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					 EURASIA NEWS




                                                                                                                                    #2 [summer 2002]
                          BELARUS MOLDOVA UKRAINE


T   he Eurasia Foundation is a privately
    managed nonprofit grant making
organization created by the U.S. govern
ment in 1993. With funding provided by
a grant from the U.S. Agency for
International Development and over $30
million in grants from foreign govern
ments, foundations, private businesses
and individuals, the Eurasia Foundation
supports programs in twelve countries of
the New Independent States (NIS) of
the former Soviet Union.
    Support covers a wide range of activ
ities in economic and democratic reform
targeting institutions and individuals at
the local level. Since its inception, the
Foundation has awarded nearly 6,000
grants for a total of more than $118 mil
lion. The Eurasia Foundation does not
administer its own programs, but
finances projects on the basis of propos
als designed and submitted by appli
cants, according to a set of guidelines
established by the Foundation.
    The Foundation's Kyiv Regional Office
is responsible for grant making programs
in Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus. The
office began awarding grants in early
1994 and to date has offered direct sup
port to several hundred organizations in
the region.




                                                                                            Welcome
  The Eurasia Foundation's program
matic focus includes:
• Private Enterprise Development:
Includes management training, business



                                                                                                into
and economics education, small busi
ness development, agribusiness support,
industrial restructuring, policy advice
and information systems.



                                                                                              Green
• Public Administration and Policy
Reform: Includes public administration
training, public policy advice, streamlin
ing procedures, transparency and devel



                                                                                               Rural
opment of non governmental organiza
tions.
• Civil Society: Includes projects to
develop and support an independent


                                                                                            Tourism!
media, systems for alternative dispute
resolution and the empowerment of
non governmental organizations.

    We take a long term
     approach, building
  on short term successes.                  "T    he Western NIS Regional Office's Advisory Board on July 12 approved over $264,229 in
                                                  grants to forteen organizations to promote private enterprise, public administration
                                            reform and civil society development in Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus.
                                                                                                                         page 8 ? ? ?

                                                                                                                       Summer 2002 1
                           Presenting a new program

                                                TOURISM DEVELOPMENT
                                                PROGRAM IN UKRAINE
                                                 PROGRAM RATIONALE                        the tourist sector, Eurasia Foundation
                                                                                          has identified the following as those of
                                                  Ukraine possesses a wide spectrum       critical importance that it can support:
                                               of resources critical for the growth of
                                               the tourist industry, yet is using mere-   • Training for diverse categories of
                                               ly one-third of its capacity to build a      individuals in the tourism industry.
                                               national tourist sector. Some of the       • Collection and organization of data
                                               key impediments to the market, par-          on tourist products in a region.

  T   ired of the big city? Bored of running
      alone in the rushing crowds? Then it
  is time for you to flee from the asphalt
                                               ticularly for international visitors are
                                               the scarcity of promotional materials,
                                                                                          • Improvement of current tourist
                                                                                            products and routes and develop-
                                               a difficult and bureaucratic entrance        ment of new ones.
  jungle.
                                               procedure and a lack of professional       • Regional and local development
                                               managers and staff capable of catering       programs to support the sector.
  You may ask: How? Rural green tourism
  is the answer. Take a breath of the fresh    to the needs of foreign tourists.
  air in nature's solitude. Go to a place      Support of projects that mitigate these
  where you feel at home surrounded by a       impediments will result in a favorable
  friendly rural family. Plunge into crystal   environment for growth of the
  clear water and discover jewels of           tourism sector.
  untouched nature, the beauty of a for
  gotten world of traditions and slow pace       GOALS and OBJECTIVES
  of life. Feel reborn and refreshed before
  heading back to the urban scene.                The overall goal of Eurasia
                                               Foundation's tourism development
  Why did we decide to launch a rural          program in Ukraine is to promote
  green tourism program?                       accelerated development of the sector.
                                               Principle objectives of the program
  First, it creates new jobs for the local     include:
  people, providing them with an opportu
  nity to stay and work within their locale    • Enhancing business practices
  without searching for job opportunities        through improvement of profes-
  far beyond their native areas;                 sional skills.
                                               • Promoting legal and regulatory           • Regulatory and legal reforms that
  Second, green tourism improves the             reforms affecting the industry.            affect tourism and investments in
  livelihoods of the rural population,         • Strengthening NGOs and tourist             the sector.
  encouraging them to improve their envi         associations.                            • Development of programs and
  ronment and local infrastructure;                                                         plans for educational institutions to
                                                                                            provide training.
  Third, it develops additional revenues                                                  • Provision of information support
  for local and regional level administra                                                   and database development.
  tions that can be used for community                                                    • Marketing surveys and research
  needs, such as social care and adds to a                                                  that result in the development and
  positive climate in rural areas;                                                          implementation of marketing
                                                                                            strategies.
  Fourth, it makes rural communities                                                      • Development and implementation
  stronger by fostering the creation of                                                     of coordination efforts among serv-
  rural unions and associations while                                                       ice providers, NGOs and govern-
  merging various types of services.                                                        mental agencies.

