UNDP Europe & CIS: Ski tourism for local development

UNDP Europe and CIS Blog:

Community-based ecotourism is currently the hot topic in UNDP’s Local Government Support Project office in Uzbekistan. We see it as a key part of supporting and empowering regional and local development, particularly in the regions of Djizak and Namangan.

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UNDP Europe & CIS: Green Tourism in Uzbekistan: A view from the field

UNDP Europe and CIS Blog:

In the midst of a chaotic exhibition hall, visitors to the Tashkent International Tourism Fair (TITF) were drawn to a trickling waterfall set against a backdrop of a panoramic view of mountains. This was the booth for Zaamin. The mountain scenery was photographically reproduced to transplant the visitor from the middle of Tashkent city to the soothing, lush green mountain forests of Zaamin. Visitors including industry specialists from Uzbekistan and beyond came for the calming display and stayed to learn more about the unique tourism endeavour between the local government, the Uzbek government and the UNDP’s Local Governance Support Project (LGSP).

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AFR: The AFR Team has its say on the curious cases of Qatar & Russia: Neoliberalism at its finest?

A Football Report: The AFR team is sharing its diverse perspectives on the drama that unfolded yesterday in Switzerland in a series of posts throughout the next day or so. The series features perspectives from our writers who call places like Montreal, Paris, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, London, Manilla, Boston, and Lisbon home. We continue with the perspective of Soraya Soemadiredja, a recent graduate of the University of Toronto now living in Manila. She didn’t hold back. Enjoy.

Russia and Qatar? “YES! FIFA proves once again they’re all about the money!” And, more specifically: “Are you surprised your general culture of neo-liberalism has destroyed your own shot of hosting a World Cup in favour of two countries about which you westerners have unjustified and generally unfair stereotypes and generalisations?”*

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AFR: Indonesia’s football woes, when government and sport collide

Indonesian football fans watching Indonesia play Uruguay
Indonesian football fans watching Indonesia play Uruguay

A Football Report: Soraya Soemadiredja, writing from Jakarta

The play by play of the recent friendly between Indonesia and Uruguay mirrors the conditions of which the Indonesian fans have been subject at the international level for their national side. They started out enthusiastic, strong and willing to commit, even managing to score first. But with every attack on their goal, be it a poor result by the national team or corruption, the more disenchanted they become. Fatigue sets in from dealing with politicians taking advantage of the most popular sport. Then the unravelling,  opposition hammering at their net without defence from an adequate development system.

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AFR: The Homeless World Cup Kicks Off

A Football Report: Soraya Soemadiredja, Jakarta.

Rio de Janeiro’s famous Copacabana is usually known for the beach bums and beauties, but this week, four years before Brazil’s Men’s World Cup hosting gig, it will be ‘home’ to teams from over 50 nations and territories who will compete in the 2010 Homeless World Cup to raise global awareness and “beat homelessness through football”.

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AFR: ESPN: Female athletes often targets for rape

A Football Report: By Soraya Soemadiredja.

Eudy Simelane was a well respected midfielder and captain of the South African women’s national soccer team, Banyana Banyana, passionate about the game. She was also gay and that’s why she was murdered. On the 28th of April 2008, at the age of 31 she was gang-rapped and stabbed while being subjected to “corrective rape”. Simelane’s teammate from the Tsakane Ladies football club, Girlie “S’gelane” Nkosi, aged 37, a lesbian activist actively fighting against hate crimes, was stabbed and murdered a year later in Kwa-Thema, where they were both from.

“Corrective rape” is an attempt to punish and change somebody’s sexuality through rape. Horrible events like this is by no means isolated solely to South Africa. Discrimination and hate crime towards gays and lesbians is a world wide problem. But in South Africa, according to ESPN who researched and reported the story in the video above, “a disproportionate number of female athletes have been victims, if only because more are openly gay as Simelane was”.

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Why am I against slum tours?

Dear Hidden Jakarta Slum Tour,

As an indonesian and a student who has spent most of her life doing development work with urban and rural underprivileged and in emergency relief in several countries, it is disgusting to see the Slumdog Millionare Hollywood trend being manifested into an appalling, undignified, profit-making experience by your company by your marketing of tours in the slum areas of Jakarta.

If what you intend to do is show rich and poor Jakartans as the same as rich and poor of other cities, there are better ways to do this.

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