The main goal of the project was to develop and then implement an educational program for children and youth in rural areas of the Carpathians. Thanks to the program, children not only received theoretical knowledge about environmental protection but they were also involved in practical activities related to mastering this knowledge directly in nature.
To raise awareness of this unique and fragile ecosystem, it is important:
- to show children in different local territorial communities the diversity of forest protection factors as a complex ecosystem.
- to demonstrate opportunities for local territorial and religious communities (developed in rural areas) to collaborate with civic and environmental activists to achieve common environmental goals and mobilize joint efforts.
- to encourage children to think independently about the problems of forest ecosystems in the Carpathians among other environmental needs of the population, search for ways to protect them and develop proactive projects
According to the project application, it was planned to carry out 15 main activities on 5 basic topics:
- The natural and cultural heritage of the Carpathians – to emphasize the high common value and responsibility for nature and cultural heritage.
- Church tower and cave habitat in national parks of Transcarpathia – to demonstrate the closeness of the Church and the surrounding nature and the possibility of cooperation for the protection of protected areas.
- Green Parish in the national parks of the Carpathians – to draw attention of local religious communities to the opportunities and methods of independent collective activity on responsible attitude to nature in a collective environmental competition through youth education.
- Environmental rights of local communities and nature of the Carpathians - transfer of knowledge, mastering of methods, education, and encouragement of skills of independent protection by local territorial and religious communities of their ecological rights and lobbying of ecological interests in cooperation with local self-government.
- Forest pedagogy: available about the forest in the forest – for the approbation of pedagogical material on local problems of the Carpathian forest as a complex ecosystem and development in cooperation with youth - further projects on its protection.
Main project activities: The planned amount of participants was 525 people. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, but considering the high level of interest of young people in the subject of the School, the project team conducted 17 activities and involved 590 people.
Additional project activities: The planned amount of participants was 350 people. IERS team exceeded the plan and conducted 13 ecological and educational activities on additional topics, involving 422 people.
Details on chosen activities
Field expedition to study winter species of bats
(February 27, 2021, Mukachevo district)
A planned expedition took place during February to explore the wintering bats of Transcarpathia. Experts examined the basements of churches, cellars, and other types of vaults in Uzhhorod and Mukachevo districts. After the research, the experts spent an information day with local adults and young people on the need to preserve bat populations, talking about their benefits to the local ecosystem, exposing popular myths about them, and revealing the possibilities of their preservation by religious and local communities.
See more information and pictures here: https://www.iers.org.ua/4532-gh/
Event to preserve the unique oak habitat
(May 14, 2021, Kraynykovo)
This event was oriented on the landscape complex in the village Kraynykovo (Church of St. Archangel Michael of the XVII century with an oak biotope around, the age of oaks reaches 600 years).
A team of arborists analyzed the condition of several local oaks and found out that they are affected by the bracket fungus. Moreover, the trees have a lot of dry branches (some with extremely high weight), and, unfortunately, they often keep the crown in a certain balance. The oak, which is a botanical monument of nature, also has a bad slope and an asymmetrical crown towards the slope. Since the trees have been growing for around 400 years, it was necessary to avoid losing them in one decade. Therefore, during the inspection of century-old oaks, work was planned in four directions: stabilization of the crown to prevent its collapse, inhibition of bracket fungus development, cleaning of hollows and their preservation to minimize the risk of bracket fungus, soaking and throwing garbage in the hollows, removal or shortening of the branches that threaten to fall or unbalance the crown.
Training on waste sorting
(July 22, 2021, Klyachanovo)
IERS experts conducted environmental training on responsible waste management for participants of the summer camp in the village Klyachanovo. A large number of participants (over 90 people) and the picturesque nature of the location made this event extraordinary and bright. First of all, the experts discussed with the children the threat of excessive accumulation of garbage in the region, and especially plastic. Smaller children drew the pictures to express themselves, while older students worked in teams to identify problems and possible solutions by brainstorming. In an easy and playful way, the children got acquainted with the concept of conscious consumption of Zero waste, and the teams came up with their own ideas to reduce waste in their own homes. The problem of responsible waste management is an important component of testing the principles of the Green Parish.
The church-ecological calendar of the Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Mukachevo Greek Catholic Eparchy has been published and sent to multiple local institutions.
See more: https://www.iers.org.ua/ecotraining/
Informational day on owl protection
(August 13, 2021, Vovkove)
The event took place in a Christian youth camp. Participants played various thematic games, got acquainted with the publications of the project (children's fairy tale "Bats", the coloring book "How is Marianochka doing? Rules of behavior in the forest"), actively participated in the discussion on the preservation of owls.
To preserve bats and owls, 40 boxes for bats and 25 nests for owls were installed in the attics of churches in Transcarpathia.
See more: https://www.iers.org.ua/ekozachid-sovy/
Workshop on making natural eco-soap
(May 8, 2021, Mala and Velyka Rostoka)
The children made the soap themselves, using carefully collected natural components and ecological ingredients. Through practice, children had the opportunity to learn about the benefits of wildlife, the importance of organic production, to combine the values of caring for and protecting their health, and about nature for their future. The tutor told the children about the basics of epidemiological safety from COVID-19 and the importance of protecting themselves and others.
See more: https://www.iers.org.ua/ecomylo/
List of main activities on the 5 basic topics
|Informational day "Roads of wooden gothic churches of Transcarpathia"||November 10, 2020||Kraynykovo||https://www.iers.org.ua/info-day-churches/|
|Presentation of the children's fairy tale "Bats"||December 16, 2020||Uzhgorod||https://www.iers.org.ua/eco-fairy-tale/|
|Campaign "Living Christmas tree"||December 16-21, 2020||Uzhgorod||https://www.iers.org.ua/%d1%807690/|
|Informational day on protection of the Borzhava valleys||February 13, 2021||Pylypets||https://www.iers.org.ua/5648w/|
|Field expedition to study winter species of bats||February 27, 2021||Mukachevo district||https://www.iers.org.ua/4532-gh/|
|Planting of forests in the Pushkinovo tract||March 20, 2021||Shalanky village||https://www.iers.org.ua/55777-2/|
|Informational day on protection of the Borzhava valleys||April 3, 2021||Pylypets||https://www.iers.org.ua/borzhava/|
|Participation in the All-Ukrainian campaign "Greening of Ukraine"||April 10, 2021||Berehiv district|
|Classes of forest pedagogy "Migrating birds of Transcarpathia"||May 7, 2021||Uzhgorod|
|Event to preserve the unique oak habitat||May 14, 2021||Kraynykovo|
|Information day for school students "Natural and cultural heritage of Uzhhorod"||May 22, 2021||Uzhgorod|
|Classes of forest pedagogy "About the forest in the forest"||June 3, 2021||Uzhgorod|
|Classes of Forest Pedagogy "Forest Initiatives"||June 18, 2021||Uzhgorod|
|Presentation of eco-coloring book “ How does Mariannochka do it? Rules of behaviour in the forest "||June 24, 2021||Uzhgorod|
|Training of waste management||July 22, 2021||Klyachanovo|
|Informational day on owl protection||August 13, 2021||Vovkove|
|Informational day on protection of the Svydovets valleys||September 13-15, 2021||Svydovets|