Raising Awareness in the Carpathians

The Carpathians are not only one of Europe’s largest mountain ranges and a unique, natural treasure of beauty and ecological value, but they are also home to some 16-18 million people who work and live in communities across the region.

If the Carpathian Convention is to have a real and lasting impact, it is crucial that the people from these communities must take part in the activities to protect and promote the Carpathian Mountains and their cultural and natural diversity.

Raising awareness in the Carpathians is done by both governmental institutions (i.e. schools and museums) and non-governmental institutions (NGOs). There have also been several international institutions and organizations involved in organizing various stakeholder consultations and thus support the implementation process of the Carpathian Convention.

For more information on the activities of these institutions and organizations in the Carpathian region see their webpages in alphabetical order:

ANPED (The Northern Alliance for Sustainability):

CEEWEB for Biodiversity (Central and East European Working Group for the Enhancement of Biodiversity)

CERI (Carpathian EcoRegion Initiative)

EURAC (European Academy in Bolzano)

UNEP  United Nations Environment Programme) – apart from hosting the Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention, UNEP is involved and supports implementation activities.

WWF – DCP (World Wildlife Fund – Danube Carpathian Programme)

Teaching Materials

Many institutions and organizations working in the Carpathians have prepared valuable and useful materials (i.e. toolkits, ideas for event organizers, general guidelines for awareness raising) which can be used in environmental education, not only for children but sometimes for local communities as well. These tools can be useful for teachers, environmental educators, community workers, NGOs, and for the staff of protected areas who deal with community involvement, public relations, education, and raising awareness in their protected areas.

Move4Nature – The Carpathian Mountains’ Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Tool Kit

The aim of the Move4Nature project is to facilitate the use of existing materials in various areas of mountain protection and sustainable development, and to connect their links to school curriculum, in a way that assists teachers in engaging their students in the reflection and critical thinking of sustainability in a local and regional context.

The important components of this Tool Kit are the reflections and input of local users engaged in education. A localized insight Tool Kit with region-specific examples is as well as giving valuable foresight and inevitable input to the development of the next edition of the tool kit.

The complete Tool Kit, including feedback from the project partners and teacher training participants was distributed to the schools in Romania that participated during the 2009-10 school year.

The Danube Box

The Danube Delta is host to more than 81 million people in 19 European countries, for whom it provides water, food, and energy, along with being an important mode of transportation and recreation.  The Danube Box offers a holistic approach to learning by inspiring a creative awareness and understanding of the protection and sustainable usage of the Danube.

The Danube Box is a comprehensive educational tool used by teachers and educators of diverse disciplines working with children between the ages of 9 and 12. This package contains educational media that targets the areas of ecology, geography, wildlife, and the cultural diversity of peoples along the Danube, including current and past lifestyles. It is a tool that can be used in class by following the provided teaching units, outdoors for experience in the natural environment, as well as being suitable for workshops or ecology camps.

World of the Carpathians – Handbook for Environmental Education

By focusing on wildlife habitats within the Carpathian arc, the handbooks included in this toolkit equip elementary school teachers with the materials necessary for teaching the issues related to biodiversity.

Within the scope of Carpathian habitats, such as forests, grasslands, watersheds, and wetlands, it introduces the main groups of organisms that exist within the mountain range (i.e. vascular plants, bryophytes, lichens, fungi, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, invertebrates).

Each chapter is divided into the information part for teachers, activities for pupils, as well as worksheets. The activities use interactive forms and methods of teaching like group work, learning through practical activities, playing games and completing interesting projects. The handbooks are designed to motivate and actively involve children in exploration of biodiversity and the environment.

The publication was issued in Slovak and English languages.

To buy the publication (€25), please contact: DAPHNE Institute of Applied Ecology, Podunajska 24, 821 06 Bratislava, SLOVAKIA, tel.: 421 245 524 019, 421 245 640 201, e-mail: daphne@daphne.sk


Carpathian Parks Day – around May 23rd

Carpathian Parks Day is part of the European Day of Parks which aims to promote protected areas among the general public, people living adjacent to PAs and decision-makers. Carpathian Parks Day is celebrated annually in May and has become established in the region following events in protected areas and national capitals in 2010, 2011, and 2013.

Carpathian Parks Day aims to support and strengthen the bond between the general public and the protected areas.

This WWF DCP initiative, which was part of the 2012 Protected Areas for a Living Planet Project, is meant to celebrate nature in the Carpathians but also the people who live there, their life and joy, future and hope. It is an opportunity to promote the work of the protected areas administrations and to transform the abstract definitions of biodiversity conservation or management measures into real facts for the public.

Increased awareness should help decision makers, key stakeholders and the general public to better understand the importance of protected areas in terms of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.

The Day of Parks is becoming a regular event in the region and these events continue to be supported by various projects, including BioREGIO. An Event Tool Kit was developed to help PA managers organize one-day events for different target groups. The guide is available in PDF.


CEEweb – Visit a Better Place to Live!

The brochure explains the concept of sustainable tourism in unconventional way – by providing a map of an imaginary village and interviews taken within that “community”. On the other side of the map, however, real-life examples are presented that were implemented with the participation of the members of CEEweb Sustainable Tourism Working Group. In addition, the brochure provides information about the Working Group itself.

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