All-Russian seminar on ecological education and interpretation in Polistovsky National Nature Reserve
People working in eco-education in different regions of Russia met together in Polistovsky Reserve in the end of September to participate in a seminar "Modern tendencies of environmental education in protected areas". The seminar was attended by over than 30 people, representing 20 national nature reserves and national parks of Russia. Participants of the seminar came from all over Russia: the European part of Russia, Kamchatka, Dagestan, Altai and from the Arctic, from Astrakhan, Kalmykia and Northern Urals.
The event started from presentations about Polistovsky Reserve and its work. Then the head of Bezhanitsy district where Polistovsky located made a welcoming speech.
There were lots of presentations on the seminar, they were divided into several thematic topics. In a topic "Work to attract philanthropists and sponsors for the development of environmental education projects" participants discussed various ways of attracting sponsors for cooperating with protected areas and also possibilities to cooperate with non-profit organizations. Today this cooperation is one of the subjects of current interest, it’s very important to build good relationships with sponsors for successful and mutually beneficial cooperation.
The other topic «Interaction protected areas and local communities to transmit traditional knowledge and culture» was dedicated to interaction with people living close to protected areas. This is a new but really perspective area of development for national parks and national nature reserves. For example in Polistovsky National Nature Reserve all tourist products are based on a combination of environmental and historical and cultural excursions.
The largest and most significant part of the work of departments of eco-education and interpretation of all protected areas in Russia is, of course, work with students and children. This subject was divided into three topics. In the first one called "Project research activities at school" was about promoting and supporting educational and research projects of school children. The second topic "Organization of interactive activities with children" was the most widely represented at the seminar. Colleagues discussed their experience in working with the younger generation including development of environmental games, using the interactive methods, organizing events, meetings and other environmental education activities for children of all ages. The third direction was dedicated to conducting expeditions and ecological camps, organization of conferences, and also to the role of these activities in the environmental education for children and students.
Educational tourism is one of the most effective forms of environmental education, and there was a special topic about it. The participants exchanged experiences in the development of cultural tourism, discussed working with visitors, designing eco-trails and environmental education materials (printed and multimedia).
A lot of important and interesting questions were asked about all presented topics, colleagues compared their opinions, were searching for solutions for currently existing problems and discussed perspectives and plans in eco-educational work.
After the presentations and discussions, participants of the seminar visited the ecological routes of Polistovsky National Nature Reserve:"Mossmen route" and "Plavnitskoe bog", excursion to the visitor center of the reserve, and some even had a ride by the trolley on the abandoned narrow-railway.
Thanks to all participants of the seminar for interesting presentations and the opportunity to exchange experiences. See you again in Polistovsky Reserve!