  I am sure that while reading this issue of                                                PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY
  the Newsletter you will be able to come
  across other reasons to prolong this list                                                  Under its programmatic mandate,
  and join us as our partner in the pro                                                   the Eurasia Foundation will invite
  gram's implementation. Come along                                                       proposals from Ukrainian registered
  with us into the new country of rural                                                   non-governmental tourism related
  green tourism.                                                                          organizations operating at the local,
                                                 PROJECT ACTIVITIES
                                                                                          regional and national levels. For addi-
     Inna Filippova                                                                       tional information and funding guide-
                                                  Recognizing the wide array of
     Program Coordinator                                                                  lines, please contact our office.
                                               activities that are necessary to develop


2 Summer 2002
Definitions                                                                                                            Guest column

                                                                         Rural Green Tourism
                                                                         Development Activities
T  he tradition of spending holidays in Ukrainian vil
   lages is rooted in the past. 19th century Russian                     T   he Union for Promotion of Rural
                                                                             Green Tourism Development in
                                                                         Ukraine is a national non govern
noblemen and the intelligentsia were familiar with
                                                                         mental and non profit organization
the pursuit of rest an dcures in Crimean villages. AT                    that aims at developing a related
the befinning of the 20th century green tourism was                      form of vacationing based on the
developed in the Carpathian Mountains. Today,                            recreational potentials of Ukrainian
                                                                         villages. The Union was founded in
Ukraine is experiencing a mini boom of agricultural                      1996 and today includes 1,000 indi
tourism. Hospitable country estates attract citizens                     vidual and 53 collective members
from Ukraine, Russia and other foreign countries with                    that represent 17 regions of Ukraine.
its natural foods and spectacular Ukrainian nature.                      Its infrastructure includes oblast and
                                                                         rural branches.

Ecological tourism ( e c o t o u r i s m ) h a s d e v e l o p e d i n      A principal focus of the Union during the past 6 years is the revival
Ukraine largely within the boundaries of protected natu -                and development of rural green tourism. Thanks to the work of volun
ral reserves, offering short and long stays. Ecological                  teers and activists the agricultural tourism market has become a pop
tours and environmental education are also provided.                     ular way of spending weekends and holidays and is a widespread form
The categories of the National Reserve Fund of Ukraine,                  of rural employment.
where ecotourism can be developed, are: National
Natural Parks, regional landscape parks, and biosphere                       Because the Union initiated its activities in Ukraine, the coopera
reserves. Ecotourism in Ukraine specifically provides for                tion between national and local authorities and green tourism opera
protection of the native flora and fauna.                                tors and managers resulted in the development of a supportive admin
                                                                         istrative environment for the rural tourism expansion. The Union also
Green tourism is similar to ecotourism, but is less restric -            takes an active role in developing a legislative basis to regulate the
tive in both area and controls. For example, green                       rural green tourism sector.
tourism normally takes place in forested parks, botanical
gardens and other parks situated in both rural and urban                 Among the Union's primary objectives are the following:
areas. Many rivers contain protected 'green-lines' along                 • Popularizing agricultural tourism
their banks, including large rivers such as the Dnieper,                 • Promoting the recreational potential of the Ukrainian villages in
Desna, Danube and Southern Boug.                                           national and international markets for tourist services
                                                                         • Supporting development of green tourism infrastructure
Another variety of ecotourism is rural and heritage                      • Assisting in development of rural employment opportunities
tourism, providing travelers with the experience of living
in rural settlements with an emphasis on natural foods                      In 1997 the Union published its national journal, Rural Green
and life styles. Of great importance for rural tourism                   Tourism that has gained tremendous popularity in the tourist market.
development is the protection and development of the                     This journal publishes professional, methodological and analytical
local heritage, folk trades and unique architectural and                 materials, success stories, lists of places to stay, etc. In 2000 the
historic monuments.                                                      Union was nominated for recognition of its work in the field at the
                                                                         National Ukrainian Tourist Professional Program "Kryshtalevyj Leleka"
Similar to ecological tourism is agro or farm tourism.                   and in 2001 the national journal received a certificate and official
This type of tourism is normally activity oriented, with                 praise from the program.
the tourist actively taking part in farm work, etc.
                                                                            The Union is developing transparent mechanisms to govern the
Many villages are suitable for agrotoursism and many                     relationships among various participants of the rural tourism infra
have already begun the conversion to agrorecreational                    structure beginning with travel agents and those who host tourists.
villages. Lower income families prefer to vacation in                    In addition, plans are in place to assist the tourist information center
rural areas where they can find ecologically clean prod -                Hospitable Country Estates and regional centers through advertising
ucts, inexpensive housing and become re-acquanted with                   and promotional activities targeting new clients for rural tourism.
old customs and heritage while children are involved in                  Finally, the Union plans to develop cooperative initiatives between
practical agricultural work, folk traditions and rituals                 tourist sector representatives and local authorities to promote the
                                                                         attraction of new tourists to rural areas.

