Official launch of the SWITCH Asia PERETO project on promoting energy and resource efficiency in the Kyrgyz tourism sector

Official launch of the SWITCH Asia PERETO project on promoting energy and resource efficiency in the Kyrgyz tourism sector

September 14, 2020

On September 9, the Promotion of energy security and sustainable growth through increased energy and resource efficiency in tourism SMEs in Kyrgyzstan (PERETO) project held its official kick-off event. The project is unique for Central Asia, as there has not yet been such an integrated approach on energy and sustainable use of natural resources in the tourism industry in the region.

The project is being implemented by the American University of Central Asia (AUCA) in cooperation with three partner organizations - Unison Group (Kyrgyzstan), Technopolis Group (Belgium), and the Collaborating Center on Sustainable Consumption and Production - СSCP (Germany) with financial support from the European Union’s SWITCH Asia programme.

The commitment to achieving energy efficiency and energy security in Kyrgyzstan at the level of national policy is clearly supported by the European Union. It is very important to ensure the synergy of all stakeholders, a systematic approach to project implementation and a sustainable result. The key point is cooperation with relevant government departments to support the course of national policy towards green economy, ”said Carl Frosio, focal point of the SWITCH Asia program in Kyrgyzstan, in his welcoming speech.

Participants at the event were the main partners and stakeholders of the project including government agencies, the HoReCa sector (hotels, restaurants, cafes, hostels, guest houses), business associations, suppliers of green technologies, and universities.

Representatives from the Ministry of Economy and the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Information and Tourism opened the event and took active participation during the event.

“I hope this project will benefit greatly the tourism sector of Kyrgyzstan. Energy efficiency and the pursuit of sustainable development are priority areas of development not only in the tourism sector, but in the whole economy of our country. The Department of Tourism is ready to cooperate and supports the PERETO project in all its endeavors,” said Kyyal Kenzhematova, Deputy Director of the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Information and Tourism of the Kyrgyz Republic.

During the kick-off event, the project team presented the objectives, planned activities and expected results of the four-year-long project, and gave an overview of already ongoing activities.

Among the first activities implemented by the project is a baseline study among HoReCa SMEs and consumers to understand their level of knowledge in the field of environmental protection, energy and resource efficiency and identify existing practices around sustainable production and consumption. The research results will be presented in the last quarter of 2020.
The information collected during the baseline study will be used to develop training courses for representatives of the HoReCa sector, as well as awareness raising materials for consumers. One of the outputs of the project will be a digital guide for consumers in Kyrgyzstan on sustainable consumption and environmentally friendly lifestyles.
The project team also announced plans for the development of an online platform and resource library on energy and resource efficiency measures and practices and the establishment of a network of advisory centers throughout the country. Additionally the project will support the development of a green certification scheme for tourism businesses, and explore possibilities for the introduction of new financing instruments targeting energy and resource efficiency measures in the sector.
We hope that the project will help expand the access of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to green finance, especially in remote regions, and create favorable conditions for the development of appropriate policies at the national level,” said Nurzat Abdyrasulova, President of Unison Group.

One of the objectives of the project is to train 300 small and medium tourism enterprises on energy and resource efficiency and support 50 of them directly to adopt green technologies. An important component of the project is environmental education of the general public and tourists through promoting eco-friendly behavior in everyday life. It is planned to engage about 300,000 Kyrgyz citizens through different online and offline awareness raising campaigns.

The purpose of the kick-off event was not only to tell about the project, but also to get feedback from important stakeholders. Participants at the event highlighted the relevance of the project and its alignment with the needs of the tourism industry in Kyrgyzstan. The event also helped identify synergies with other initiatives and potential cooperation partners.

 A short project description is available on website

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