So far more than 15 school classes and all their teachers have learned all about Wilderness, Austria´s Nationalparks, Sustainable Forestry, Climate Change and the challenges of the return of the carnivores.
The European Wilderness Society visited in the last week several schools in Salzburg and Styria and held workshops with more than 350 highly interested children and their teachers. The children were very curious to learn more about Austria´s National Parks, Wilderness in Europe and Austria and the importance of sustainable forestry in the age of climate overheating. They also asked a lot of questions about jobs, study programmes and chances to nature.
Introduced to the beauty of all six Austrian National Parks with many splendid photos as well as the history behind these they became keen to tell their parents to go there and may even attend Junior Ranger programme or even become a Ranger themselves. Many schools also asked for study trips as part of their educational programme.
Obviously, the return of the carnivores and how to react if they accidentally encounter such an animal during a hike or while biking sparked their interest and many questions.
The children and teachers liked the original size of the animal figures each school received as part of the project, whereas the school teachers were happy to receive additional informational material and training possibilities.
Several children with family roots in Kosovo, Albania, Ukraine, Belorussia, Syria and Afghanistan were able to relate their personal experiences on Wilderness and large carnivores to their classmates, bonding the classes closer together. They acknowledged that respect towards nature and all its animals, plants and among human beings is essential for life.
All students were very eager after the workshop to write and perform a RAP Song on Wilderness which we will then gladly share with our other wilderness friends.
The project is financed by the European Union and the BMLFUW Austria.