AUA Ecotourism Conference 2019

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AUA ECOTOURISM CONFERENCE 2019: THE ROLE OF PROTECTED AREAS IN ARMENIA’S TOURISM DEVELOPMENT

BY INVITATION ONLY

Date: August 30 and 31, 2019
Objective: To generate discussion on sustainable tourism in protected areas in Armenia, specifically identifying their potential and paths for sustainable tourism
Outcome: Action agenda on identifying and enhancing the role of protected areas in Armenia’s sustainable tourism development

The keynote speakers of the conference are:

– Jon Bruno, Executive Director, The International Ecotourism Society
– Thiago Souza, IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, Tourism Specialists Group
– Carol Richie, Executive Director, EUROPARC Federation
– Paulo Castro, Council Member, EUROPARC Federation

AGENDA

DAY 1 – August 30, 2019 (download here)
9։00 – 9։30 Registration
9:30 – 9:45 Opening

  • Alen Amirkhanian, Director, AUA Acopian Center for the Environment
  • Susanna Safaryan, Chair, Tourism Committee, RA Ministry of Economy
  • Vardan Melikyan, Deputy Minister, RA Ministry of Environment
  • RA Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure
9։45 – 10։30
30 min talk, 15 Q&A
The Global Ecotourism Market: The Trends and How Armenia Can Tap into Opportunities
Speaker: Mr. Jon Bruno, Executive Director, The International Ecotourism Society
10։30 – 11։30
40 min talk, 20 Q&A
Economic Impact of Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas: Global Evidence
Speaker: Dr. Thiago Souza, IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, Tourism Specialist Group
11։30 – 12։00 Coffee Break (to be provided by the organizer)
12։00 – 13։30 Panel 1: ECONOMIC POTENTIAL OF ARMENIA’S PROTECTED AREAS

a) What can/should Armenia’s PAs offer tourists? b) How can we better capture the economic potential of PAs?

Moderators: Dr. Thiago Souza and Mr. Jon Bruno

Panelists:
a) What can/should Armenia’s PAs offer tourists? (45 minutes)

  • Vahagn Sargsyan, Chief Specialist, Bioresources Management Agency, RA Ministry of Environment
  • Carol Richie, Executive Director, EUROPARC Federation
  • Arman Vermishyan, Representative Office Director – Armenia, Caucasus Nature Fund
  • Karen Karapetyan, National Coordinator Transboundary Joint Secretariat for the Southern Caucasus (TJS)
  • Sargis Aghayan, Chairman, Armenian Society of Biologists

b) How can we better capture the economic potential of PAs? (45 minutes)

  • Anahit Voskanyan, Tour Product Development Advisor, Tourism Committee, RA Ministry of Economy
  • Diana Avetyan, Tourism Marketing Consultant
  • Arman Valesyan, Integrated Rural Tourism Development Project, UNDP
  • Armine Melik-Israyelyan, Programme Expert, Private Sector Development and Technical Vocational Education and Training South Caucasus, GIZ
13:30-14:30 Lunch (AUA Cafeteria, self-paid)
14։30-15։30
40 min talk, 20 Q&A
Protecting protected areas from environmentally and socially unsustainable tourism: standards, charters, legislation, and private initiatives.
Speaker: Ms. Carol Richie, Executive Director, EUROPARC Federation
15։30 – 17։00 Panel 2: ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY OF TOURISM IN PROTECTED AREAS

a) How should Armenia ensure that communities surrounding PAs benefit from increased tourism? b) How should Armenia ensure that tourism protects and benefits the environment in PAs?

Moderator: Mr. Paulo Castro, Council Member, EUROPARC Federation

Panelists:
a) How should Armenia ensure that communities surrounding PAs benefit from increased tourism? (45 minutes)

  • Robert Ghukasyan, Founder, Timeland Foundation
  • RA Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure
  • Hovsep Simonyan, Lake Arpi National Park
  • Gor Aleksanyan, Associate Professor at Chair of Service, Faculty of Geography and Geology, Yerevan State University

b) How should Armenia ensure that tourism protects and benefits the environment in PAs? (45 minutes)

  • Zhanna Galyan, Director, Armenian Ecotourism Association
  • Aram Aghasyan, Head, Specially Protected Areas, and Dendropark Management, RA Ministry of Environment
  • Karen Manvelyan, Director, WWF Armenia
  • Tamar Galstyan, Founder, “Plants of Armenia”, Botanical Tour Organizer
  • Robert Alikhanyan, Dilijan National Park
17:00-17:15 Quick Coffee break (to be provided by the organizer)
17:15 – 18:00 Closing of Day 1:
Discussion of key points to be included in the Action AgendaModerators:

