Despite numerous challenges, which Ukraine is facing recently, many dedicated people in this country continuing with the nature protection and environmental educational activities. And it is very important that they are receiving international support.
One of such initiatives is the currently running mini- project “Respect nature: learn and teach”.
Please also read: More Respect nature educational tools in Ukraine
An increasing number of visitors is constantly impacting natural areas globally, including Ukraine. This influences biodiversity loss and visitors experience on nature. Besides, during the Russian-Ukrainian war, number of people were forced to enter Western Ukraine, especially to live closer to protected areas. Many of them still lack knowledge, what is protected area and how to behave there. Therefore, raising awareness and providing education on proper behaviour in the nature is critically important. Environmental educators put many efforts to improve the situation, therefore their capacity building as well supporting tools are very important.
What is Respect Nature?
Respect Nature is an initiative of the European Wilderness Society, which is currently implemented jointly with numerous partners. This initiative is aiming to teach youngsters and adults how to minimize their impact on nature, and in the same time to guide them how to receive positive impressions from their outdoor trips and stay safe. Respect nature concept is already positively accepted in many European countries and particularly in Ukraine, but there is still high interest to it and its instruments.
Project and its activities
The goal of the project “Respect nature: learn and teach” is to support minimisation of the human impact on the biodiversity, especially in protected areas, through broader practical introduction of the “Respect Nature” outdoor ethics, as well as the development and distribution of the proper educational materials and capacity building of professional educators.
This project includes:
- “Respect nature” methodological toolkit development
- Respect nature” interpretation trail arrangement at the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve (CBR)
- Advanced training courses “Respect nature and nature interpretation” for adult educators
- Educational excursion for Junior Forest Rangers at the CBR.
Project partnership and support
Project is implemented by the initiative group of the representatives of three organizations:
- Nataliia Hudkova, Ukrainian State Ecological Academy of Postgraduate and Management (SEA), Ukraine
- Viktoriya Bundziak, CBR, Ukraine
- Iryna Shchoka, European Wilderness Society, Austria/Ukraine.
These three organizations are also supporting project implementation in various ways.
The project is being implemented in the framework of the Green Partnership Program. This programme is implemented by the Charitable Foundation “Center for Community Initiatives” with the financial support of the US Forest Service.
Advanced training courses
Advanced training courses are planned online for January 2023. Preliminary dates are 18-20 of January. Courses will be led by Nataliia Hudkova from SEA with the technical and expert support of the European Wilderness Society and invited experts. These 3-day courses will consist of such topics:
- Respect nature concept: essence, principles, eco-educational activities and tools
- Nature interpretation. An example of conducting an eco-camp with the project “Eco-guard on Frankova Mountain”
- Eco-educational activities in nature conservation areas. An example of CBR. Excursion for Junior Forest Rangers.
European Wilderness Society´s contribution
European Wilderness Society is glad to continue with the Respect Nature educational activities in Ukraine and will support this project with the:
- communication activities
- 50 Respect Nature brochures in Ukrainian for eco-educators
- technical and expert support for online training conduction
- consultation on educational activities.
Besides, in the project “Eco-guard on Frankova Mountain” Respect nature traing was conducted for youth. As well as Respect Nature posters and signes were printed.
Ukraine is a beautiful country with the fantastic nature and people. And European Wilderness Society will further support people who treat nature with respect and contribute to its awareness raising.