Kent University (UK)

In March 2003, in response to a central government priority to develop ecological tourism in Azerbaijan, Western University with support of the British Council initiated a collaborative academic project with the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) of the University of Kent (UK) for developing ecotourism studies and providing education and training in this field.

The program of activities within the project timeframe envisaged two visits of the Western University staff and representatives of the Ministry of Youth, Tourism and Sport, and the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan to DICE in November 2003 and January 2004. Throughout the visits the main emphasis was on developing the modules addressing the key aspects of nature-based tourism and biodiversity conservation. In particular, curricula for the Ecotourism: Economic, Environmental and Social Aspects; Biodiversity Conservation; and Biodiversity Law courses have been worked out in close cooperation with the DICE senior staff, which will be the first offerings at Western University’s ecotourism program during the academic year 2003-2004. Particularly important was the active participation of the Azerbaijani delegation in lectures and seminars and group discussions as well as the individual work with the DICE up-to-date library resources and the acquired books.