Ecotourism workshop was held in Jirsar Bagherkhaleh Village on 21st January, 2016. Participants from DOE Gilan, GCHHTO, NRWGO, Rural Affairs Office in provincial governor’s office, Khomam District Office, Khomam District Village councils, Jirsar Bagherkhaleh village council and local people attended the workshop.

The workshop was conducted in order to make a better understanding of ecotourism concept and the further activities related to ecotourism development in Jirsar Bagherkhaleh Village, and the official announcement of launching the implementation phase of the activities in this village.

The Ecotourism Sub-committee of Anzali Wetland Management Committee (Ecotourism SC) has been studying all the villages around Anzali Wetland in order to collect interpretive data related to natural and cultural sources in the area, and also selecting the target village appropriate for developing ecotourism activities. Jirsar Bagherkhaleh Village has been selected among 86 villages under the study, based on selected criteria approved by the SC members. During the workshop, deputy of Rural Affairs Office in provincial governor’s office presented a lecture in order to motivate locals for more support and cooperation in the activities, and emphasized on locals’ participation as the key to success, and reassure a financial and technical support from the project and upcoming activities. The deputy of GCHHTO presented a lecture in order to announce the complete support of the project and motivate people for more cooperation. After that, Mr. Masanori Shintani, JICA ecotourism expert, presented a concept of community-based ecotourism, protection of culture and nature through ecotourism and the idea of constructing a community center in order to develop ecotourism activities by the locals. Next, head of Khomam District office emphasized the need for local cooperation, and supervision of this sector on the progress of the activities. Then, the detailed schedule of training activities for cooking, kayaking and handicraft, and upcoming workshops have been shared with the participants. In the end there was a question and answer session, in which local people ask their questions about the project and the officials of related organizations have answered all. Totally 200 persons were participated in this workshop, and it was one of the biggest events for the Ecotourism SC and also for this village.