Three Belarusian Reserves to Become More Inclusive Thanks to the Project on Ecotourism Development

December 3, 2021

Picture by UNDP

The infrastructure of three Belarusian reserves – "Nalibokski", “Aziory” and "Asviejski" –  will become more inclusive for people with disabilities. Improving the accessibility of the tourist infrastructure in three specially protected natural areas will be 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.

Today travelers with disabilities are becoming more and more numerous tourist audience in Belarus and all over the world. Making tourist destinations more inclusive is becoming especially relevant in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath, creating new safe travel opportunities and contributing to the recovery of the tourism industry.

Within the new project on ecotourism development, the entrance to the visitor centre in the “Aziory” reserve (Hrodna region) will be adapted to the needs of people with disabilities.

In the "Nalibokski" nature reserve (Minsk and Hrodna regions) the existing eco-trail will be modernized – the wooden flooring passing through the swamp and meadow biotope will be renovated, the handrails for people with disabilities will be installed.

The visitor centre of the "Asviejski" reserve will be equipped with the wheelchair ramp to ensure its accessibility for people in wheelchairs.

The project on ecotourism development also plans to conduct a series of trainings on social responsibility and ensuring accessibility of specially protected natural areas for people with disabilities. A series of trainings will be organized in 2022-2023. The training will be provided to the managers and employees of environmental institutions, project pilot sites and other Belarusian specially protected natural areas, local residents of the project territories, entrepreneurs, NGOs, owners of agricultural farmsteads, artisans, representatives of cultural institutions and other participants of ecotourism clusters.

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.