                                                                            Volodymyr Vasiljev
                                                                            Chairman of the Board, The Union for Promotion
                                                                            of Rural Green Tourism Development in Ukraine
                                                                            Phone/fax (044) 552-94-63,
                                                                            E-mail: vgt@i.com.ua
                                                                            www.greentour.com.ua


                                                                                                                                Summer 2002 3
  Guest column                                   Success Story




                                                 Agricultural
                                                 and Craft
  Farm Tourism                                   Tourism
  Y   ou are typical city dweller surround
      ed by concrete, with little free time
  and space       searching for a place to
                                                 G   rytsiv is a tiny town in northern part
                                                     of Khmelnytska Oblast in Western
                                                 Ukraine. You might say that it is an aver
  escape from 'civilization'. You won't find     age venue that does not differ from any
  it hard to jump in a car and head for a spot   other spot of this region. But below the
  in Western Ukraine called Grytsiv.             surface, this town has habitants who
                                                 care about it a lot. And thus they creat
     Grytsiv is a town of 5 000, hidden in       ed two NGOs              Grytsiv Revival
  woods of Khmelnytska oblast and circled        Association and Rural Tourism Cluster
  by the Khomora river. Think you will be        Oberig      that implement programs to
  bored? This is a place where the inhabi        help Grytsiv grow and flourish economi
  tants live in pristine conditions; where       cally and culturally.
  you can set your agenda in advance fill
  ing your newly found free time fishing,           Grytsiv citizens say that a Ukrainian village is like Cinderella who works hard day to day
  hunting, participating in handicraft work      but still wears old clothes. A village has its own special soil, goodwill, honesty and char
  shops or just wandering the fields and         acter. But it can only reveal it at the moment Cinderella is changed into a princess. Each
  woods hunting mushrooms and drinking           year Grytsiv has its fifteen minutes of fame, moments of magic: a festival market and
  fresh milk from the local farms every day.     handicraft day "I Love You My Grytsiv". This holiday was started in the summer of 1999
  The Oberig Rural Tourism Cluster can help      and since then it has attracted artists, craftsmen and tourists. Although the festival only
  you in your escape from the city.              lasts a day, those who arrive rather prefer to stay longer not easy in a town that lacks
                                                 hotels. That was a key reason for creating the Oberig Rural Tourism Cluster and launching
      Founded by 27 citizens of the region       the Resting in the Village program.
  June 2002, Oberig RTC is a regional union
  of educational and scientific entrepre                                                                               What's needed first
  neurs and local government established                                                                            to start agricultural
  to promote and provide high quality                                                                               tourism program? Find
  tourism services to support economic                                                                              like minded activists
  development. The Grytsiv Cluster is the                                                                           that can be united into
  first in a rural area. It was founded as a                                                                        a team. Then put the
  result of the enthusiasm and persistence                                                                          team to work on practi
  of its members who brought know how                                                                               cal tasks any will do
  from the United States, Poland, and the                                                                           and there are so many
  Slovak Republic. Each member of the                                                                               things to do in village.
  Cluster is responsible for a unique 'voca                                                                         Have them identify and
  tional service' for tourists providing use                                                                        provide advice on local
  ful information in a particular area of                                                                           attractions,    always
  interest. At the same time, the Oberig RTC                                                                        keeping in mind the
  supports business start ups by providing                                                                          uniqueness of the vil
  trainers in business planning for agricul                                                                         lage. Even putting
  tural tourism and continuing support for                                                                          together a dedicated
  business development.                          team is a key goal and you'll find that the practical ideas and suggestions to make a suc
                                                 cessful program will not be far behind.
     Oberig is now hoping to expand the
  scope of its activities and develop it with       Nothing like this is easy, of course. And for those village authorities that have lost
  other partners into a Ukrainian National       their original optimism we have prepared special curriculum to help the Rural Community
  Network of Agricultural Tourism Clusters.      Development Program. We know it works because we have been living it for four years.
                                                 Grytsiv is a model that represents teamwork on creating a community. You are welcome to
     Lidija Matsuk                               join us in spreading this model.
     Head of the Cluster's Board
     Phone/fax (0340) 729 30                        Natalia Gnatuk
     e-mail: oberig@sh.km.ua                        Head of the Rural Community Development Program
                                                    Phone (03840) 722- 48
                                                    e-mail: grytsiv@sh.km.ua

4 Summer 2002
                                                                         Success Story

                                                  On the 5 7 of July, within the
                                                   Year of Tourism announced in
                                               Ivano Frankivsk oblast in 2002,
                                               the first in Ukraine promotion
                                               tour for journalists was carried
                                               out. Among tour's organizers
                                               were state and non governmen
                                               tal tourism institutions both
                                               from Ivano Frankivsk and Kyiv.
Tourist route included visits to pysanka city Kolomyja, woody Worokhta, water
falls of Jaremcha, Dovbush Rocks and ruins of ancient fortresses of Galych city.
More than 70 people from all over Ukraine participated in this tour and were
                                                                                          The Carpathian
                                                                                          Regional
invited to take part in the competition on best media coverage of the event.
The winners' prize — 10 days vocation for two in Carpathians. It very attrac
tive proposal since from now on all tour's participants are eager to get back to
the region paying for the visit even from their own pocket.

