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Contract Signed with NIRAS, Finland for Land Administration Project II in Palestine

A two year sub-contract was signed with NIRAS, Finland for the Land Administration Project II in Palestine. The project is implemented by the Palestinian Lands Authority (PLA) with funding from the Government of Finland and the World Bank. The aim of the project is to improve the design and implementation of the Land Registration system in Palestine through three components:

 

1: Completion of systematic registration in selected areas;

2: Institutional development of the PLA; and

3: Project Management

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November 13, 2014

Round-tables Held in Three Turkish Communities for the Black Sea Sustainable Rural Tourism Program

Between October 16 and 22 three round-table talks were held with community leaders in Ulus, Pinarbaşi and Cide to assess levels of interest for participation in the BSST Program. The round-tables were attended by approximately 30 representatives from NGOs, community activists and local businesses. The responses were lively and informative and the questionnaire developed to gauge needs and knowledge was distributed. The questionnaires will be collected for analysis by our partner, Kure Mountains Ecotourism Society at the end of November.

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October 16, 2014

Exploratory Meetings Held in Georgia for the Black Sea Sustainable Rural Tourism Program

From October 12 to 15 meetings took place in Tbilisi and Tsinandali Georgia to establish partnerships with NGOs and key destination operators. Meetings with the Georgia Ecotourism Development Center and Biological Farming Association Elkana were productive and we expect Memorandums of Understanding to be signed this year. In Tsinandali we met with a proposed participating operator who attended our Workshop in Azdavay, Turkey who can assist in organizing the community to take the program forward in the region. Additional meetings were also held in Tbilisi with potential participants from other areas in Georgia.

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October 12, 2014

Feasibility Study for a Secured Property Registry in Tajikistan Completed

The feasibility study, funded by a World Bank grant to the Government of Tajikistan, focusing on the host and type of secured property registry in Tajikistan was completed in early October with a work shop for stakeholders, including representatives from financial institutions, the National Bank and NGOs. The study recommendations and conclusions will be taken into consideration by the government.

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October 2, 2014

Discussions Opened with Western NIS Fund/Horizon Capital and DANONE Ukraine

Preliminary discussions were held in Kyiv, Ukraine with the Western NIS Fund/Horizon Capital and DANONE Ukraine on a strategic partnership for local economic development and the role of the Black Sea Sustainable Rural Tourism Program.  A proposal will be delivered to the DANONE Board of Directors in December.

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August 16, 2014

Partner Field Visit, Kherson Region, Ukraine

Vesselka’s Director and the Manager of Development held meetings and spent three day to view destination products in the Kherson region o f Ukraine for the Black Sea Sustainable Rural Tourism Program and to meet with local mayors, NGOs and with the Director of the local biosphere protected zone.  A second workshop for participants in the Program was also discussed for the end of September.

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August 11, 2014

Towards a Community Based Ecotourism Network across the Black Sea

The Black Sea Sustainable Rural Tourism workshop, which gathered representatives of rural tourism from Ukraine, Georgia and Turkey in Azdavay, Kastamonu Province, Turkey on 21-24 June 2014, concluded with promising outcomes.

 

Vesselka Consulting Ltd and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) - Turkey successfully concluded a three day workshop, hosted by the Küre Mountains Ecotourism Society at its historical mansion, Yanık Ali Konağı, in Azdavay, Kastamonu Province, Turkey. The approach, overall direction and organization for the management of an integrated program for rural eco-tourism around the Black Sea were confirmed during the workshop.

 

Şehmus Günaydın, the Governor of Kastamonu Province opened the workshop and welcomed the representatives from Ukraine, Georgia and Turkey.  The workshop included presentations of experiences in developing and operating rural eco-tourism destinations, issues and needs and proposals for further development.  

 

At the end of the workshop, the participants agreed upon an action plan to implement the Program in Ukraine, Georgia and Turkey with the establishment of National and Community management organizations that will develop the appropriate business plans, identify eco-tourism products and continue an exchange program of ideas and cooperation within the Program framework.

 

All participants agreed to move quickly to create an organizational structure based on community and national offices working together in each country under an umbrella International Secretariat which will define overall policy for the Program.  Principles of sustainable eco-tourism based on international standards will guide the activities of the Program members.

 

It was also agreed to create a communications network to facilitate information exchange among the participating countries and will develop the dedicated web portal for traveler reservations and information while providing maximum international exposure and   for the destinations.

 

This Program is the only regional venture of its kind for the Black Sea and will maintain its commitment to provide unique travel experiences while preserving local cultures and the environment.

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June 25, 2014

Black Sea Sustainable Rural Tourism Program Work Shop

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Vesselka Consulting, in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund/Turkey, the Union for the Promotion of Green Tourism in Ukraine and the Georgian National Tourism Administration, will hold a three day workshop in Azdavay, Kastamonu Province (Central Black Sea Region, N.Turkey - Küre Mountains) in conjunction with its Black Sea Sustainable Rural Tourism Program.

 

The aim of the workshop is to develop a road map and action plan for the regional, integrated eco-tourism program under a single banner.

 

Destination representatives from Ukraine and Turkey, regional government officials, tourism professionals and the media will take part. The work shop is hosted by the Küre Mountains Ecotourism Society.

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May 20, 2014

Development of an Automated Collateral Registry in Tajikistan

Work began on a feasibility study on behalf of the State Committee on Investments and State Property Management to determine the optimal location and governance arrangements for a modern, online collateral registry, following international best practices.

 

The study is expected to be complete by mid-August.

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May 12, 2014