Vladimir Grachev, Chairman of the scientific central council of the the All-Russian Society of Nature Conservation and the scientific council of the Russian Academy of Sciences, shared his vision of the possibilities of ecotourism development in Russia. He kindly agreed to answer the questions of EcoTourism Expert.
– Is it necessary to develop ecotourism in Russia?
– I can say without any exaggeration that there is no other country in the world that could compare with Russia in terms of the possibilities of various ecotouristic spaces. Such a unique object as lake Baikal, lake Teletskoye in the Altai and many other places do not exist anywhere in the world. Ecotourism, without any doubt, is an industry that will develop in Russia thanks, first of all, to our natural resources. Interest in Russia is huge.
Ecotourism is everywhere: the Black and Caspian seas, the famous "Golden ring". These are the ecological expanses of our homeland. Forest, lakes, rivers – all this is of interest for ecotourism. Another thing is that it is not developed. We develop just tourism. I believe that the environmental aspect should be strengthened.
– Why do you think so?
– Because the attention to ecology is growing all over the world. Much more attention is paid to ecology and ecological culture now. In many countries there are environmental parks, environmental organizations.
I am personally the head of the All-Russian Society of Nature Conservation (ARSNC).
We would like to collaborate with ecotourism organizations in order to ensure that it has its own environmental component.
A very active work is conducted by the branch of the ARSNC in the Baikal region. We also have active units in various cities. We have 50 regional offices, and all of them are ready to participate in ecotourism.
In the Soviet Union was only one environmental organization, which had the centers "nature", shops "nature". Then, unfortunately, during the so-called perestroika, all this was lost, but I think that now it is time to restore it.
To develop ecotourism on the ground we are ready to cooperate with our ecotourism organizations, with those who are interested at the authorities’ level, as well as with your information portal.
First of all, in can be done by the Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk branches of the ARSNC. Without any doubt, by the Sochi branch, Krasnodar region, Crimea, Sevastopol. We have very serious opportunities for ecotourism.
– Isn't there an investment program at the state level to support ecotourism?
– I can't say for sure. In any case, the state program on tourism development mentions ecotourism.