The future of Kyrgyzstan depends, in part, on the rise of ecotourism; of people wanting to travel to discover the natural beauty and wildlife of this small, mountainous and remote Central Asian country.
The Kyrgyzstan Red Book lists the wildlife protected by law and considered endangered species.
On the list is the Tien Shan white-clawed bear. But not everyone abides by the Red Book. Every week, violations are reported in the press.
But once the wildlife is gone, the tourists will stop coming.
They won’t stay in hotels, guest houses and yurts.
They won’t hire guides, eat in restaurants, travel to some of the country’s most remote regions.
And they won’t bring their money.
The pandemic has already caused enough damage to the Kyrgyz economy.
The last thing it needs is a permanent blow.