Mykhajlo Vyshywanuk,head of the Ivano Frankivsk Oblast State Administration says
                                                                                          Tourist Board
that Transcarpathian region is "a little Switzerland with soviet roads". Thus tourism
will seen is one of the priorities in the economical development of the region. Private   The Carpathian region in western Ukraine, with its rich
green tourism raise is good motivation to create an appropriate transport infrastruc      history, architectural diversity and culture offers tourists
ture with further roads and rails repairing.                                              opportunities to experience its sights year round. Green,
                                                                                          heritage and farm tourism is a prime growth industry here
Nina Chernova, Slobidskyj Kraj, Kharkiv: "I loved it hear. I will leave this place with
marvelous memories and will encourage all my relatives and people I know to come          where choices of activities include hiking, horseback rid
have relatively inexpensive holidays in Carpathians".                                     ing, river rafting and canoeing, mountain climbing and
                                                                                          skiing all while surrounded by beautiful scenery. The
Vasyl Skachyna, Ukrinform: "Carpathian region development should not be treated as
problem to be solved by oblast's budgets, but national. Launching Sate Tourism            region is equally attractive for its clean air, mineral
Program for Carpathians will be useful for al nation".                                    springs and country resorts.



T  his year the International Gutsul Festival will be held in the little town
   of Kosiv in Ivano Frankivsk oblast. This is the 12th annual event and an
                                                                                          I  n August of 2001, Ivano Frankivsk, Transcarpathian, Lviv
                                                                                             and Chernivsti oblasts founded the Carparthian Regional
                                                                                          Tourist Board with the support of TACIS. The Board's activities
expected 2000 tourists from Ukraine and abroad will be able to taste local                focus on the economic development of the region through the
dishes and drinks, participate in handcraft classes for weaving, ceramics                 promotion of the Carpathian region for tourism while also pro
and wood and listen to folk concerts — 60 folk music and vocal groups                     viding the four oblasts with advice on marketing. During its
from Poland, Romania and Ukraine have been invited to participate.                        first year, the Board launched its Web site www.tourism
                                                                                          carpathian.com.ua, published numerous colorful booklets and
T  he Voloshchuk family is among those preparing to host Festival guests
   at their home in Kosiv. "We got into green tourism long before we knew
this terminology. The first guests were relatives of our friends who several
                                                                                          cards and produced a photo/video production reflecting the
                                                                                          unique nature of the Carpathian region.

times asked us to be their hosts." — notes Natalia Voloshchuk, — " But we                 The Tourist Board actively participated in local and interna
have only been in business for two years. When we made a final decision                   tional travel conferences and exhibitions while also conduct
on this we paid local authorities for the monthly licenses and cooperate                  ing several seminars for the regional tourist industry, includ
with the Regional Association of Rural and Green Tourism".                                ing training in green and extreme tourism management.


T  heir beautiful house, hidden in green woods and decorated in folk style,
   shelters tourists from Eastern and Western Ukraine, Russia, Poland and
the U.S. mostly in the summer, autumn and winter. "When we have a snowy
                                                                                          Ivano Frankivsk Oblast has established 2002 as the "Year of
                                                                                          Tourism" and the first promotional tour for journalists was
                                                                                          held between July 5th and 7th. More than 70 journalists from
winter, then our home is even over booked since lots of people are eager                  every region of Ukraine participated in the tour and were
to come to Kosiv to celebrate the New Year and for skiing".                               invited to take part in a competition for best media coverage
                                                                                          with a prize of 10 days in the Carpathians for two provided

N   atalia's husband graduated from the local college of applied and dec
    orative arts and, with numerous houses being renovated in town he
has plenty of work. With the annual Festival he usually gets special orders
                                                                                          jointly by the local administration and the Tourist Board. For
                                                                                          some, it was their first visit to the region and many are eager
                                                                                          to return.
from the local authorities. Now, Kosiv is within the new Gutsulshchyna
National Park, which will be officially opened during the Festival, and the               With a grant provided by the Eurasia Foundation and the
local administration needs new artwork and signs to be designed.                          Polish American Ukrainian Cooperation Initiative, the Board
                                                                                          is developing a Carpathian Vacation catalogue for publication
                                                                                          and distribution.

                                                                                          The Carparthian Regional Tourist Board is building its reputa
                                                                                          tion as a reliable organization committed to the economic
                                                                                          development of the region and providing information and
                                                                                          assistance to tourist sector businesses and visitors alike.

