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Proposed amendments to the legislation on ecotourism developed within the USAID/UNDP project to be submitted to the Council of Ministers

Proposed amendments to the legislation on ecotourism developed within the USAID/UNDP project to be submitted to the Council of MinistersBy the end of May 2013, the Ministry of Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Belarus, which is the National Implementing Agency for USAID Project “Local Entrepreneurship and Economic Development” (LEED) implemented by UNDP, will have submitted the list of proposed amendments to the legislation on ecotourism, which were developed by the LEED Project, to the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus.

The third round of public discussions of the amendments to the Belarusian regulatory framework governing business activities in the sphere of ecotourism, which were proposed by experts within the LEED project, was finished on 17 May. The final roundtable was attended by legal experts, representatives of relevant ministries, think–tanks and research institutes, non–governmental organizations, as well as micro–, small and medium–size enterprises involved in agro/ecotourism of Grodno and Brest regions.

In general, the Project experts confirmed the efficiency and relevance of the current quite loyal Belarusian legislation in the sector concerned. Nevertheless, they propose improving it in terms of legal techniques through refining and structuring a number of fundamental documents regulating business activities in the sphere of agro/ecotourism. The application of ecotourism related legal acts is also expected to be clarified so that they are uniformly interpreted by both ecotourism entities andlaw enforcement agencies.

The proposed amendments, which expand the possibilities for business development, aroused the greatest public interest, the most vivid example being the recommendations aimed at enhancing the opportunities of agro/ecotourism entities to employ individuals using employment agreements and civil law contracts.

The results of the discussions have been summarized by the National Project Coordinator, Director of Tourism Department of the Ministry of Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Belarus Vadim Karmazin and USAID Project Manager Anastasiya Glambotskaya who have elaborated on the timeliness of the majority of proposed changes and the need for their further approval and implementation. “We are glad to have had an active discussion at the roundtable with participation of all the parties concerned. We hope that the proposed amendments will be put into practice and will result in further improvement of environment for developing ecotourism business”.

For further information, please contact Project Manager Marina Borovko, phone +375 17 2891877.

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