The Issyk-Kul region in Kyrgyzstan is a diverse landscape holding the status of Biosphere Reserve under both Kyrgyz law and the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme.
Within the framework of a European Commission projec, an integrated management plan for sustainable development in the Chon-Aksu watershed in the Issyk-Kul region was published end 2007. Food processing, renewable energy, waste management and development of an infrastructure for sustainable tourism are priorities in this strategy, adopted by local administrations and approved by local councils of the three villages in the Chon-Aksu watershed (Temir, Kashaat and Sadyr-Aka or Grigorevka). Stichting Ecoland Issyk Kul was founded in 2011 with the intention to implement parts of this sustainable development strategy in the village of Grigorevka.
The Bel-Zhan yurt lodge is one of initiatives of Ecoland Issyk-Kul.
Stichting Ecoland Issyk-Kul is registered in the Netherlands as foundation with the following purpose:
Support initiatives and projects in the field of sustainable development in the Issyk-Kul Biosphere Reserve in Kyrgyzstan with direct means and knowledge, in order to combat poverty and promote biodiversity conservation through these projects.
* overview of activities 2017 and plans for 2018: Activities 2017 and plans 2018 Bel-Zhan, January 2018
Poverty in the Issyk-Kul region makes sustainable development difficult. Short-term money-making is often a priority over sustainable use of land and resources. Forest logging for heating and cooking purposes, uncontrolled gathering of berries and mushrooms, dumping non-organic waste (plastic) and exhausting resources in places that are attractive to tourists are examples of short-term thinking. All issues mentioned are represented in the village of Grigorevka. The only way to promote sustainable development is to initiate and implement economically attractive sustainable business at local level. Ecoland Issyk Kul is a private initiative and intends to enhance sustainable development in the Issyk Kul region by promotion small scale sustainable technologies and local sustainable business.