                                                                                          Natalia Gasuk,
                                                                                          Carparthian Regional Tourist Board,
                                                                                          Executive Director
                                                                                          E-mail: ctb@trade.gov.if.ua
                                                                                          Phone/fax (0342) 55-18-56

                                                                                                                                      Summer 2002 5
    Guest column                                                  New routs

                                                                  Falz Fein Biosphere
                                                                  Reserve "Askania Nova"
                                                                  T   he potential for tourism, and green tourism in particular, in Ukraine and
                                                                      its associated economic benefits can be better appreciated when one
                                                                  considers that there are sixteen natural reserves, eleven national parks,
                                                                  dozens of botanical gardens and animal reserves. Although these parks and
                                                                  gardens represent a key factor in ecological preservation, four integrated
                                                                  biosphere parks have been recognized by the UNESCO "Man and Biosphere"
  Preserved Wonders Are                                           program. A primary goal of these biospheres is to actively promote the con
                                                                  nections between ecological preservation, tourism and economic activities.
  Just At Our Front Door                                                                           Perhaps the most famous of the four biosphere
                                                                                              reserves is "Askania Nova" in Kherson region north
                                                                                              of Crimea and the Sea of Azov. Founded by Baron Falz
  U   kraine is known as steppe country. But where is the
      steppe? Crossing the country the traveler sees moun
  tains, fields, forests, lakes and rivers but no steppe.
                                                                                              Fein, a German immigrant, in 1874 it covers over
                                                                                              33,000 hectares and is one of the oldest reserves in
                                                                                              the country. The four hour drive from Crimea or 5
  Transformed by man, the primeval steppe ecosystems only                                     from Dnipropetrovsk brings you to Tauria, the only
  stretch out now lengthways along the northern shores of                                     place on the Eurasian continent where such a huge
  the Black and Azov Seas. Not everyone will find the steppe                                  expanse of ancient feather grass steppe along with
  comfortable. Its severe conditions were always the main                                     its unique wild life has
  obstacle to any settlement while the Sycthians and                                          been preserved.
  Sarmatians crossed it quickly on horseback. But it is ideal                                      Scythian stone babas,
  place to run away from city life to go back to a truly wild                                 or grandmothers, used in
  nature.                                                         the past as trail markers across the treeless steppe,
      Sections of the original ecosystems are preserved in        guard the tranquility of the prehistoric feather fes
  this region. The Biosphere Reserve "Askania Nova", Black        cue grasslands at Falz Fein Biosphere Reserve
  Sea Biosphere Reserve and the Azovo Sivash National Park        "Askania Nova". During the spring the steppe dis
  are considered world class ecosystem models. Askania is         plays a riot of color with tulips and irises before
  the best known among them to tourists since at least there      transforming in early summer to a white sea of
  is a small hotel and a number of village cafes.                 feather grass to the horizon. From the view of a dis
                                                                  tant horizon, the visitor can wander within the cool
      If there is a desire to stay in the Askania region longer   trees and water of the 115 year old botanical park
  and extreme adventures are on the agenda, then there are        with its original stone irrigation system.
  fascinating places to visit in the immediate vicinity. In                                         Within a vast enclosed portion of the steppe,
  that case, welcome to Pryssyvashia. Sun, salt and heat the                                   take a two hour tour by horse drawn carriage or
  only three words that can describe this zone. In the distant                                 mini bus to see more than 4,000 animals including
  past travelers and traders following the Silk Road or                                        zebra, bison, antelope and water buffalo from
  Chumak Way passed through Pryssyvashia. Today it's possi                                     Africa, Australia, and North and South America. For
  ble to retrace their steps and take in the un spoilt nature                                  100 years the legendary Przewalski's horses were
  of the Sivash Islands and North Crimea lakes, trek down                                      preserved here, and a small herd still wanders the
  paths used by armies during the First and Second World                                       steppe. Recently, as a result of collaborative efforts
  Wars, get a long term tan in salt deserts famous for their                                   with the University of California, Davis, the Reserve
  unexpected apparitions and visions. Can't swim? Then the                                     reintroduced the rare horse to their native
  salt aquatoria is available and the water will keep you on                                   Mongolia.
  the surface as do the waters of the Dead Sea and never let                                        The steppes surrounding the Askania Nova
  you drown. This exhausting trip can be finished at another                                   Reserve contain numerous places of interest that
  special natural resort where you can relax sore muscles in                                   are not apparent to the average tourist and a one
  curative mud volcanoes.                                                                      day trip does not do justice to the overall eco sys
                                                                  tem which reaches down to the shores of the Azov and east across the steppe.
      This land of 1000 wonders is known now only to the          With support from the Eurasia Foundation, NGOs will implement programs tar
  adventurous but has enormous potential for green and
                                                                  geted at green tourism training and infrastructure development that will result
  extreme tourism. To attract and maintain more tourists,         in improved economic activities in the region's towns and villages. Launching
  the regions infrastructure and service industry urgently        an eco tourism program in the region will increase the tourist flow and time
  needs development and a conversion to a more 'user              spent in the locale, stimulate
  friendly' environment. Askania Nova hopes to be at the          the development of other sec
  forefront of this development with support from a new           tors such as transport and
  partner, the Eurasia Foundation. Launching a green              communication, the production
  tourism program here will help to promote economic and          of building materials, ecologi
  social development while opening up a relatively little         cally produced food products
  explored, but ecologically important, region to a wider, par    and souvenir production all of
  ticipatory audience.                                            which will raise the standards of
  G.Gavrylenko,                                                   living in this rural area.
  Director, Biosphere Reserve "Askania Nova"


6 Summer 2002
New challanges
Once a shoe manufacturer decided to explore selling on African markets. To make a final deci
sion they dispatched two marketing specialists to investigate possibilities in several African
countries. One sent the following report: "The entire market can be ours everyone walks bare
foot and no shoe company has started operations here". Back in Minsk they called him an
optimist. The other specialist returned home with another report: "There is no way you can
start this business there people are comfortable without shoes and thus it will be hard to sell
to even one person". He was called a realist.



