The goal of the seminar – to exchange experience about organizing different types of work in education sphere, ecological education and ecological tourism on special nature areas – wetlands.
75 people took part in the seminar, among them members of the following organizations: Authority of Rosprirodnadzor in Tverskaya oblast, 3 nature reserves, 7 national parks, administration of Nelidovo district of Tverskaya oblast, 2 mass media, 2 museums, 2 RAS institutes, 3training teachers institutes from Tver, Tula and Cherepovets, and 3 Universities, Tver institute for improving teaching qualification, non-government organization and private partnership.
Participants arrived from 2 federal districts: central and northwest – and 11 regions:
Vladimirskaya, Vologodskaya, Kaluzhskaya, Moskovskaya, Novgorodskaya, Pskovskaya, Smolenskaya, Tverskaya, Tulskaya, Yaroslavskaya oblast and Moscow.
In the course of seminar the participants took part in field seminal in the ecological trail Staroselsky Mokh and in discussion.
During this excursion there were discussed questions of organization of field practices, educational and cognitive excursions on the wetland. Arrangement and development of ecological trail was financed in the network of BBI Matra project. It was very important for organizers to receive some critics and suggestions about development of the trail and content of information materials.
The aim of the excursion is to help different target groups realize that a wetland is a wonderful nature, that it has a lot of useful features, that in wetlands everything is interconnected and the wrong use of wetlands can cause irreversible damage to nearby territories and biodiversity.
Excursionist were told about nature protective regime and maxims on a wetland, about nature peculiarities of wetlands and adaptations of animals and plants to uneasy ecological conditions on a wetland.
One of the most impressive parts of the excursion was a debut of Kikimora (character of fairy tales) and tea on a fire in a summerhouse. Kikimora held contests and games, the winners received gifts: handmade soaps with only vegetable fats in the shapes of different animals living in a wetland.
Participants were asked to estimate potential of the ecological trail for use in education and ecotourism. They gave recommendations for development of these courses and gave a high rate for potential of this object. In spite of rainy weather, participants were impressed by inspiring beauty of the high bog.
There were discussed following themes during the meeting: target groups in education, tourism and differential approach for information; organization of excursions in nature on wetlands; interactive studies and practices with different groups of students; wetlands in museum expositions; mobile expositions about wetlands; wetlands in school education, wetlands in middle, high special and general ecological education; wetlands and informing decision makers.
Participants showed awareness and interest in this theme. It is striking, how much is already made by people in different regions for popularization and protection of wetlands, for making it understandable for students, officials and ordinary people how important and valuable the wetland is. Teachers were the most active.
There was made an inquiry among participants in order to find out if there are any gaps in the information. The members of Russian program Wetlands International invited participants and their colleagues for cooperation in development of methodological recommendations in the sphere of arrangement of education and ecological tourism on wetlands.
This idea found support of participants and we hope that already the next spring we will be able to give such recommendations for more general public of those who are interested.
In whole the atmosphere of the seminar can be characterized as enthusiastic, interested and devoted.
Agenda of this seminar