Tax benefits for ecotourism development in Kazakhstan discussed at the «round table»

«Qazaq Geography» organized a round table meeting to discuss environmental issues in Kazakhstan. An important part of the dialogue was the development of tourism that would not harm the country's nature. A number of interesting proposals were included in the resolution, which was sent to representatives of all branches of government, business structures and non-governmental organizations of the Republic.

On the initiative of the Republican public Association "QazaqGeography", a round table meeting was held online on the topic "Health of nature – well-being of the people". The purpose of the meeting was to support solutions to environmental problems. The resolution contains a large number of specific proposals for environmental protection in the Republic, environmental education and, of course, the development of tourism.

For example, it is proposed to approve the "Concept for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity of the Republic of Kazakhstan". This strategic document will determine the country's activities in this direction for compliance with its international obligations.
"In this regard, it is necessary to strengthen environmental legislation with new mechanisms for economic regulation of natural resources, such as compensation for loss of biodiversity, compensation for greenhouse gas emissions by creating new forests, tax incentives for the development of eco - tourism, subsidies for breeding wild animals, with subsequent release into the natural environment," the initiators of the document believe.

Participants of the round table meeting believe that in order to preserve natural landscapes and economic development of regions, including specially protected natural territories, it is necessary to fix the term "eco-tourism" and environmental principles (bases) for organizing tourist activities in laws.

To review the current rules for tourist activities in state national natural parks, approved by the government of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated November 7, 2006 No. 1063K. The activists also propose to introduce step-by-step actions for planning tourist and recreational activities in state national nature parks.

The participants of the meeting stressed it is necessary to include that in Kazakhstan such a concept as "eco-tourism" in the general classification of economic activities. This is necessary for effective monitoring and formation of statistics in the field of ecotourism and administration of companies. They also proposed to introduce a certification system for companies engaged in eco-tourism in order to encourage the development of new high-quality tourist products and services.

"To develop science-based tourist routes that contribute to the preservation of natural resource potential and increase environmental awareness of specially protected natural territories of Kazakhstan, including the creation of electronic guides with GEO-location GIS-maps. The authors of the resolution also suggest holding a series of training seminars to improve the skills of national Park employees in environmental education and drawing up tourist maps."

Finally, series of training seminars should be conducted in all relevant ministries, departments and akimats.

Confirming their readiness to actively participate in the implementation of the tasks set out in the resolution, the participants of the round table propose to declare 2021 the "Year of healthy nature", create an Institute of environmental Ombudsman in Kazakhstan on the basis of the NGO "QazaqGeography", and hold an international environmental Symposium "Man and nature" / "Regional environmental problems: solutions".

Anton Sergeev