Eco-tourism Belarus?
M   y recent trip to Belarus reminded me of
    this old joke. Although two similar
conflicting reports could be written, we at
                                                   2002 being declared International Year of
                                                   Ecotourism, the Parliament began work on a
                                                   draft law "On Ecotourism" that may give
                                                                                                       tourists' opportunities. Eco tourism is sup
                                                                                                       plemented with Visculy, the government
                                                                                                       residence where the agreement that dis
the Western NIS office of the Eurasia              some juridical status and outline activities        mantled the USSR was signed in 1991;
Foundation prefer being realistic optimists        in the sector. But, with the progressive eco        Trinity church (1583); the White Tower of
and decided to launch a green and rural            nomic decline of the rural areas in Belarus         Kamenetz (1286).
tourism program in Belarus. Given the              agricultural tourism in particular has even             The Neman River also combines the
experience of Ukrainian NGOs in this sector,       less chance to start up.                            charm of a preserved natural setting and
the new program has a good chance to                                                                   history: the St. Peter and Paul church built
become a success story notwithstanding                The good news……………                               during the 17th century has a collection of
the poor state of Belarus' economic devel                                                              six 18th century altars which combine goth
opment or the government's attitude to pri             1. The national parks and reserves pre          ic, renaissance, baroque and rococo styles;
vate entrepreneurship. So, here are the            serve unique ecosystems that can satisfy
                                                                                                       the city of Lida holds the restored palace of
biggest pros and cons:                             the most demanding eco tourist. The most
                                                                                                       Grand Duke Gedimin who fought rampaging
                                                   famous national park is the Belovezha
                                                                                                       crusaders in the early 14th century.
                                                   Forest Preserve on the Polish border the
                                                                                                           3. The regions around Grodno, a famous
                                                   oldest reserve in the republic which is             historical area of interest, holds strong
                                                   included on the World Cultural and Natural
                                                                                                       interest for tourists from Poland and
                                                   Heritage list. This majestic wood was first
                                                                                                       Lithuania.
                                                   mentioned in manuscripts in 983. The
                                                                                                           4. Finally, local tour facilitators called
                                                   reserve covers an area of 87.6 thousand
                                                                                                       krajevedcheskije organizations (very popu
                                                   hectares representing a unique nature               lar in the Soviet era for arranging and pro
                                                   sanctuary and the only virtually untouched
                                                                                                       viding excursions within Belarus for the
                                                   large forest in Central Europe. The
                                                                                                       local population) still exist and they main
                                                   Belovezha forest is rich in fauna and birds.
                                                                                                       tain the information on old the tourist
                                                   The old growth woodland contains oaks
                                                                                                       routes and can form a foundation of knowl
   First the bad news…………                          aged 300 to 700 years, 450 year old ash             edgeable personnel.
                                                   trees and 220 year old pine trees. Supreme
                                                                                                           So, taking a realistic but nevertheless
    1. The tourist infrastructure in Belarus       in the dense forest is the auchor, the
                                                                                                       optimistic view, green/historical and eco
is geared toward taking people out of the          largest and rarest representative of Europe
                                                                                                       tourism will not be grasping at a goal
country domestic travel is not popular.            deer. But, most people come here to meet a
                                                                                                       beyond reach. The basic structure exists, as
Today the infrastructure, to be generous, is       zubr (Byelorussian bison) an animal that            do the people who can be trained as tour
not adapted to hosting a large number of           has become the symbol of Belarus.
                                                                                                       guides and managers, supported with infor
foreign tourists in general and in national            For hundreds of years Belarus has been
                                                                                                       mation materials, access to Internet and
parks or rural areas in particular. Few visu       referred to as Lakeland, quite justifiably.
                                                                                                       training in marketing. Tour associations
alize local tourists as the probable users of      There are 11,000 lakes and 20,000 rivers
                                                                                                       can implement a promotion campaign tar
such forms of tour services. Even if the           and brooks in the country. From azure and           geting local authorities to explain the ben
local population wants to, price precludes         deep blue to black mirrors, lakes are hidden
                                                                                                       efits eco and rural tourism development
green tourism. The official price for a trip       in forest thickets or glimmer among mead
                                                                                                       can provide to their communities. The
to the huge Belovezha forest preserve is           ows. Those who are enjoy fishing and swim
                                                                                                       Eurasia Foundation Tourism Development
less than $15 a low price for foreigners           ming and mysterious underwater world can
                                                                                                       Program is structured to provide interested
but too high for a Byelorussian.                   lose themselves in the Braslav Lakes                groups with the tools for creating a profes
Furthermore, all reserves and national parks       National park. The largest lakes of the park
                                                                                                       sional, sustainable green and eco tourism
are under the control of the Office of the         are the Driviaty, Snudy, Strusto, Voyso and
                                                                                                       business.
Presidential Administration. Consequently,         Bogeno. The amazing charm of this park is
                                                                                                           Finally, but certainly not least in impor
only state tourist agencies (and those             due to its variety of landscape: lakes, hills,
                                                                                                       tance, the Western NIS Regional Office is
under state protection) are able to arrange        woods and again more lakes contained in a           committed to establishing increasingly
and conduct excursions and small tourist           area of about 183 sq. km though the exact
                                                                                                       important cross border and regional coop
companies can hardly compete with them.            extent has yet to be measured.
                                                                                                       eration that promotes knowledge sharing,
    2. Eco/green tourism in Belarus is not             2. Historical and cultural heritage
                                                                                                       best practices and economic cooperation
seen as an important part of country's             opportunities structures from the period
                                                                                                       between the countries that shortly will bor
economy and its citizens' prosperity. The          of the Crusades, the history of Grand Dukes         der an expanded European Union.
tax system, with its oppressive regulations,       Gedimin and Radzivill, the poet Adam
is a formidable obstacle to private business       Mitskevitch and the spot where the Soviet
development even though as a result of             Union was dissolved        all enhance the          Dzvenyslava Novakivska
                                                                                                       Outreach and Development Coordinator

