Ecocentre “Zapovedniks” gathers friends

Author: Victoria Kosmatova

September 23d  to 26th – International Forum of the Friends of Protected Areas, which represents one of the biggest gatherings for youth from protected areas, was hosted by Environmental educational Centre “Zapovedniks” in Petrozavodsk, Russia.

The Forum is a platform for the participants of the Friends of Protected Areas (FPA) movement so they could exchange their experience. The movement was created to implement environmental projects and unites clubs to support protected areas throughout Russia. 

280 delegates from 30 regions of Russia and representatives from other countries took part in this big event. During 4 days there were several platforms for discussions and meetings:

  • Educational program for Youth “School of Nature Friends” aimed to teach young people to collect ideas to save nature; write environmental projects, use social media to promote their protected areas;
  • Business forum “Business for the benefit of nature” was made mainly for business representatives to discuss opportunities for support youth environmental projects;
  • Conferences and seminars for protected areas specialists – to learn how to make new groups of FPA movement in other regions, how to involve more young people in the work, etc.;
  • Broadcast with The EUROPARC Conference, which was hosted the same dates in Kemeri National Park, Latvia. 
  • Local Action – Workshop of the grassroots movement, supported by YEE, Council of Europe and Erasmus+ program, took place during this event. 15 participants learned about grassroots movements and brainstormed about their creation in Russia. At the end of the workshop, we found out that a lot of environmental movements exist in different regions that could be spread out. 

Participants were also involved in Exhibition of implemented environmental projects, interactive lessons, flashmob, excursions to zapovednik “Kivch” and open-air museum Kizhi, Barents International Environmental Film Festival and many other events for youth. The last day participants planted a whole Avenue of Northern grapes in the Park of Petrozavodsk during the traditional environmental campaign the “Trail of the Forum”.

The organizers of the Forum: Ecocentre “Zapovedniks”, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, Government of Karelia Republic and the Grant of the President of Russian Federation and YEE supported the Forum.