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Development of Tourist Services in Central Asian Mountains

Region: Central Asia, Tajikistan
Author: Zarina Shabdolova, Youth EcoCenter
Consortium Member: Sacred Earth Network (SEN)
Status: Funded and Ongoing Budget: $2750 Collected: $2750 Needs: $0
Result: To establish locally-run tourist services in Fanskii Park and assist a community in establishing an NGO.
Donors: Ron Blum, Massachusetts (January 2001)
Comment: Helping the local community in the Fanskii Mountains establish sustainable tourist services for visitors to the park will benefit the area both ecologically and economically.

Information About the Organization

The Youth Ecological Center of Dushanbe (Tajikistan) is a non-governmental, social and ecological organization, established in 1993. Youth EcoCenter is a member of the international Social-Ecological Union which unites more than 300 independent ecological groups and organizations in the CIS, Europe and USA. Youth EcoCenter promotes the development of civil society in Tajikistan through conducting social, ecological and educational programs. The main task of the EcoCenter is to consolidate the efforts of students, teachers and scientists to save and restore the environment, and assist in forming social attitudes based on the principles of ecological ethics and sustainable development of the Republic of Tajikistan.

Project Need

Fanskii Park (in the Fanskii Mountains) is one of the places in Central Asia most visited by foreign tourists and mountain-climbers. However, all of the tourist business is carried out by companies from Uzbekistan and Russia, and these companies do not hire local people. Even the cooks come here with groups from another countries. Local people can not find any jobs here and must leave their villages. We want to create new job opportunities for local people and involve them in the ecotourism business as part of sustainable development of the region.

It is an immediate objective of Youth EcoCenter to protect Fanskii Park while assisting the local community in developing sustainable, environmentally-aware means of promoting and profiting from the tourist trade. Youth EcoCenter (YEC) staff will assist in NGO capacity building by working alongside a representative of the local community. YEC will train the representative in the principles of financial management & management of small business with the aim of assisting villagers near Fanskii Park to develop their own grassroots community based NGO.

Project Goals

A) Establishment of services for tourists that employ local residents - including a teahouse, bakery and bathhouse;
B) Providing local community with assistance for developing their grassroots NGO;
C) Active local community participation in project development.

Methods of Implementation

YEC and representatives from the local community will build a teahouse, bakery and bathhouse on the territory of park to serve tourists. These ventures will be run by local residents. Of the profits from these ventures, 50% will be directed towards business development, 30% to support for the local community; and 20% to protecting nature in Fanskii Park. Additionally, YEC will organize a horse service for tourists during summer period. Profits from horse rentals will be directed to support the local school.

Also, YEC staff will help establish an independent grassroots NGO in the community.

Project Budget

Teahouse construction $1105
Bakery construction $45
Bathhouse construction $433
Equipment for bathhouse, bakery & teahouse $340
Initial food investment (for bakery/teahouse) $320
Micro power station $257
VF Administrative Cost (10%) $250
Total $2750