      This publication was made possible through support provided by the Office of Market Transition, Bureau for Europe and Eurasia,
      U.S. Agency for International Development, under the terms of Award No. EMT G 00 02 00008 00. The opinions expressed herein are those             7
      of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Eurasia Foundation and the U.S.Agency for the International Development.
Grant list
PRIVATE ENTERPRISES DEVELOPMENT                               Project activities will assist in optimizing the introduc     CIVIL SOCIETY
                                                              tion of market principles into the agricultural sector of
Association Lviv Tourist Board                 $23,228        the country.                                                  DECA Press                                     $31,746
Ukraine, Kyiv                                                                                                               Moldova, Balti
                                                              Podilia Pershyi Association                    $30,381
To support accelerated development and growth of pri                                                                        To support the development of democracy and private
                                                              Ukraine, Khmelnytskyi
vate enterprises in the tourist sector. The project will                                                                    businesses in the northern region of the Republic of
establish a Tourist Information Point located at the city     To support economic development in the depressed              Moldova. The project will include training and practical
airport, which will provide tourists with information serv    regions of the northern part of Khmelnytska oblast. The       assistance for entrepreneurs, civil society and media rep
ices and printed materials about the regional tourist         grantee will train local government officials to use mod      resentatives. During implementation approximately 40
infrastructure free of charge. The project will also update   ern methods of assessment of the level of economic            entrepreneurs and NGO representatives will receive pub
a database of the regional tourist industry; develop and      development in the region, to produce and implement           lic relations training to insure efficient promotion of
publish information materials for the Tourist Information     local economic development strategies, and introduce          their activities to assist in resolving the social and eco
Point; and, conduct seminars for the Point employees.         the cluster based model of industrial development in          nomic problems of the local communities. Additionally
The project will strengthen the image of Lviv as a tourist    small towns and villages. The results of the program will     about 45 journalists will receive relevant legal training
center as well as improve informational support of the        lead to a reduced level of unemployment, increased com        and not less than 10 leaders of the independent media
tourist industry.                                             petitiveness of small and medium businesses, and              will participate in management seminars. The project
                                                              improved climate for private enterprise development in        will develop the capacity of private business, non gov
Konotop Egency for                              $7,790        the region.                                                   ernmental and the local administrations' activities, while
Economic Development                                                                                                        strengthening the role of free media in solving local
Ukraine, Konotop                                              Razumkov Ukrainian Center for                   $2,999        community problems.
                                                              Economic and Political Studies
To support the creation of favorable conditions for the       Ukraine, Kyiv                                                 Informational Development                      $34,999
development of small business in the city of Konotop.                                                                       Promotion Foundation
The project will develop a business incubator and busi        To support methodologies to increase citizen participa        Belarus, Minsk
ness center to provide training for new and existing          tion in political and economic decision making. The
entrepreneurs, provide consulting services, hold compe        project will conduct an independent analysis of political,    To improve citizen access to information through the
titions for the best business plans and other business        economic, social and legal issues related to Ukraine's        development of non state TV and radio stations. The
concepts, and publish an economic legal digest in the         accession to the World Trade Organization and to devel        project will create a Regional Information Agency intro
local newspaper. The long term results of the program         op recommendations regarding optimal methods of               ducing high quality news exchange in cooperation with
will contribute to increased number of registered and         implementation to address those issues. A round table         20 regional TV and 5 radio stations. Research on the
functioning small and medium businesses, increased rate       with key Ukrainian officials and national media will be       broadcast media market will also be conducted. The proj
of workers' employed by small businesses, and encourage       conducted to summarize the findings and recommenda            ect will increase the quality of news programs produced
more activity and investment in small and medium busi         tions.                                                        by non governmental TV stations and encourage media
ness in the city.                                                                                                           cooperation.

