved policy enabling environment that favours the inclusion of SCP and ERE in the national policies formulation and implementation.
Relation to European Green Deal, Circular Economy and Climate Change
- The project is aligned with EU priorities and strategies on energy and climate related by focusing on the promotion of energy efficiency and low carbon technologies.
- The project is also aligned with the European Green Deal by focusing on helping companies to adopt clean products and technologies.
- The project will also promote voluntary commitments in the tourism sector, drawing inspiration from the EU Ecolabel tool for tourism accommodation services.
- Many activities under the project will draw experience from other EU-supported programmes and initiatives such as the European Resource Efficiency Knowledge Center and the Kyrgyz Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (KyrSEFF).
Total Budget:EUR 2.832.155 (EU contribution: 80%)
Maksat Damir uulu,
c/o American University of Central Asia
7/6 Aaly Tokombaev Street, Room 235
Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic 720060
Email: [email protected]
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