OrganizationNABU IERS PROPARK
Natural ProjectUkraine and Romania
NGOs and the Church for an environmental education in Carpathian National Parks
Uncontrolled cutting down of trees, poaching, lack of waste management system, exhausting business projects, and climate change lead to Carpathian forests being in the zone of ecological risk.
The local population of depressed remote rural areas, especially in the post-Soviet area (Ukrainian Carpathians, and to some extent the Romanian Carpathians), traditionally accustomed to forest exploitation, often survives at its expense, has abstract ideas about nature conservation. NGO’s in cooperation with national parks and the Church community both in the Ukraine and Romania want to provide local people with alternative practical examples of life activities and sustainable development in the Carpathians' unique ecosystems.
The main goal of the project is to develop and implement an educational program for children and youth in rural areas of the Carpathians. This program implies that children will not only receive theoretical knowledge about environmental protection, but they will also be involved in practical activities related to mastering this knowledge directly in nature. At the same time, the youth will have practical experience and an opportunity to try to develop a project and an interaction plan aimed at addressing environmental problems through the joint efforts of local communities. As a result, children will have a proactive approach to the environment and their role in interaction with nature.
Being the main target group of the project, children and youth are the main "entry-point" for activists and NGOs in building trust in the environmental values of the rural population in general.
Within the project in Ukraine the establishment and further development of Youth School for Sustainable Development of the Carpathians belongs to the main activity. According to preliminary estimates, the Ukrainian part of the project plans to cover approximately 720 DIPs / 14,410 IEPs - the main target group (children and youth of different ages of local rural territorial communities of the Carpathians and at least 70DIPs / 180 IEPs - auxiliary target group (clergy, experts, teachers, tutors - significant local multipliers).
The Romanian part of the project foster a lifelong appreciation and sense of stewardship for the environment and raise awareness of the value of outdoor and environmental education and interpretation based on pristine forests ecosystems through at least 46 lessons and excursions and reaching over 30.000 children and adults during the project implementation.
Photos © IERS & PROPARK