Center for Land Reform Policy in Ukraine        $3,739        PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION REFORM                                  Institute of Mass Information                  $21,900
Ukraine, Kyiv                                                                                                               Ukraine, Kyiv
                                                              Center for Ethno social studies                $27,455        To reduce obstacles to independent media development
To support development of private entrepreneurship in
                                                              Ukraine, Simferopol                                           and facilitate citizen access to information. The project
the agricultural sector. The project will develop, publish
and distribute an annual analytical report on land reform     To improve the performance of civil servants by support       will provide journalists with legal advice and informa
implementation in Ukraine in 2001. The project will pro       ing a professional, university level public administration    tion, advocacy assistance, legislative analysis and pre
mote more effective implementation of land reform and         program. The project will publish a handbook for univer       publication review. Monitoring of media and journalists'
strengthen the cooperation among the main stakehold           sity students and professionals based on American pub         rights violations will be conducted. Project materials will
ers of these reforms.                                         lic administration experience and develop the lectures        be widely disseminated through the organization's web
                                                              for an "Introduction to Public Administration" course at      site, its newsletter "Free Microphone", and through its e
Center for Land Reform Policy in Ukraine        $7,533        Tavrichesky National University. These activities will help   mail distribution list.
Ukraine, Kyiv                                                 develop a core University program and provide a local
                                                              resource for training of civil servants.                      Odesa Charity Fund "The Way Home"               $6,520
To support development of private entrepreneurship in                                                                       Ukraine, Odesa
the agricultural sector. The project will develop, publish
                                                              Kharkiv Politechnic Institute                  $12,709        To better address the problem of community reintegra
and distribute a mini manual and a monthly informa
                                                              Ukraine, Kharkiv                                              tion of the homeless by involving citizens in charitable
tional newsletter on the most crucial issues of new land
legislation. The manual and newsletter will be developed      To improve performance of municipal employees. The            activities. The project will establish a library for the
by the grantee, which has obtained the cooperation of         grantee will develop diagnostic tools and methods to          homeless and conduct a public information campaign on
the State Committee on Land Resources to assist in the        assess communication, management, personal and lead           social problems. These project activities will increase
review of materials and provide official support. The pro     ership skills. The tools and methods will be applied to a     public awareness of the problems of the homeless and
gram will promote more effective implementation of land       pilot group of employees in the Kharkiv city executive        help to attract more resources from the local community
reform, increase the awareness of land users' and owners'     committee. Based on the test results the grantee will         to implement charitable programs.
rights and obligations as provided in the new Land Code       develop appropriate recommendations to modify job
and represent a model for cooperation between a gov           descriptions of those employees tested, and provide rec       Civil Society Institute                        $20,322
ernment agency and NGO.                                       ommendations to participate in training to further devel      Ukraine, Kyiv
                                                              op and strengthen these skills. In addition, the grantee      To support methodologies to protect civil liberties and
Association "New Agro Enterprise"               $32,87        will present an innovative program of professional devel      limit the arbitrary exercise of government power. The
Lugansk oblast Organization                                   opment for municipal employees. The program will result       project will produce a series of brochures that explain
Belarus, Minsk                                                in improved quality of employees' and departments'            the function and procedures of the Ministry of Justice,
                                                              activities and will lead to implementation of innovative      Office of Prosecutor General, Supreme Court and
To promote private enterprise development in agriculture
                                                              methodologies and practices in hiring and performance         Commission on Human Rights. Printed materials will be
through support of the reorganization and privatization
                                                              evaluation of municipal employees.                            available to the public through existing networks of legal
process of state agro enterprises. The project envisions
complex consulting support to 12 agro enterprises in the                                                                    clinics, NGO resource centers and other civic organiza
restructuring process, training specialists of these enter                                                                  tions. Project activities will contribute to increased citi
prises in agriculture and business issues, and conducting                                                                   zen participation in political decision making.
public hearings on the draft law "On the adaptation of
private agricultural enterprises to market conditions".


              C O N T A C T                                                     I N F O R M A T I O N
 Western NIS Regional Office                                  Moldova Office                                                Belarus Office
 55 Bogdana Khmelnytskoho Str. 6th floor                      98, 31 August Str., room 504                                  5 Masherova avenue, room 221
 Kyiv, 01601, Ukraine                                         2004 Moldova, Chisinau                                        22004 Belarus, Minsk
 tel./fax: 380 44 246 99 61; 238 26 96                        tel/fax 3732                                                  tel/fax 375 172 269095
 e mail: eurasia@eurasia.kiev.ua                              e mail: Eurasia@eurasia.mldnet.com                            e mail: Eurasia@user.unibel.by

				
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