World Environmental Education Day is celebrated on 26 of January.
This Day is aimed at raising awareness and promote harmony between humans and nature.
Therefore, European Wilderness Society shares this goal and also continuously contributing to its achievement via various activities and projects.
We, at the European Wilderness Society, developing and conducting number of offline, hybrid and online events for adults and youngsters in various European countries and beyond in order to improve knowledge and practical skills of people on understanding the impact of their actions to the environment and to themselves, in the end. Furthermore, how to make a difference and take active nature conservation action and towards sustainable development.
Among our main projects and activities are:
- Respect Nature concept
- European Wilderness Academy and trainings for protected areas managers, rangers and educators
- Communication and dissemination activities of ALFAwetlands Horizon project
- LIFEApollo2020 and LIFEstockProtect educational and awareness raising activities
- Erasmus+ SMARTOUR
- European Solidarity Corp Volunteering programme
- Youth Green Conference
Respect Nature is an initiative of the European Wilderness Society, which aims to raise awareness and train people to protect the nature we love.
The Respect Nature initiative offers key guidelines to support nature conservation as well as further sustainable tourism development in Europe. Respect Nature’s 9 principles help to communicate the guidelines on how to behave in nature without harming it.
Furthermore, we have developed and translated to various European languages posters, brochures and signs. In addition, we are continuously conducting offline and online trainings for youth and adults, including protected areas staff.
European Wilderness Academy and trainings
European Wilderness Society has an extended experience in conducing various training and educational programmes for protected area staff of many European and beyond countries. Especially, this is true for European Wilderness Network partners.
As we know rangers in protected areas play an important role in preserving unique biodiversity and ecosystems. They enforce conservation rules, monitor wildlife and biodiversity, educate visitors and local businesses on principles of responsible tourism etc. European Wilderness Society, as an Assosite member of the International Ranger Federation is dedicated to builidng capacities of these rangers.
ALFAwetlands Horizon project
In the Horizon ALFAwetlands project we are leading communication and dissemination activities about European wetlands´ importance and value. Beside the work with wetlands managers, researchers and policy-makers, awareness raising activities will be conducted in 9 project courtiers during Living Laboratories Open Days for citizens. During these events broader public will learn about wetlands, their role, biodiversity and ecosystem services, their inhabitants, restoration activities and, furthermore, how and why people can and have to protect their wetlands.
The LIFEstockProtect project, where European Wilderness Society is a partner, is carrying out webinars during the autumn 2023 and winter 2023/24 season. Farmers and livestock owners are interested in exchanging information and experiences online with their colleagues and with general public about livestock guarding dogs or how to behave if you encounter a large carnivore. The webinar series are done online, and they´ve started in November 2023. Some webinars are still planned for February and March. Here you can find an overview of all webinars.
LIFEstockProtect aims at improving the coexistence between people, large carnivores and livestock protection measures. The project team works primarily with farmers and livestock owners and its goal is to make livestock protection more attractive for them. Therefore, these webinars also work towards that goal by not only exchanging knowledge but also inviting experts to inform about particular livestock protection topics. Education about various livestock protection measures and large carnivores in general helps to improve the attitudes of livestock owners towards this challenging topic.
Within the LIFEApollo2020 project, European Wilderness Society already carried out number of educational activities with the primary goal of raising awareness and appreciation for the Parnassius apollo butterfly and promoting its conservation. The project aims for inclusivity as we acknowledge the vital importance of involving the broader community in environmental conservation and social responsibility. The active involvement of participants in workshops and hands-on activities demonstrated a genuine interest in understanding of the Apollo butterfly’s life and persuaded us of the effectiveness of the project’s educational approach.
Among LIFEApollo2020 educational and awareness raising activities are:
Workshops in Austrian schools: such topics as the butterfly’s life cycle, habitat requirements, and the overall goals of the LIFE Apollo2020 project. Notably, the workshops sparked enthusiasm among students, who actively shared their knowledge about various butterfly species, emphasizing the importance of connecting with nature at an early age.
Creation of Apollo Gardens: special areas with plants intended to nourish the Parnassius apollo caterpillar and butterfly. The success of the Apollo Gardens, as evidenced by the satisfaction of students, teachers, and external experts, underlined the potential for such initiatives to thrive in the future.
Nature Festival: In autumn 2023, European Wilderness Society took an advantage of the chance to reach a wider audience by participating in the “Fest der Natur” event in Wels, Austria. We were one of more than thirty exhibitors that presented presented nature conservation initiatives.
In addition, our Polish project partner, the Naturalist’s Club, also conducted and took part in number environmental education activities, among which: Spring Snow Festival, Happening for the Apollo, Open Day at the Living Gene Bank, releases at Chojnik Castle, the Day of the Apollo/Night of Horseshoe Bat, or Open Days of Half-Timbered Houses.
In our partnership SMARTOUR: SMART Tourism Skills Initiative Erasmus+ project, among other, European Wilderness Society is working on the development of the Course Materials about Sustainability in tourism. There we are considering such subtopics as “Combating and adapting to climate change”, Preservation and enhancement of the natural environment”, “Visitor management”, “Effective promotion of sustainable tourism to visitors” and Case studies of sustainable tourism practices. In the end of 2024 dynamic Moodle and static Course materials will be available for broader public as well as National conferences in partner countries will be conducted.
European Solidarity Corp Volunteering programme
Through the regular European Solidarity Corp Volunteering programme we are involving motivated young people from various European countries and improving their knowledge and skills for nature conservation, effective communication and implementation of individual projects.
Youth Green Conference
Jointly with partners we have already conducted two transnational Youth Green Conferences in 2019 and in 2022 on the territory of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Lungau in Austria. During these events, communicating in English, youngsters from Austria, Italy, Germany, Slovenia and Ukraine, built their capacities in sustainable lifestyles and youth action, exchanged ideas and developed Youth Charter for Environment.
And now we are extremely glad to announce, that recently we have won a Youth Green Conference-3 project and together with partners from Slovenia, Spain and Ukraine are starting preparation to its implementation.
Learning, practicing, sharing and implementing environmental education provisions is really exciting and extremely important. Therefore, our team is glad to contribute to the achievement of harmony between people and nature as well as to learn how to enjoy it more efficiently.
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