Three Belarusian nature reserves got digital solutions from UNDP project on ecotourism development

February 18, 2022

“Aziory” nature reserve. Photo by Dmitry Lasko.

Belarusian “Nalibokski", “Aziory” and "Asviejski" nature reserves can now be visited in online format thanks to the newly-developed virtual tours with the interfaces presented in three languages – Belarusian, Russian and English. The virtual tours are available at the web portals representing the unique protected natural areas – the websites of the “Nalibokski" and “Aziory” reserves and the tourism platform suggesting the virtual tour over the "Asviejski" reserve. Further on, the virtual tours will also be available at other partner platforms.

With the help of any modern devices – smartphones, tablets or laptops, virtual reality glasses or helmets – Belarusian and foreign tourists can virtually get acquainted with forests and lakes, explore the uninhabited Du island and the habitats of wild animals, choose a fishing place, tourist campsides, cycling routes or an eco-trail.

The virtual tours cover more than 100 aerial and land panoramas in total with autumn and winter views. The spring-summer season will be covered with additional photo-shootings that will take place this spring. All the 3D- and aerial panoramas are accompanied by music, and the function of interactive navigation maps based on the Google Maps allows tourists to plan their trip in detail.

The development of the virtual tours for the three reserves was possible thanks to the project “Ecotourism Development to Promote Green Transition to Inclusive and Sustainable Growth” implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Belarus with financial support from the Russian Federation. Interactive tours will contribute to the promotion of the unique natural potential of Belarus and the development of ecological tourism on the specially protected natural areas and will stimulate the interest of Belarusian and foreign tourists in the nature reserves. In the long-term perspective, ecotourism will bring economic benefits to the specially protected natural areas and will allow to invest the revenues generated from tourism products in further preservation and improvement of the management of the protected areas.

About the project: The project “Ecotourism Development to Promote Green Transition to Inclusive and Sustainable Growth” aims to increase capacity and embed a mechanism for the implementation of a set of measures for the development and promotion of ecotourism, create necessary methodical framework for the expansion of ecotourism and strategic planning system, strengthen cooperation between private companies, public environmental agencies and the local population.