  • Alen Amirkhanian, Director, AUA Acopian Center for the Environment
  • Sebastian Falck, Advisor, Tourism Committee, RA Ministry of Economy

Explanation of Logistics for Day 2

 

DAY 2 – August 31, 2019 (download here)
8։00 – 9:30 Travel from Yerevan to Dilijan. Transportation shall be provided by the organizer.
9։30 – 12:00 Visit Dilijan Tourist Information Center, Dilijan National Park Visitor Center, Reintroduction Center of the Caucasian Red Deer. Travel to Dilijan Central School.
12։00 – 13։00 Lunch (to be provided by the organizer)
13։00 – 14։00

40 min talk

20 Q&A

Topic: Success Factors for Implementing EUROPARC Charter
Speaker: Paulo Castro, Council Member, EUROPARC Federation
14։00 – 16։30 Presentation and discussion of Armenian cases

Understanding the EUROPARC Charter on the regional level and for Lake Arpi National Park, Dilijan National Park, and Khosrov Forest State Reserve (30 minutes)
Presenters: Karen Karapetyan, National Coordinator, TJS and Vahagn Vardumyan, Ecotourism Expert, TJS

Moderators: Paulo Castro and Carol Richie, EUROPARC Federation

Structured activities on sustainable tourism (60 minutes)

16:30-17:00 Closing of Day 2 and Wrap Up of the Conference
17:00-18:30 Return to Yerevan

SPEAKERS

Jon Bruno, Executive Director, The International Ecotourism Society

Mr. Jon Bruno is the executive director of the International Ecotourism Society (TIES) since 2008. During his tenure at TIES, membership has grown from 800 members to over 15,000 in over 195 countries and territories, and TIES remains the largest ecotourism society in the world.
Mr. Bruno has spoken to travelers and tourism professionals alike on 6 continents and is regularly interviewed and quoted in major publications on 5 continents. He has worked with several major universities to create educational content and is an expert in the field of travel finance.

 

 

 

Thiago Souza, IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, Tourism Specialists Group

Dr. Thiago Beraldo Souza is a member of the World Commission of Protected Areas – WCPA/IUCN. He is the Capacity Building Coordinator of the Tourism and Protected Areas Working Group (TAPAS) of the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA/IUCN) since 2002. Thiago works for the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), a government agency responsible for the federal protected areas of Brazil.
Dr. Souza is the Ecotourism Coordinator where he has been developing the agendas of ecotourism planning, economic impact analysis, concessions, community-based tourism, and long-distance trails. In 2016, he earned a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Ecology with a focus on Tourism and Recreation Management at the University of Florida, USA. During the Ph.D., Thiago developed a methodology to measure the economic impacts of tourism in protected areas of Brazil. Now his work is leading the development of a framework called Tourism Economic Model for Protected Areas – TEMPA sponsored by GEF to be used by developing countries all over the globe.

 

 

Carol Richie, Executive Director, EUROPARC Federation

Ms. Carol Ritchie is the Executive Director of the EUROPARC Federation, where she leads a multi-disciplined team. The portfolio of European projects undertaken by EUROPARC is diverse and she oversees the management and developmental role for all projects. Ms. Ritchie has worked as a Teacher, Ranger and Park Manager in Scotland with frontline practical conservation and visitor management experience in a range of parks and protected areas.
With her teaching background, Ms. Ritchie has a particular focus on communications, interpretation and environmental education. She has further utilized these teaching skills in the delivery of training workshops for many years. She is an alumnus of the University of Strathclyde (B.Sc joint honors Biology and Geography) and University of Aberdeen (MSc Ecology). She also has a Postgraduate Certificate of Secondary Education in Geography.

 

 

 

Paulo Castro, Council Member, EUROPARC Federation

Mr. Paulo Castro is the Vice-President, Treasurer and an elected member of the Council of EUROPARC – European Federation of National and Natural Parks. He has an engineering degree in Agronomy by the Instituto Superior de Agronomia, UTL Portugal. 
As a consultant, his work is currently related to the planning in i) agriculture/environment/ sustainable development; ii) active tourism/ sustainable tourism development in Natural Parks and other Protected Areas; iii) implementation and auditing of the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism (ECST).
He is currently an external Auditor of EUROPARC for the ECST, have audited more than 30 Natural Parks since 2001 Parks in Spain, France, Italy, and England with a deep knowledge of these parks and their solutions in terms of public use and sustainable tourism. He is a speaker in different European conferences on sustainable development and nature tourism. Invited expert in an ecotourism mission to Tunisia under the MEET project. Trainer in Montenegro for sustainable tourism in National Parks. Trainer in Turkey for sustainable tourism in future Natura 2000 network. 

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