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An eco-educational center opened in Sporovsky Nature Reserve

New opportunities for development of ecological tourism in Belarusian Polesie were provided with the opening of an eco–educational center on the premises of the Sporovsky National biological reserve. Yesterday, the village Vysokoye (Berioza District of Brest Region) hosted an official ceremony of opening the center established under the UNDP/GEF project “Catalyzing sustainability of the wetland protected area system in Belarusian Polesie” and the GEF Small Grants Programme.

The main task of the center is to provide environmental information about the reserve peculiarities, flora and fauna, eco–routes and services. The center resources are also supposed to contribute to development of a set of eco–tourism services for foreign guests as well as raise attractiveness of the region for international tourism.

“Eco–tourism can be a good source of income for local people and small industries”, pointed out UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus Antonius Broek in his welcoming speech. “However, tourism should be organized in a sustainable way that does not harm the unique Polesie ecosystems. The Polesie region is a treasure not only for Belarus, but for the whole Europe, and one could argue also for the entire world”.

The eco–educational center offers four eco–routes developed under the UNDP/GEF project thematic component. Foot, water, cycling and combined ways will demonstrate the important role of the reserve in regulation of nature processes, its flora and fauna, historical, cultural and ethnographic heritage of Belarusian Polesie.

Representatives of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, the National Tourism Agency, regional and district authorities, travel agencies and the media who attended the center opening ceremony saw the center information display, visited one of the eco–routes, tasted traditional Belarusian cuisine dishes prepared by the participants of the micro–project competition arranged under the Programme of financial support of eco–tourism development in Belarusian Polesie.

A similar center will be opened under the UNDP/GEP project in Luninets District of Brest Region in the near future.

For additional information please refer to Alexei Tchistodarsky, UNDP/GEF project information specialist, ph. +375–17 294 90 69, or UNDP Communications Associate Vladislav Khilkevich, ph. +375–17 227 38 17.

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