Sri Lanka Ecotourism Foundation (SLEF) represented Sri Lanka at the Ecotourism Workshop in Thimpu, Bhutan.
The workshop was organized by South Asia Women's Network (SAWN) and Tourism Council of Bhutan, Thimphu, with the support of ICIMOD, Kathmandu, Nepal, through their EU-funded Himalica Programme)
The Theme of the Workshop is 'Ecotourism for Sustainable Development and Gender Empowerment in South Asia'
Sri Lanka was represented by Palitha Gurusinghe, President, Sri Lanka Ecotourism Foundation (SLEF), the National Ecotourism Society of Sri Lanka, as nominated by the SWAN, Sri Lanka Chapter
The Workshop in Thimphu on Ecotourism for Sustainable Development and Gender Empowerment in South Asia is in implementation of SWAN's Roadmap. As per the Concept Paper issued by Prof. Veena Sikri, Ambassador, Convener of South Asia Women's Network (SWAN) & Vice Chairperson South Asia Foundation (SAF-India) stated " ….for the nations of South Asia, tourism is a key industry. Tourism can play a major role in reducing poverty and in employment generation, but this must be done within an ecologically sensitive framework. Tourism is the sector where women can play the central role in its growth and development. The Thimphu Workshop seeks to discuss and develop strategies to empower women, including through livelihood opportunities, in sustainable eco-tourism in the SWAN member countries. These strategies would cover the areas of policy recommendations and advocacy (to the Governments), including for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the sector of Ecotourism, as well as leadership development among women, and capacity-building for change at all levels. SWAN believes the Workshop outcome would help SWAN to prepare a longer-term Ecotourism projects, perhaps focusing on One Identified Tourist Area in each of the nine SWAN countries…."
Sri Lanka Ecotourism Foundation (SLEF) conducts a training programme on Ecotourism in Turkey
Palitha Gurusinghe, President of Sri Lanka Ecotourism Foundation has been invited by the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, Turkey, to conduct a Training Programme on Ecotourism for the officials of the Wildlife Sector and National Parks in Turkey. The programme was held at Gazelle Resort in Bolu City in Turkey from 23rd to 30th December, 2013.
Main Theme and focus of this training Programme was to increase the knowledge on sustainable tourism/ecotourism of the Ministry staffs who are dealing on ecotourism issues in the national parks in Turkey. The participants were to be trained on more than 40 modules coupled with workshop sessions linked to Ecotourism, Sustainable Tourism development.
Sri Lanka and Turkey share similarities in values. Turkey being a cradle of an ancient civilization and with a blend of the East and West, Turkey and Sri Lanka are very similar in this respect. Sri Lanka is also a home to an ancient civilization. Sri Lanka and Turkey had been an important centre point in the Silk Route of the sea between the East and West. Cultures and societies of Sri Lanka and Turkey are melting pots of different religious, ethnic and cultural influences. In the same manner, it is well-known that the Ottoman Empire, part and parcel of the history of Turkey had controlled the Silk Route.
At the opening ceremony of the Training Session, the Director General of Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs remarked; ‘Turkey is one of the fortunate countries in the world as a country possessing vital resources for people’s food security. Turkey has three bio-geographical regions called Euro-Siberian, Mediterranean and Irano-Turanian. Because of these transition zones Turkey’s climatic and geographical features change within short intervals of space due to its position as a bridge between two continents. Turkey has acquired the character of a small continent from the point of biological diversity. Turkey has forests, mountains, steppe, wetlands, coastal and marine ecosystems and different forms and combinations of these systems which are very important building blocks that help in developing ecotourism in Turkey. He appreciated much the support and contribution extended by Palitha Gurusinghe, President of Sri Lanka Ecotourism Foundation, towards helping his officials and sharing Sri Lanka experience in the ecotourism sector.
During the Workshop Sessions, Palitha highlighted the need to formulate National Policies, Guidelines and Strategic Action Plans on Ecotourism in Turkey. He was of the view that without National Policies and Guidelines in Ecotourism a country might find it difficult to position the same as an ecotourism destination, and to promote and show case ecotourism products and market them internationally. He emphasized that these policies would help the country to attract more up market international ecotourists to Turkey. Dr. Nihan Arpa, Landscape Architect, and the Director of Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, Turkey who coordinated the Training Programme, is well-known among the ecotourism fraternity as the driving force behind the Ecotourism promotion and development in Turkey
SLEF initiates online/distance learning courses on
SUSTAINABILITY & ECOTOURISM
SLEF Training -Turkey
Media Cover - Sunday Times