EU to fund two projects in Kyrgyzstan

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DM Monitoring

Tashkent: ACTED launches 2 EU-funded projects boosting renewable energy and investments in small rural tourism enterprises.
Two new ACTED projects, funded by the European Union’s SWITCH-Asia and Central Asia Invest Programmes, aim to strengthen business development support to the Community-Based Tourism sector, and widen their access to sustainable energy. ACTED and partners will implement the two projects in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan until 2023. International tourist flow to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan has been growing at unprecedented rates in recent years, more than doubling between 2017 – 2019. The growth of the tourism industry has the potential to bring new opportunities and sources of income and prosperity to some of the most remote and marginalized communities. However, rapid tourist development also has the potential to further increase greenhouse emissions and carbon footprint, contributing to environmental degradation in Central Asia, a region that is already severely vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change.
The new projects will notably strive to improve the competitiveness of small rural enterprises and support a long-term reduction of the carbon footprint in the tourism sector in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. They will be implemented by ACTED, as well as partners: the Association of Private Tourism Organizations of Uzbekistan (APTA), the Kyrgyz CBT Association “Hospitality Kyrgyzstan” (KCBTA), the Tajik CBT Association (TCBTA); Microfinancing Associations NAMI Uzbekistan, AMFOT Tajikistan and AMFI Kyrgyzstan; as well as BizExpert (Kyrgyzstan), TAJNOR (Tajikistan), Mascontour GmBH (Germany), and the European Centre for Eco- and Agro-Tourism (ECEAT).
Innovation, inclusion and sustainability are the keywords of these new projects, that will include business and financing support for green energy companies, policy recommendations for Governments, activities to promote regional branding and marketing of the Silk Road, eco-certification schemes, international forums, training for community-based and eco-tourism businesses, and promotion of rural and eco-tourism in Central Asia, especially among European tourists.
The Public Launch event of the projects took place on Sept. 18, 2020, in the presence of all Government officials, European Union representatives and civil society and private sector stakeholders. The event was carried out online in compliance with COVID-19 protection measures, setting up a platform for sharing more information on the projects, sharing ideas, and for developing a joint strategic vision for the projects until 2023.